Setting up an FTP server

My neighbor, a professional photographer, knocked on my door the other day, with a data-transmission problem. He'd just bought a fabulously expensive 22Mp Leaf camera and the resulting image files were causing him a huge headache.

At 20MB for a high-resolution Jpeg or 80MB for a Tiff, delivering snaps to clients was starting to be a problem -- even with broadband. A client suggested he consider using FTP (file transfer protocol). FTP has its advantages. People can download files from you when you're not at your PC; it's faster than using email or IM (instant messaging) and you can resume broken downloads. You can control access with a password system, too, although this is still not very secure.

My neighbor has a number of options. He could rent some storage space at his ISP, probably over and above the usual 'free web space'. This would incur a monthly charge and he'd have to upload the files to the FTP site before they could be downloaded. At 288Kbps (kilobits per second -- the standard ADSL upload speed), that's going to take some time. With a real-world upload speed of about 28Kbps, it would take roughly 12 minutes per 20MB file, or four hours in total. SDSL (symmetric DSL) would reduce this, but such connections are dear.

A compromise is to run your own server. The software is free and, because you cut out the slow upload phase, it's faster. A command-line FTP client comes with XP, or you can download free FTP clients such as FileZilla and CoreFTP (on the cover disc). You can even use a web browser such as Internet Explorer or Firefox.

Setting up an FTP server is simple and it can run from your existing PC. If you have XP Professional or Windows 2000, the FTP server software is included as part of IIS. You need only to install it.

There is a 10-user limit and a max file size of 2GB on 'non-Server' editions of Windows. For those using XP Home or earlier versions, a free third-party FTP server is available. Serv-U 6.3 is free for personal use at www.servu.com.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Roger Gann

PC Advisor (UK)
Show Comments

Father’s Day Gift Guide

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?