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FTP setup
March 31, 2008 11:32 AM   Subscribe

Trying to setup a very specific FTP service for office group.

So, our design department is destroying our Exchange server with their insane 60MB PDFs. We'd like to setup an ftp site so that vendors can upload these docs to a folder within the site, but have no READ access to the site (don't want them downloading other vendor proposals).

I'm going to use FtpDrive on the client side so our design people can use the site like a networked drive.

A few questions:

1) We'd like to have them do this within IE , but have had issues with uploading folders. What is the most simple non-browser free FTP client?

2) We use Maytech, but have a dreamhost account also. We got Maytech because they have the most robust backend. Is there a tool that helps with backend setup so we could use our cheaper, larger Dreamhost setup?

3) We'd like to give each design employee one FTP account that they could give to their vendors. I've had a lot of problems setting up permissions correctly. This is the biggest problem.


Thanks in advance, I know little about FTP as I haven't really used it since the pre-Napster days....
posted by lattiboy to Computers & Internet (5 answers total)
 
FYI, I only have experience with Dreamhost, not Maytech.

I know that Dreamhost's anonymous FTP service (if you have it with your plan) has an automatic "incoming" folder that people can upload to but not download. Dreamhost has a Web backend that allows you to create and mark read/write/list/etc. permissions for specific subdirectories on the anonymous FTP site. You can see an example in the screenshot: http://wiki.dreamhost.com/Anonymous_FTP .

The problem with this is that you can only have one anonymous FTP per domain or subdomain, and additional anon FTP services cost money. I believe their current hosting plan gives unlimited subdomains and unlimited users; in that case, you can create a user per subdomain and give them each an anon FTP service, where multiple vendors can upload to a directory with limited rights. This seems a convoluted solution, however, so I don't know if it's the best, but that's all I know about the Dreamhost option.

I suppose you could have vendors upload to the one anonymous FTP's "incoming" subdirectory with limited rights and then send the individual files off to employees, but that seems too much work.
posted by Ky at 12:42 PM on March 31, 2008


I'm a fan of Filezilla. Both client and server software available, open source. Best part about Filezilla Client is that you can just use the portable edition (easiest way to get that is to download from PortableApps.com), unzip the portable package, start the program, set preferences and log in to the server, save the server in the Server Manager, and then exit. All of this info (configuration, server, even passwords if you check that option) are saved in an XML file in the app folder. This folder can then be zipped and emailed to people. All they have to do on the client end is open the zip file, and run the enclosed program.

OS X version works fine, but doesn't have a portable version. Again, all settings in an XML file though, so it wouldn't be hard to modify the app settings and distribute as a DMG.

Have not run the server side of things since the previous version, but it always seemed to be pretty easy to set up. Group management was not difficult at all. If you have a server that faces the internet the Filezilla Server should be a snap to set up.
posted by caution live frogs at 2:12 PM on March 31, 2008


Why not set up an internal FTP site?
Get this, install it on your server, and share away. It has a web interface so users can manage their own files, is very Mac and PC friendly, has a neat uploader function, notifies you when clients have uploaded or downloaded and a ton of other things.

You can also set up your own users and groups and set file permissions, or assign them home folders (so they can't see anyone else's stuff).

It's pretty robust and the price is right ($30 for the cheap version).

You'll need to open ports 21 and 80 (and maybe others if you want the secure interfaces set up).


For Windows, I think the most utilitarian and easy client software for the money is FileZilla.

For Mac, I like Cyberduck.
posted by disclaimer at 2:13 PM on March 31, 2008


I like CoreFTP as a Windows client, and echoing cyberduck for mac
posted by Mach5 at 3:21 PM on March 31, 2008


I've heard good things about Cyberduck, although the advantage with Filezilla is that you'd only need to set up one XML preference file to distribute for Windows, OS X and Linux if need be. As the program is easily made portable it could be easier to distribute, cross-platform.
posted by caution live frogs at 7:29 AM on April 7, 2008


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