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Small business use of FTP can make a lot of sense, but it's not something you want to host yourself in most cases. I'll give a recommendation.

What would you recommend a small business use to provide FTP to clients? Each client should be able to have their own separate area that is protected from being viewed by other clients

FTP or File Transfer Protocol is a common technology used to upload and download files and it can be useful to some businesses to exchange files with clients.

In this video from an Ask Leo! webinar, I'll give my recommendation, and my reasoning behind it.

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Transcript

This question might not be your area of expertise, but what would you recommend that a small business use to provide FTP to clients? Each client should be able to have their own separate area that is protected from being viewed by other clients.

If I were to set something like that up, I would actually go to either a shared hosting site like Bluehost or Dreamhost, or where I host AskLeo! is on Storm On Demand, where you actually end up on a virtual dedicated server.

The reason I'm pointing those out is because the default installation you get of a website supports FTP and that FTP support can be configured on a per account basis.

You would have to manage the individual accounts that would be given access to the FTP, but that's the approach that I would take any rate. Typically, especially for businesses and certainly for homes, if you are trying to run an FTP site from your own home or out of your home business, it's typically a lot more trouble than it's worth. And with hosting being relatively inexpensive these days, I mean, you can get a Dreamhost account for like seven bucks a month or something like that. That would potentially be a fairly quick and easy way to set something up.

You'll have to become FTP literate and understand what it means to configure FTP accounts and just set up a minimal website, but that would be the direction I'd head off, for sure.

Article C5041 - January 14, 2012 « »

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Leo Leo A. Notenboom has been playing with computers since he was required to take a programming class in 1976. An 18 year career as a programmer at Microsoft soon followed. After "retiring" in 2001, Leo started Ask Leo! in 2003 as a place for answers to common computer and technical questions. More about Leo.

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1 Comment
James Ferris
January 17, 2012 8:46 PM

Hi Leo,
More important than 'how', I would first ask 'why'. Sharing files is a whole potential legal disaster zone. Are they simply providing a place for clients to obtain some form of company data? Or is it to allow people to upload data files to a central share-point?
Either are also possible with a website, and much easier to manage and monitor.
Just saying...

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