Setup local FTP server on Windows as quickly as possible

If you ever need to setup a FTP server on your Windows machine, with minimum effort, settings, switches and work, consider using Baby FTP Server. It is really the quickest solution, that I found, for setting up local, one-time use, FTP server.

The only scratch is, that it does not support user accounts and operates on anonymous access only. But, hey! You were asking about quickest solution, right?

Start your Windows FTP server... fast!

Using Baby FTP Server is as simple as:

  • downloading the newest version from home page,
  • extracting *.exe file included in shipped *.zip archive and executing it,
  • going to Settings, changing location of home directory and eventually tweaking up access rights.

If you're satisfied with default (C:\Downloads) home directory, you don't have to actually do nothing more than executing *.exe file. FTP server will activate itself upon run.

BTW: Don't get surprised, if you find out, that Baby FTP Server was last time released... in 2004. Yes, ten years ago and yes -- in before-Facebook era! :]

Anonymous access only

As I mentioned, the only obstacle, is that you don't have any user accounts management and since starting, anyone can access your home directory via port 21 using FTP protocol, without login and password. This isn't to huge security flaw, as you can turn on and turn off your sever (and open access) with one button click and since by default, it grants access to a non-existing C:Downloads directory.

Please, note (before making a voodoo dolly for Baby FTP Server's author), that this was planned and meant to be solved this way. With most, even small FTP servers you always have to setup user accounts, which takes often too much time. Baby FTP Server is designed to be run withing seconds, for one-time only purpose, and to be shut down once that situation is over. Period.

Some alternatives

If you don't like that (no user accounts management), if you need non-GUI (console only) FTP server for Windows or if for any other reason you don't want to use Baby FTP Server, you may consider:

I wasn't aware that Windows ships with it own FTP server. As most things from Microsoft, it is probably insecure and full of bugs. But it is always good to know, that there is such native, system-based alternative.

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