An FTP server is very useful when we want to access our computer, specifically to the data stored in it and that we have previously configured its access from this server. With an FTP client we can connect to our server from anywhere simply by having an internet connection and access to our files without having to copy them to a server controlled by a company such as Google Drive.
There are several servers for Windows, some for payment and others for free. One of the best options if we want to install an FTP server on our computer is FIleZilla. We chose FileZilla because it is an open source application, safe, powerful and very easy to configure so that even users without extensive knowledge can make use of it in a simple way.
To download FileZilla for free we simply must access its main web page and select the latest available version.
Once downloaded, we started the installation.
The installation is very simple. We will simply leave the options that the assistant will show us by default and continue with the installation. Once the process is finished we will have our FTP server ready to start working.
To open the configuration menu we must click on the icon that created us on the desktop called «FileZilla Server Interface». We will see a window similar to the following.
At the moment we have not configured additional values, so simply by clicking on "ok" we will see the main menu of the FTP server.
Configure general FileZilla parameters
The first thing we must do is configure the basic values of FileZilla Server. For this we will follow the menu «edit> settings» and open the configuration menu.
Here there are many advanced options in which we are not going to deepen. What we are going to commission in this tutorial is to easily configure our server to access only the files that we have stored in our personal Windows folder, leaving the rest of the files without sharing.
In this first window that will appear once we access the server settings we can change the port (by default 21 and it is advisable to leave it as is) and the maximum number of users that can be connected (default 0, that is, unlimited ).
The next section to configure will be «Admin interface settings».
Here we must enable the box "change admin password" and escirbir a password to prevent anyone from accessing the administration menu of our FTP (is the password left blank in the first step).
With this we have already reviewed the main options of FIleZilla Server. There are other additional options that we can configure such as establishing SSL certificates to connect, global speed limits, data compression, etc. but these are more recommended options for advanced users.
The next step is to create users and specify the folders they can access.
Configure users for FileZilla
We can create several users and configure each one individually or establish several options globally through user groups.
For this we will select the edit> users menu and we will see a general user configuration window.
To create a user we must select on the "Add" button on the right side. A window will appear in which we must enter the name of the user we want to create and a group to which it belongs (by default <none>).
Once we accept the message we will see new options
- Enable account: indicates if the account is activated or deactivated (useful to disable a user without deleting it).
- Password: we must create an access password to connect.
- Description: we can write a description of the user in a personal way.
- Once the user is created, we will go to the "shared folders" section.
Here we can manage the folders that can be shared and those that will be private and without access from our FTP. To add a folder to our server, simply select "add" and look for it in the browser that appears.
Once the folder is added, we will see a series of buttons and the list of users on the right. We can configure the permissions of each user individually (read, write, delete files, etc) as well as the ability to scroll through other folders.
Once this is configured we will have our FTP server in a basic way ready to start working. We accept the configuration windows and restart our server so that the changes are applied correctly.
All we need now is an FTP client (FileZilla Client, for example) and connect to our IP address with our username and password to have full access to the folder that we have decided to share.
In the FileZilla Server window we can always see who has connected and all the activity of the users to have a control of what happens in our server in order to find possible unauthorized users.
In later articles we will explain how to use the FileZilla Server client to connect to different FTP servers easily.