FTP service

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Definition of FTP Service in the Network Encyclopedia.

What is FTP service?

FTP service is a Microsoft Windows service on servers running Microsoft Internet Information Services (IIS). The FTP service supports the Internet standard File Transfer Protocol (FTP) and allows users to upload and download files between FTP clients and FTP servers such as IIS.

Configuring FTP Service
Configuring FTP Service

FTP supports only user-level authentication. In other words, FTP servers such as IIS that are running the FTP service supports only anonymous authentication or Basic Authentication. When an FTP client attempts to connect to an FTP server configured to use Basic Authentication, the user’s name and password are transmitted as clear text over the network, which is insecure.

The best way to secure FTP services is to enable anonymous authentication on all FTP servers, which requires users to log on with the username “anonymous.” (They can enter anything for the password, but the FTP server’s welcome message usually requests that they politely use their e-mail address as their password for logging purposes.) You should configure the FTP service on IIS to allow only anonymous logons to prevent users from passing their credentials over the network. Then simply avoid storing critical information on your FTP servers, and use them for access to public information only.

FTP drop box

You will probably also want to configure your FTP servers to allow only downloads and prohibit all uploads. If your corporate users must upload files remotely using FTP, you can create an FTP drop box for them. An FTP drop box is a folder on an NTFS volume, configured as a virtual directory that has write permission on it but no read permission. In other words, users can upload files to the directory but cannot read what has already been uploaded.

Configuring FTP Service

First, you have to be sure that IIS (Internet Information Services) is installed on your system. Then, you have to add the FTP Service feature.

For Windows 7 and up, go ahead and click on the box next to Internet Information Services and FTP Server. You also need to make sure you check the Web Management Tools box otherwise you won’t be able to manage IIS from Administrative Tools later on. For FTP, you need to check the FTP Service box otherwise you won’t have the option to create an FTP server.

FTP Service (Adding Role Services)
FTP Service (Adding Role Services)

Creating a New FTP Site

Step 1: Use the FTP Site Wizard to Create an FTP Site. In this first step, you create a new FTP site that can only be opened by the local administrator account.

Go to the IIS Manager. In the Connections pane, click the Sites node in the tree. Right-click the Sites node in the tree and click Add FTP Site, or click Add FTP Site in the Actions pane.

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