FTP functions on a client-server model. The server hosts the files to be shared and the client provides the interface to access, download, or upload files to the file server. The device transferring the files can be within the same network where the FTP server is configured. It could also reside outside the network. As described in his guide “How to install and configure a FileZilla Server on Windows“, FTP uses two ports, one for connection and one for sending data. Setting up a File Transfer Protocol (FTP) server on Windows 10 is a relatively convenient way to upload and download files from virtually anywhere to your device. See this guide on how to access FTP Server from your browser: How to create a shortcut and access Filezilla from Windows Explorer.
Since Windows's built-in FTP does not support secure FTP, you could use the Filezilla Server as an option to support secure FTP. It also offers a simpler user management that is presented upfront on the server application's interface. While it is not a better solution to the IIS FTP role, it is a quick solution if you do not use IIS and use a Windows-based control panel that doesn't offer FTP. You may also want to see this guide: Warning: FTP over TLS is not enabled, users cannot securely log in: You appear to be behind a NAT Router, please configure the passive mode settings and forward a range of ports in your router.
Step 1 – Configure FTP Components: In this guide, I will take you through to install the FTP server components on your server.
– Search and open Control Panel.
This will open up the Control Panel window. Click on Programs as shown below.
Under “Programs and Features,” click the “Turn Windows features on or off” link. This can take a while to fully display the features, please wait.
You will need to expand the “Internet Information Services” feature, and expand the FTP server option.
– Ensure you check the FTP Extensibility and FTP Service options.
– Also select the Web Management Tools option with the default selections,
– Please also select the IIS Management Console.
Click on OK. This will search for the required files as shown below. This can also take a while, sit back and relax 🙂 When it has successfully applied all changes, a restart will be required. Click on Restart now.
As you can see the components to set up an FTP server have been successfully installed on the Windows 10 device.
Step 2 – Set up an FTP site: After installing the required components, you can proceed to configure an FTP server on the device, which involves creating a new FTP site, setting up firewall rules, and allowing external connections. To do this, perform the following steps.
– Launch the Administrative Tools from the Start Menu and click on Internet Information Services as shown below.
– Alternatively, you could click on the control panel, then on the System and Security, and on Administrative Tools. Click on the Internet Information Services.
This will open the Internet Information Services as shown below.
From the “Connections” pane, right-click Sites as shown below and click on the Add FTP Site option.
FTP depends on IIS (Internet Information Services). Both IIS and FTP services should be installed for the configuration of the FTP server. A root folder is required for FTP publishing. The folder can be created under: %SystemDrive%\TechDAFTP
Note: It is recommended to create a folder in the root of the main system drive, or on a different drive. Else, if you set the home folder in one of your default folders when adding multiple accounts, users won’t have permission to access the folder.
– Type a descriptive name in the FTP site name.
– In the “Content Directory” click on the button and browse to the location of the folder you want to use to store your FTP files.
Click the Next button and this will open up the Binding and SSL Settings as shown below.
– Use the default Binding settings selections and ensure the Start FTP site automatically option is selected.
– In the “SSL” section, select the “No SSL” option. This is currently set up in a lab environment and will be destroyed in the next hour. Therefore, in your production environment, please select require SSL and this will prevent your data to be transmitted in a clear text.
If you want multiple users to access the FTP server at the same time, you need to modify the server settings using these steps:
When you chose "All Users", the option to type in users will be grayed out. Also, click on the Read and Write options. - When you are done, click on Finish.
As you can see, the FTP server has been configured successfully and it is operational (started).
Note: Ensure your FTP server is assigned a static IP address. You may also configure a DNS record (A record) for it.
Step 3 – Configure Windows Firewall rules: Since you are running the built-in firewall on Windows 10, connections to the FTP server are blocked by default. To remediate this, we will need to allow the FTP service through the Firewall. To do this, please follow the steps below.
– Open Windows Defender Security Center.
This will open the Windows Security as shown below. Click on the Firewall & network protection.
– Click the Allow an app through the firewall option.
This will open the “Allow apps to communicate through Windows Defender Firewall”. In order to do this, click on the “Change Settings” as shown below.
Click on the FTP Server option, and ensure you check to allow Domain, Private and Public access as shown below.
Once you’ve completed the steps, the FTP server should now be accessible from the local network. If you are using other 3rd party software, you will also need to create an exception.
Step 4 – Creating new user accounts: If you wish to allow multiple people to download and upload files to the FTP server simultaneously, you need to set up multiple accounts with specific permissions.
– This process is done by creating new standard Windows 10 accounts and configuring the correct settings
- Open Settings. - Click on Accounts. - Click on Family & other people. - Click the Add someone else to this PC button.
Follow through the prompts to have a local account created.
This will ensure the user account is created.
Step 5 – Connect to your FTP Server: You may want to see this guide for more information “Access FTP Server from your browser: How to create a shortcut and access Filezilla from Windows Explorer“.
You will be prompted to select an app as shown below. I will be selecting Internet Explorer as shown below.
Enter the username and password created above. With this account, this user can access the FTP server internally or externally.
As you can see, the user we created was able to access the FTP server via the web browser. You may wish to access the FTP server via the FileZilla client etc. To do this, please follow the steps described in this guide: Access FTP Server from your browser: How to create a shortcut and access Filezilla from Windows Explorer.
In the future, if you wish to change or restrict the users accessing the FTP server, you need to modify the server settings using the steps below.
– Launch the IIS Manager, and on the left pane, expand “Sites,” and select the site (TDAFTP) you have created.
– Double-click the FTP Authorization Rules option.
– On the right pane, click the Add Allow Rule option.
– Follow through the rest steps as they are very basic.
I hope you found this blog post helpful. If you have any questions, please let me know in the comment session.