How to setup and configure an FTP server in IIS
The first thing you’ll need to setup your own FTP server in Windows
is to make sure you have Internet Information Services (IIS) installed.
Remember, this only comes with Windows XP Professional or Windows Vista[color:65f7=orange ! important][color:65f7=orange ! important]Business
Click on Start
, Control Panel
and go to Add/Remove Programs
. Then click on Add/Remove Windows Components
In the components wizard, scroll down until you see IIS in the list and check it off. Before you click Next
though, make sure you click on Details and then check off File Transfer Protocol (FTP) Service
and then click Next
Windows will go ahead and install the necessary IIS files along with
the FTP service. You may be asked to insert your Windows XP or Windows
Vista disk at this point.Setup and configure IIS for FTP
Once IIS has been installed, you may have to restart your computer.
Now we want to go ahead and open the IIS configuration panel to setup
our FTP server. So go to Start
, then Control Panel
and click on Administrative Tools
. You should now see an icon for Internet Information Services
When you open IIS for the first time, you’ll only see your computer name in the left hand menu. Go ahead and click the +
next to the computer name and you’ll see a couple of options like Web
Sites, FTP Sites, etc. We’re interested in FTP Sites, so expand that
out also. You should see Default FTP Site
, click on it.
You’ll notice after you click on the default FTP site
that there are a couple of buttons at the top that look like VCR
buttons: Play, Stop, and Pause. If the Play button is greyed out, that
means the FTP server is active. Your FTP server is now up and running!
You can actually connect to it via your FTP client software. I use
Smart FTP, but you can use whatever you like best.
Open your FTP client software and type in localhost
as the host name and choose Anonymous
for the login. Connect and you should now see an empty folder.
Ok, so that’s step 1! Now where the heck is this folder
that you are currently viewing? Well the default FTP site is actually
located in C:\Inetpub\ftproot
. Open this directory and dump some files into it.
Now refresh on your FTP client and you should now see your files listed!
So you now have an up and running FTP server on your
local computer. Before I show you how you can create separate folders
that are stored in a different directory other than the default Inetpub
folder, let’s first connect to our FTP server from another computer on
In order to do this, you’ll have to open up the Windows
Firewall to allow FTP connections to your computer, otherwise all
external computers will be blocked. You can do this by going to Start
, Control Panel
and then clicking on Windows Firewall
. Click on the Advanced
Under the Network Connection Settings
section, make sure all of the connections are checked in the left list and then click on the Settings
button. You’ll now be able to open certain ports on your computer based
on the service your computer is providing. Since we are hosting our own
FTP server, we want to check off FTP Server
A little popup window will appear with some settings
that you can change, just leave it as it is and click OK. Click OK
again at the main Windows Firewall window. You have now opened up the
firewall for FTP connections. Now try to connect to your FTP site from
a different computer on your network. You’ll need to get the IP address
of the computer first before you can connect into it from a different
Go to Start
, click Run
and type in CMD
. Type IPCONFIG
and jot down the number for IP Address:
In your FTP client on the other computer, type in the
IP Address you just wrote down and connect anonymously. You should now
be able to see all of your files just like you did on the FTP client
that was on the local computer.
Now that the FTP site is working, you can create as
many folders as you like for FTP purposes. In this way, when a user
connects, they specify a path that will connect to one specific folder.
Back in IIS, right click on Default FTP Site and choose New
, and then Virtual Directory
When you create a virtual directory in IIS, you’re
basically going to create an alias that points to a folder on the local
hard drive. So in the wizard, the first thing you’ll be asked is for a
alias name. Make is something simple and useful like “WordDocs” or
Click Next and now browse to the path where you want
the alias to refer to. So if you have a bunch of movies you want to
share, browse to that folder.
Click Next and choose whether you want it as Read
access only or Read and Write
access. If you simply want to share files, check Read. If you want
people to be able to upload files to your computer, choose Read and
Click Next and then click Finish! Now you’ll see your
new virtual directory below the default FTP site. You can connect to
you using your FTP client by putting in the Path field “/Test” or
Now you’ll only see the files that are in the folder we had browsed to.
And that’s about it! You can create as many folder as
you like! The only thing other thing that you would need to do is to
give out your public IP address to anyone who is connecting from
outside of your internal network. If you want users to connect from
anywhere in the world, you’ll have to give them your public IP address,
which you can find out by going to http://whatismyipaddress.com/
Finally, you’ll need to forward the FTP port on your router to your local computer that is hosting the FTP server. Port Forward
is a great site to show you how to forward ports on your router to computers on your home network.
Any questions, post a comment! Enjoy!