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Set up Your Own FTP Server in an Easy Way

"A convenient way to share and exchange large files"

Contents:

The need of your own dedicated FTP server

We may all have the same experience that when sending files at work or submitting homework, a single file is often larger than 10MB which is difficult to be sent via e-mail, not to say sending video or artwork files that are over hundreds of MB in size. If you have your own FTP server at home or at work, you can manage the access authority of the server, and share your files with customers or friends easily.

The difficulties of setting up a FTP server on a PC

It is a challenging job for non IT professionals to set up an FTP server.

  • In regards to the hardware, you have to prepare a PC as an FTP server. Then install the OS and software in the PC, connect it to the LAN and turn on the PC 24/7 (if you want the FTP server to run 24 hours).
  • In regards to the software, if you are using Windows OS, you can select some popular FTP server software, e.g. Server-U. However, you will have to pay for the software and spend some time to install and learn the configuration and operation of the software. If you prefer a more stable and cheaper choice, you can install Linux OS on your PC and use the FTP server utility of Linux.

The defects of the above method are:

  • The noise of the PC fan is very loud, the PC temperature is high and it is energy-consuming. The cost of running the server 24/7 can be very high. These are all unfavorable to small office and home users.
  • For non-professional computer users, it is difficult and time-consuming to understand Linux and set up an FTP server on their own.

What QNAP NAS offers?

QNAP Turbo NAS provides a new choice for users. Turbo NAS is built-in with FTP server function. After installing Turbo NAS, you can enable FTP server via the web management interface and configure the settings. The configurations are very simple that general users can set up the server easily. This guide will demostrate how to setup the FTP server on QNAP NAS within only a few steps.

Assign the NAS a fixed IP and setup the DDNS

It is recommended to assign a fixed IP to Turbo NAS. (Since you may need to open the ports of services on your NAT router and forward them to the LAN IP address of Turbo NAS and you do not want it to be changed.) Go to 'System Administration' > 'Network' > 'TCP/IP' and click on to bring up the TCP/IP property window. Assign a static IP address for your NAS, besides, be sure to set the DNS server address as well or your will not be able to connect to the trackers.

Assign a static IP address for your NAS

Most ISP will provide one or more dynamic public IP for Internet connection. (This applies to the situation that the IP sharing router acquires WAN IP from ISP by PPPoE or DHCP connection.) To set up a server, a fixed IP address or URL is necessary so that users can easily recall the server address to connect to. When a dynamic IP address is used, you can get a router that supports DDNS or simply use the built-in DDNS function on QNAP NAS, and through registering an easy-to-remember domain name from any DDNS provider to easily identify Turbo NAS on the Internet, e.g. myqnap.dyndns.com.

Configure the DDNS service

Setup port forwarding on your router

If your Turbo NAS is located behind the NAT router, you need to open the ports of the services on the NAT router and forward these ports to the fixed LAN IP of Turbo NAS. This function is available on most routers found in the market and is often known as "Port Forwarding", "NAT Server" or "Virtual Server". Take FTP server as an example, you have to forward port 21 to the LAN IP of Turbo NAS, e.g. forward TCP port 21 to 192.168.1.34. When the NAT router receives packets from the WAN side to the external port 21, the router will forward these packets to the LAN IP of Turbo NAS. Moreover, to connect to the Turbo NAS at home from WAN, you can simply forward traffic coming from port 8080 (the default management port) to the LAN IP of Turbo NAS. (See below for an example setup on a Baffalo router.

Setup port forwarding on your router
Some NAT routers provide DMZ settings. You can forward LAN IP address specified by DMZ to Turbo NAS. When this setting is used, all ports from WAN to LAN will be forwarded to Turbo NAS.

After completing these two settings, you can connect to the FTP server at home from the Internet via ftp://myqnap.dyndns.com to upload and download files.

Step-by-step configuration guide of FTP server

Go to 'Network Services' > 'FTP Service' and enable the FTP server.You may change the FTP port, set the maximum number of connections, configure Unicode support or whether to allow anonymous logins. After configuration, click 'Apply' for the settings to take effect.

Enable the FTP service on the NAS

Configure user and folder access right

The FTP access right on Turbo NAS is consistent to the folder access right of network share folders configured through 'Privilege settings'. Therefore, after you configure the user/group account and folder access rights, you can use the same user account and password to connect to the FTP server of Turbo NAS.

Configure the folder access rights
Go to 'Privilege settings' > 'User' or 'Access Rights Management' > 'User Groups' if you need to create or delete user/group accounts and change the login password.

Go to 'Privilege settings' > 'Share Folders' to manage your share folders and define the folder access rights (available modes includes full access, read only and deny access).

In the following example, we created an account guest123.

created an account guest123

Then we created a folder mp3music in 'Privilege settings' and configured the access right to allow guest123 to access the folder mp3music. After successful configuration, users can login with the account of guest123 and the password to connect to the FTP server and read/write the files under mp3music folder.

Create and test the sample account

Create and test the sample account

Let's quickly test the FTP server we've just enabled by entering ftp://username:password@Turbo-NAS-IP_address/ directly in the Windows Explorer, e.g. ftp://admin:admin@192.168.1.34 to connect to the FTP server. Upon successful log on you should see a list of shared folders the logged-in user is allowed to see and read/write to the files stored under them.

Test the FTP service
When you are connecting to the FTP server behind the NAT/firewall router from the Internet, you have to enter your WAN IP address or DDNS name as the IP address, e.g. ftp://admin:admin@myqnap.dyndns.com.

You can also use some popular FTP client softwares, e.g. CuteFTP or FileZilla.

Conclusion

FTP server is one of the convenient functions of QNAP Turbo NAS. FTP server can be set up by Turbo NAS. The web-based configuration is simple and fast to complete. Establishing an FTP server can now be done by anyone. It is no longer a complicated task that can only be completed by IT professionals.

Release date: 2013-04-17
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