General Setup

This page explains how to configure the FTP server and how to take advantage of the many security options.

New Installations

Once installed, we highly recommend you examine all the settings and also read this manual to ensure you fully understand how to use the available features. All the options in Ability FTP Server are designed to be self explanatory and usually the manual is only needed to help explain the occasional option. If at anytime you are unsure of an option, pressing the F1 key will open the manual on the relevant page.

Running For the First Time

When the software is first loaded after installation, you will probably be prompted to register or start the main process. The main process is what hosts the FTP server service and manages your settings and status information. After clicking 'Yes' and when main process is successfully started, the administration interface will be displayed. If you are running Windows Vista, then you will need to ensure the administration interface is started with the 'Run as administrator' option enabled. Without this, Ability FTP Server will have not have permission to setup the main process. For more information on its behavior, please see Using the Interface.

Creating the First User

The next logical step is to create your first user account which can be done by simply clicking on the 'Settings' tab, selecting Users and then clicking the 'Add' button. Once you have created your user and clicked 'OK' , you will then be able to use any FTP client to access the new user account. For more information on how to create a user, you should see Users and Groups.

Preparing Your Security and Limits

The next step most administrators take is to then review the security and limits settings. These allow you to taylor the FTP server to your needs and also allow you to enable powerful security options. It is important that these features are examined as these will help protect your FTP server against abusive clients. For more information on these settings, please see FTP.

Using Users and Groups

An advanced feature of Ability FTP Server comes from the ability to assign a user to a particular group. This capability allows much easier and quicker management of the users and also helps ensure the FTP server remains secure. The relationship between a user and its group is that all associated users inherit all settings and limits from the group. For more information on how users and groups are related please see Using Groups.

Editing FTP Messages and Replies

Ability FTP Server allows you to edit multi-line responses to almost all of the replies and messages which are sent in response to commands sent by clients. The most popular message which users edit is the welcome message after a user logs in. Any message or reply could contain important notices, information on the status of the server, the status of the logged-in user and more. For more information on how to edit the messages, please see Messages.

FTP Security

The security options available in Ability FTP Server are there purely to help protect your FTP server. Making good use of these features will not only help protect your files but also give you peace of mind.

SSL Protection

Usually user names, passwords and files sent through FTP connections are sent in clear text. This is fine in most circumstances but it is possible for this information to be intercepted by another party whilst crossing the Internet. Files containing sensitive or confidential material would not be safe unless some method of encryption was enabled on the connection. Ability FTP Server fully supports SSL and TLS, which allow 256 bit encryption to be used on any data sent between the client and the server. For more details how SSL can be used please see Using SSL.

IP Control

A powerful feature of Ability FTP Server is the ability to restrict access based on the client's IP and host address. This means that you could limit access to important accounts from certain computers on the Internet or your network. This is useful for preventing unauthorized users from gaining access to an account by guessing the password. IP Control rules can be set for the entire FTP server, for certain groups or for individual users. For more information, please see FTP.

Other Security Options

Other security options include anti-hammering, which allows you to automatically block an IP which gets the password wrong too many times. This prevents 'brute force' attacks which rely on trying hundreds of passwords to gain access. For more details on anti-hammering and the other options please, please see FTP.