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    Is there anyone experienced with Windows 7 FTP servers?


    I am trying not only to create, but understand how the ftp server works and what the different IP addresses are for.
    First off I want to have my own Home based ftp server and web hosting server. I want this over any cloud services (like dropbox or google drive) for integration purposes and for avoiding large capacity service fees. My wife and her friend are trying to start up a business and I want to learn how to make a 2TB hard drive a ftp server so she and her friend can access the drive any time and anywhere remotely. Ive been working on this for about a week. Im not throwing my hands up or anything, Im still trying to learn it, but all of the different tutorials seem to be missing key points, like What ip address would I use as the ftp url from the client computer to access the host computer remotely... REALLY stupid stuff like that. I don't understand how I do port forwarding accurately let alone how to confirm exactly what the port my ISP uses for outside network users (like those trying to access the ftp server remotely) would have to use. There are also major things like "Static-ip" and "DNS" that I don't understand.
    I know there are plenty of ftp programs out there, but I seem to be running into the exact same blanks missing. I tried to set up a server using Filezilla, but I... I just can't seem to understand what Im missing or doing wrong.
    I need help from someone who'd be willing to pretty much hold my hand through the process and break it down step by step. I need to be able to ask follow up questions and such. Once I get fundamental base knowledge and principals down, Ill do alot better.
    Can someone please help me?
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    I have not worked much with Windows servers, however, most of your questions are actually networking related.

    What ip address would I use as the ftp url from the client computer to access the host computer remotely... REALLY stupid stuff like that.
    From the server, google "what is my ip". That is the address that outside users have to use. However, that address will not work from inside your LAN.

    I don't understand how I do port forwarding accurately
    You start by logging into your router's control panel and locating the port forward section. Then you need to configure a port forwarding rule that forwards port 21 to the internal IP of the server. This IP is not the same IP that you got from Google. The internal IP is the one you see listed for your network card under Status -> Details in Windows. The exact steps involved here are different for every router model, which is why most tutorials will probably just tell you to look it up in the router manual.

    let alone how to confirm exactly what the port my ISP uses for outside network users (like those trying to access the ftp server remotely) would have to use
    This has nothing to do with your ISP; outside users use the port that you configure your FTP server to listen on. This is the same port that you must forward through the router. I said port 21 above because that's the default, however you could change it.

    There are also major things like "Static-ip"
    A static IP means that the IP assigned to your network connection doesn't change. Almost all residential internet connections have dynamic IPs, which means that the address you obtained from google in the first step is not constant and will change over time. Whenever it changes, you have to use the new one to connect to the FTP server remotely as the old one will no longer work.

    If your connection has a static IP, then the IP assigned to you never changes.

    and "DNS" that I don't understand.
    DNS is what maps a domain name like google.com to the IP address of the server that is hosting the google.com content. As DNS is a fairly complicated subject all by itself, I recommend that you get your system working with an IP only before trying to set up DNS too.
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    First off, I want to thank you so very much. This information is extremely helpful, and I appreciate your time in explaining it a bit.
    In regards to the port forwarding..
    When I go into the port forwarding configurations in the router it asks what Inbound port with two entry fields (blank-blank) and then Private Port with two entry fields (blank to blank). I'm assuming I'd do 21-21 for inbound and then Whatever one I use for the private (which Im just keeping as 21 until I understand this a bit better)?

    In regards to the static ip...
    Ive got basic xfinity broadband internet, so I'm sure its basic non-static ip. But is there a way to test this, and if I don't have a static IP, is there a free way of setting up a static-ip?

    I know you said you aren't too familiar with windows servers so if you don't know I understand, but do you know why it is that when I try to set up an ftp site/server through IIS Manager, it only works for me when I set up a user based on a user on my computer? The only user I have on my computer is Varxtis which is admin... But If I deviate from that user name, I get a error "The specified user does not exist.". This is under a setting titled "Connect as" under Pass-Through Authentication. I'm assuming that I'm setting who the outside user will connect as... but I'm probably wrong :\
    If I am wrong, do you know what I'd look for to create user names/profiles for an outside user?

    Also, Could you please explain what the following are for? I'm asked to choose from options:

    ĽAuthentication: Anonymous Basic or both

    ĽAuthorization - Allow access to:
    All Users
    Anonymous Users
    Specified roles or user groups
    Specified Users

    Are these option in reference to authorization for outside users or is it asking who has authorization to change the setting for the IIS Manager on the computer?

    If you do not have the time, I understand and appreciate your help as it is, but further assistance would be appreciated all that much more.
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    I'm assuming I'd do 21-21 for inbound and then Whatever one I use for the private (which Im just keeping as 21 until I understand this a bit better)
    Yes

    Ive got basic xfinity broadband internet, so I'm sure its basic non-static ip.
    It is. It's also a violation of xfinity's terms of service to "run a server" on their basic connections, so watch it.

    But is there a way to test this
    Write down your IP. Unplug your cable modem for a few days. Plug it back in and check your IP. You could also just assume it won't change if you continue running traffic through it all day.

    and if I don't have a static IP, is there a free way of setting up a static-ip?
    No, but there are ways in which you can set up a domain name which automatically routes to whatever IP you happen to have. I don't think it's free though.

    it only works for me when I set up a user based on a user on my computer?
    Welcome to using microsoft software. Make a new system user.

    Also, Could you please explain what the following are for? I'm asked to choose from options:

    ĽAuthentication: Anonymous Basic or both

    ĽAuthorization - Allow access to:
    All Users
    Anonymous Users
    Specified roles or user groups
    Specified Users

    Are these option in reference to authorization for outside users or is it asking who has authorization to change the setting for the IIS Manager on the computer?
    Anonymous authentication allows anyone to connect to your server. You don't want that. Keep it at "basic." Don't authorize "all users" or "anonymous users," and since you don't have roles or groups on your machine (as you're not part of a windows domain) you don't need that option either. Create a user for your wife and her friend, then give that user permission through the "specified users" option. And yes, this is for connecting to the FTP server, not for administering it.
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    Blink blink... Wow, idk what to so. Thank you so so much, I really appreciate it. I don't have any more questions, which probably is a dangerous thing lol, but you thoroughly answered all the ones I did have. I can't thank you enough for this and all your help.

    EDIT: Oh wait, there was one more question.
    Is the fact the xfinity doesn't condone/support servers the reason why the speed is so slow? I tested the ftp server by connecting my laptop to my verizon phone hotspot. The server comes up perfect, but when I tried to download a file, it was gonna take about 20 mins to download a 322mb file :\
    Last edited by varxtis; March 22nd, 2013 at 11:25 AM. Reason: Additional question
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    one thing to add to all of this is that you need to open ports 21 AND 20 in your router to allow FTP.
    port 21 is the control/listen port and port 20 is what is used to do the DATA transfer.

    Also, you do realize that you will need to keep the PC that you have FTP server on running 24/7 to be able to use it anytime you want.
    I would actually suggest that you use another PC that you dont mind running 24/7 [something older that may use less power].

    There are other FREE third-party ftp server programs available that would probably be much easier to use than the built-in IIS ftp server.

    One that comes to mind is SmallFTPd.
    It offers you ability to setup users and add the proper permissions without having to add new Windows Users on your PC.
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    Is the fact the xfinity doesn't condone/support servers the reason why the speed is so slow? I tested the ftp server by connecting my laptop to my verizon phone hotspot. The server comes up perfect, but when I tried to download a file, it was gonna take about 20 mins to download a 322mb file :\
    That sounds right. Do a speedtest.net test through each connection. I doubt your xfinity upload is more than 2mbit.
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    Thank you again. I did do the speed test and the results showed download being is as much as 5mbps and the upload was 2.7
    I figured since I'm trying to access files on a computer remotely, the computer that holds the file would indeed have to be on... but thanks, it's best to be safe than sorry... especially with how ignorant I am to this stuff Not sarcasm... I know I'm ignorant, but I'm learning.

    In regards to opening up port 20... Do I do this the same way I did port 21 in the router settings? port 21 directed to (whatever port I choose)
    and port 20 to (same port)?

    Also, about xFinity and not condoning FTP... I definitely appreciate the concerns of public or even semi-public traffic bogging their internet down, not to mention the possible security and illegal use of such a feature. For security sake (and the fact that it's slower than a snail on a salt-bed) we decided we won't use ftp for their business venture... but I'm still intrigued by the feature and wonder if it'd be allowed for strictly personal use, where I alone would have access to the computer remotely?

    P.S.
    So Ive been MIA for so long after you guys have been so kind and helpful, but a bunch of stuffs happened to me lately and Ive been preoccupied taking care of it.
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    where you setup your port 21 rule in your router, there should've been a "start port" and "end port".
    I assume, now, that you have port 21 in both places [start - end].
    All you need to do is edit your existing rule and change the start port to 20 instead of 21 [for both private and public] and save those settings.
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    If I wanted my private port set as ####2, then should it look something like the following:
    Inbound port: 20-21
    Private Port: ####1-####2
    Is that right?

    Originally it looked like this:
    Inbound port: 21-21
    Private port: ####2-####2
    and it was working.
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    Originally Posted by varxtis
    If I wanted my private port set as ####2, then should it look something like the following:
    Inbound port: 20-21
    Private Port: ####1-####2
    Is that right?

    Originally it looked like this:
    Inbound port: 21-21
    Private port: ####2-####2
    and it was working.
    I have no idea what ####2 even means.
    When setting up port forward rule, the "public/inbound ports" rule is/are the ports that face the internet and are what you tell clients to use for connecting to the server...the "private ports" rule is the actual port(s) needed by the server. SO, if your FTP server is actually running on port 21 [which I assume it is], you will need to set the private port(s) to 20 & 21 for start / end ports.
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    Sry, "####2" was my way of censoring. Im paranoid...
    But ya, the port I was censoring that I wanted to use is 36282.
    So I had it reversed... It would look something more like this...
    Inbound port: 36281-36282
    Private Port: 20-21

    And thank you, I really appreciate the clarification.
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    Originally Posted by varxtis
    Sry, "####2" was my way of censoring. Im paranoid...
    But ya, the port I was censoring that I wanted to use is 36282.
    So I had it reversed... It would look something more like this...
    Inbound port: 36281-36282
    Private Port: 20-21

    And thank you, I really appreciate the clarification.
    Yes, you would then tell your clients to connect using the port 36282 and that would then be forwarded to port 21 internally to your ftp server running on that port 21.

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