There are several reasons why you may want to setup an FTP server for use with certain Foolish IT software. Self-Hosted FTP can be used in d7x as an alternative to our own cloud storage (aka dCloud), and it is currently required with dSupportSuite. You have multiple options to choose from, but we will cover the most common here.
Use any network attached device with FTP capabilities
While they work great for a time, we can’t really recommend using a network attached device with built-in FTP capabilities (e.g. NAS or router/access point) for several reasons. First, it may not be as easy to secure as paid services (if at all) and it could be extra work to maintain/update as necessary for security patches (if they are available) not to mention that updates for last-year-gear (if they ever manifest) will usually lag behind the current products. Also, we have seen unexplained issues with configuration and proper working usage from time to time that in some cases were not resolved.
With that said, personally (not just as the developer since the original d7, but also as the technician who created it to assist me on the job) I have used a flash drive plugged into a mid-high end consumer router in the past. I can at least strongly advise you to use a high quality flash drive with great read/write speeds, it makes all the difference.
Use your website host
Generally an FTP server for a Foolish IT app only requires one user account per app, with its own ‘home’ directory on the server. If you have an existing web host wherever your website is located, you probably already have FTP capabilities built-in to your control panel. For example Hostgator uses CPanel, where you would simply add a new FTP user for use with your Foolish IT app. This is a very easy way to get started, especially because this server is exposed to the internet, you don’t need to worry about port forwarding or exposing your local network.
Create an Amazon EC2 Micro Instance with FileZilla Server
If that isn’t an option for you, then a great free to cheap way to setup an FTP server for use with Foolish IT apps is to setup an Amazon EC2 Micro Instance with Windows and FileZilla Server. This setup can be had for as little as FREE (the first year) and likely not more than a few dollars a month after that, depending on usage (because you could also use it for other misc purposes.)
We have a tutorial on getting this setup, which is divided into three parts:
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