FAQ

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Frequently asked questions (FAQ) about zFTPServer.

Contents

There is a big variety of FTP Servers on the market, why use zFTPServer?

zFTPServer combines stability, performance and ease of use in a no-fuzz straightforward way. Want to manage an array of FTP-Servers from a single location? Need load balancing and virtual user directories? Need scripting facilities to manage both the server and its interaction with other software and business systems; while at the same time maintaining per user security and access rights?

zFTPServer is THE solution! And what's more? zFTPServer is connected to an active online forum resource and has been developed for many years in dialog with our users. Lately this means the inclusion of full IPv6 support as well as a built-in HTTPS-server for easy access. It is currently in use by small, large and global enterprises, online-payment providers as well as in many universities worldwide.

zFTPServer is a fast and powerful yet simple to use FTP server with lots of fascinating and practical features:

Can I test it online?

Sure!

Just log on to https://secure.vastgotadata.se/ for the Web interface using "demo" as the username and password.

You can also test other protocols. Use FTP, FTPS, or SFTP to connect to secure.vastgotadata.se, with "demo" as the username and password. Please note that the account "demo" is readonly.

What operating systems (OS) are supported?

zFTPServer supports the following plattforms:

  • Windows 10 (32-bit and 64-bit)
  • Windows 2012 R2 Server (64-bit)
  • Windows 8.1 (32-bit and 64-bit)
  • Windows 2012 Server (64-bit)
  • Windows 8 (32-bit and 64-bit)
  • Windows RT (via .NET edition)
  • Windows 2008 R2 Server (64-bit)
  • Windows 7 (32-bit and 64-bit)
  • Windows 7 (32-bit and 64-bit)
  • Windows 2008 Server (32-bit and 64-bit)
  • Windows Vista (32-bit and 64-bit)
  • Windows 2003 Server (32-bit and 64-bit)
  • Windows XP (32-bit and 64-bit)

zFTPServer seems to meet my demands, how do I get started?

Download and install the program:

  • Download
  • When installation is complete use the zFTPServer Administration tool to configure your FTP-server.
    • A good start is to configure basic settings of the server first and then move on to configuring the accounts. Remember to use groups to simplify management of several users which have a similar setup.

Installing zFTPServer on a system without Internet access

  • Download the zFTPServer installer as you normally would on a computer with internet access
  • Start the zFTPServer installer and let it download completely.
  • Once the actual installation window opens, quit the installer using the X.
  • You will receive a dialog asking you if you want to keep the locally downloaded files
  • Choose yes
  • The folder will be located in your regular download-folder.
  • Copy the zFTPServer folder to the server and run the "Install" executable
  • Continue as you normally would with the installation.


Using the Freeware version of zFTPServer

You can start using the freeware version of zFTPServer after the initial 30 day trial, this freeware version has all the features of zFTPServer but is limited to 5 accounts and 3 simultaneous connections.

Once your 30 day trial of zFTPServer has run out, you will be greeted with an option allowing you to "Use as freeware" simply click that button and you are all done!


Why does zFTPServer use a separate Administration tool?

With a separate tool you gain the advantage of remote Administration, i.e. you can administrate your FTP server from any computer using TCP/IP. Also, resources needed to run the graphical interface need not be run at all times; minimizing server footprint.

The Administration tool will not connect to the server after I configured a new listening port, why?

The port you specify is only used for client connections, the Administration program should always connect to port 3145 (unless you have specified otherwise in e.g. your firewall).

Is anonymous access possible in zFTPServer?

To use anonymous access you must specifically tell the server to allow anything as password for a particular account. Simply add an ordinary user account with the username "anonymous" and uncheck the box "Require password". Any other special configurations are done in the same way as with every other user account.

What is so special about Administrator accounts?

Administrator accounts have administrative privileges, which means it may be used to manage the server with the administration program (normally only system administrators have this privilege).

How do i specify the FTP root?

See "How do I construct the home directory for users?" and " "New Folder" and "Add Resource", what's the difference?"

How do I construct the home directory for users?

You may see the "Home Directory" as a file tree, with the root on top. Simply add folders to the tree in order to build the users file tree (as seen when the user connects to your server). Directories and files from resources will be added into the file tree as requested.

"New Folder" and "Add Resource", what's the difference?

"New Folder" will create a virtual folder on the users' file tree, allowing you to build the home directory as you like. "Add Resource" will add directories and files at the location where it is placed in the file tree.

I have installed the server as a system service but I cannot add any network paths as resources, what should I do??

When a system service is installed the default in Windows is to run that program as "LocalSystem" account. What you need to do is to change the user that the program is running as in order to give the program access to e.g. network paths (a good choice is to use "Administrator" for the zFTPServer service).

  1. Right-click on "My Computer"
  2. Select "Manage"
  3. Double-click on "Services and Applications"
  4. Click on "Services
  5. Find "zFTPServer" in the right pane and double-click on it
  6. On the tab "Log On" you specify which account the program should run

Does zFTPServer work with imported .pfx certificate?

Yes, zFTPServer does work with imported .pfx certificate. Note that you have to set the private key to be exportable when originally exporting the certificate.

Why should I add more than one resource to a users' Folder?

If you have data in several folders on your harddrives that actually should be seen as one folder, you may create a virtual file system by adding more resources to the same folder. This will be seen as one big folder for the users connecting to your server.

Examples:

You have some pictures stored in one location and another set of pictures stored in another location, then you may add those two locations as "Resources" to a particular "Folder" and then it will seem as all files and subdirectories are in the same folder (for users connecting to your server).
Another useful way of using this feature is for instance by adding an upload resource to some folders, that way users may upload files to, what they see, some folders. However, the files are actually sent to a particular upload folder on the location you specified. When specifying upload folders, it may be usefull to add more than one resource since then the files being uploaded to that folder will physically end up on the resource with the most available space (it will seem as you have a huge upload folder).

I am unable to remove some resources and folders, why?

If the resources or folders are in bold face it means they are inherited from a group in which the user is a member. You cannot remove resources or folders which a user inherits from a group membership.

My Server is behind a firewall, what should I do?

First of all you need to configure your firewall to accept incomming connections to the server. Then, if you know your external IP-adress you must enter that in Server configuration. If you do not have a static, real IP-adress you may specify a dns-name for lookup every time your IP-adress is needed (e.g. "myserver.no-ip.com" could be used as an IP-adress).

Can I administrate my server even if my www-proxy blocks outgoing calls?

The Administration program is capable of using simple HTTP-commands for remote administration. Just setup Administration to use the www-proxy and otherwise connect as normal to the Server.

Note: Performance will not be optimal when connection through a www-proxy (e.g. the update of connected users and what they are doing is only updated at regular intervals (every 2 seconds)).

What is Spy User and how do I use it?

With this feature you have the ability to observe a particular user's activity on your server. "Spy User" opens a new window which logs all activity of the specified user.

Do I need to manually update the zFTPServer software or can it auto-update?

If automatic updates is selected the programs will check for a new version each time they are started. Observe though that Administration will only search for and update Administration, and Server will only search for and update Server. Further, the programs check for new updates every day at midnight.If a new update is available it is automatically downloaded.

Updates are installed automatically when:

  • Administration:
    • the program has been idle for 1 hour.
    • the user manually triggers the update by clicking on the yellow star, which is visible once there is an update available.
  • Server:
    • there are no users connected to the server

Alright, this is too simple... I want some challenge!

Ok, then maybe you want to experiment with the various tokens that may be used when specifying access rights for users. There are many tokens available that will be replaced by their respective value where ever they are found in paths.

These are just a small sample of tokens available:

Token Value
%USERNAME% The current user trying to access the resource (e.g. james)
%YYYY% The current year in 4-digit format (e.g. 2003)
%MM% The current month in 2-digit format (e.g. 06)
%DD% The current day in 2-digit format (e.g. 29)

Using these tokens you may specify directories where access rights depend on e.g. who is accessing the resource or when. E.g. You may only want to allow uploads in a directory with the current date. Then add a folder to the home directory with e.g. "%YYYY%-%MM%-%DD%". Then any resources accessrights under this one will only apply during the current date.

Depending on your licence you get access to more advanced tools e.g. events can be configured to execute scripts, giving you the power to do anything you can imagine.

What about the license?

After buying a licence either from ShareIt or via an invoice order, you will receive a license via e-mail. Version licences unlock the appropriate functionality and features and grant you update rights for the upcoming year. To get updated versions, after the first year has passed, you will need to purchase an extension license. Should any changes to the license model be introduced no functionality, number of accounts or connections will be lost since this is automatically detected based on when you purchased the original license.

Where do I get the trial version?

We maintain a single code base with the option to unlock functionality using licenses. The trial period is currently 30 days and during that time all the capabilities are at your disposal. Download evaluation of zFTPServer our premiere FTP server package from the zFTPServer download page.

I want to change my zFTPServer license, what do I do?

In case you want to upgrade or downgrade your license please e-mail us with your preferences and the license you want. Also please include your ShareIt registration number or the name under which the previous license is registered to (visible in the window bar of zFTPServer Administration). We will send you a coupon code that you may use for purchasing the version you want at a discounted price. zFTPServer is currently the only FTP server on the market that offer SFTP and FTP over Web browser at prices accessible to home users! For enterprise and commercial level usage please consider a licence that corresponds to the number of simultaneous FTP connections you need.

Is zFTPServer available in my own language?

zFTPServer is a truly multilingual ftpserver that offers full Unicode support meaning it will support file and folder names in most languages including e.g. Chinese (PRC and Taiwan) for clients. The administration program used for configuration supports a variety of languages, including, English, Spanish, Portuguese, Norwegian (Bokmål), Swedish, German, Danish, Hungarian, French, Italian and Russian.

Can I get in touch with the developers in case of a problem or if I have a suggestion?

YES! We develop zFTPServer in close collaboration with our user base and are more than happy to be able to help. A lot of problems can be solved via e-mail, for contact information click here.

Debug logging

To enable Debug logging you need to edit the file settings.ini. It is located in the folder where zFTPServer is installed. Edit [Enable debug logging] in settings.ini and change "False" to "True". Save the file Restart the ZFTP-service(in zftpadmin, Command - Local System Service - Stop service, and then start service)

I need help with software configuration and firewall settings

For advanced support, firewall configuration and scripting as well as for support on zFTPServer put in context to other software and systems we offer support coupons. All support is offered via secure remote (desktop) connection using Teamviewer. This software allows for encrypted and password-protected support where you, the customer, may monitor everything we do on-screen. After buying a support coupon we are notified via ShareIt after which we send you connection details and agree on a suitable time to help you. Dont hesitate, we can help!

Will it run on my hardware/software?

YES! Unless you employ a truly archaic system (pre windows 2000), it will work on all windows platforms both 32 and 64 bit as well as both AMD and Intel.

Is zFTPServer really that secure?

In short, YES! Our secure ftpserver is equipped with a number of anti-hammer methods, impersonation (threads run with the permissions of a specific user), extensive logging and not to mention support for both FTPS (TLS/SSL) as well as SFTP (v3-v6) and support for a wide range of encryption algorithms as well as self signed or purchased certificates: It is secure! We also have several research labs, government organisations, Fortune 500 companies, defence contractors as well as payment transaction firms using zFTPServer. And of course with more than 3 Million downloads a few others to!


Perfect score at Qualys SSL Labs official test

After implementing the following in zFTPServer it is now possible to configure the server to achieve a perfect score at Qualys SSL Labs official test.

  • Implemented support for HTTP Strict Transport Security.
  • Implemented support to individually enable/disable SSL/TLS protocols (SSL v2, SSL v3, TLS v1, TLS v1.1, TLS v1.2).
  • Implemented support for forward secrecy with most browsers.
  • Improved support for completely loading chain certificates including intermediate.
  • Improved support for individually enable/disable SSL/TLS ciphers.
  • Improved support for renegotiation (allow secure, disable client-initiated).

SSL-labs A+.png


Requirements

  • Latest version of zFTPServer
  • Purchased certificate with at least 4096 bit key using SHA256 encryption (not SHA1)
  • For instructions on how to achieve high security, visit this page Achieving high security

Has it been thoroughly tested?

Each new version is first alpha tested using a heavily structured test scenario employing several hundred test cases. After each and every test has passed it is released into an "unstable" branch and sent out for testing in our user community. After a few iterations back and fourth, usually within a month or so we make a public release.

Is it possible to contribute or to affect development priorities?

Comments regarding new functionality are always welcome. Furthermore we regularly offer our users the ability to vote on new functionality on the web page.

I am a "regular" user, is this something for me?

Absolutely. If, for instance you have problems sharing photos from your digital camera with your friends? zFTPServer is the way to go. zFTPServer is easy to administer and runs directly on your server, desktop or laptop computer.

Furthermore zFTPServer is the perfect windows FTP platform for securely sharing and distributing sensitive information or large files over the internet to Mac, PC or mobile systems such as Android and iOS based tablets and smartphone units. This works either using web browser sharing using the built in secure web server or via regular FTP, FTPS or SFTP, and is easy to set up and even simpler to use on both the sending and recieving end.

Do you want to try the zFTPServer Web interface? Logon to https://secure.vastgotadata.se/ using "demo" as the username and password.

I am a "large enterprise administrator" in need of advanced features and easy administration, is this something for me?

Absolutely. zFTPServer allows for advanced enterprise level features such as HTTPS, SFTP, TFTP as well as advanced scripting, AD integration and virtual users, simultaneously. Sometimes we are astounded with interesting and unique solutions that our users come up with. On more than one occasion, together with the customer, we discovered that the raw performance and customizability that zFTPServer offered is much more than we ever anticipated. Still it allows for simple, efficient and comprehensible management.

Alright, I'm convinced, where can I get it?

Get it here! Free 30 day evaluation! No reconfiguration or reinstall required.

Would you like to help out with the development of zFTPServer?

How do I achieve high security?

It is possible to configure the server to achieve a perfect score at Qualys SSL Labs official test.

How do I customize zFTPServer?

It is possible to change the logo and URL for HTTPS.

Third party clients

Some third party clients may require special settings in order to connect to the server properly, one example of this is CoreFTP, where the default "SFTP" setting is not actually SSH File Transfer Protocol, but instead FTP over SSH which is traditional FTP over an SSH tunnel.

To correct this, you go into the Advanced settings for CoreFTP and then under SSH you need to enable "Use Putty-compatible SFTP". This will then allow you to connect properly.