How To Run Your Own Professional FTP Server with Rumpus

Thanks to the hundreds of one-click file sharing websites online, the use of FTP for casually sharing files has drastically reduced. The protocol is all but relegated to just uploading and downloading files to a server. But as simple as file sharing websites are, using them means giving up a lot of control over the data you have uploaded.

If you want to retain this level of security and control, FTP is still the way to go. Now you might say, Mac OS X comes with a built in FTP Server, so why would anyone want to pay for a third party solution? Read on after the break to find out how and why Rumpus is a better solution for creating your own server.

Overview

Rumpus makes it easy for anyone with an Internet connection to run their own FTP and web file transfer server. Clients who have access to your network can effortlessly upload and download files directly to your server, using dedicated FTP clients or a modern web browser.

Yes, Rumpus does indeed have a web interface, which supports all major web browsers on both Mac and PC, and is fully customizable to match your existing website. Rumpus is also capable of ensuring secure connections, with encrypted transfers and full user access controls.

Installation & Set Up

Help Assistant

Help Assistant

You get 30 days to test drive all the features of Rumpus. The Rumpus installation wizard is a bit different from the ones I have seen in the past. Links to resources that help you get started with the app are displayed in two rows. What makes them notable is that all resources are available for reference locally – even before you install the app!

Unlike some other apps which link to their help and FAQ section of their homepage, you do not have to switch back and forth between the browser. Tiny arrows to turn the pages of the document right from the installation wizard is a nice touch.

Choosing a FTP Folder

Choosing a FTP Folder

The journey towards setting up a FTP server unwinds in three simple steps. In the first step, you will have to select the folder from where the transfers happen. Users will be restricted to this Home Folder and after setting up, you can assign or restrict users to their own dedicated folders.

Creating a secure user account is the second step. This account is the admin account, yet it can still be used by other users to connect to the server (though not recommended). It is also possible to make this account anonymous – meaning no username & password is necessary to connect, however, such an account is just read only. Multiple user accounts with varied levels of access permission can be created later.

Enabling Web File Manager

Enabling Web File Manager

Enabling the Web File Manager (WFM) is the final step. WFM enables you to connect and manage the server over the web and might come in handy if you are accessing a machine that does not have Rumpus desktop app installed.

Splash Screen

Splash Screen

After a splash screen that summarizes the connection settings, we are off to test the app!

Starting the Server

Dashboard

Dashboard

Rumpus impresses you with a neatly designed control panel at first glance. All the icons have a clear description of their functionality to make your life easier. A successful installation does not start the server by itself so once you are ready, hit the Start Server icon on the top right corner to bring the server online.

FTP Settings

Encoding Settings

Encoding Settings

To ensure that bandwidth is used efficiently and securely, connection rules can be defined from the FTP Settings screen. Standard sets of rules like timeouts, number of simultaneous connection and the default FTP port can be managed from here. This is the place you will have to come to if you plan to turn the FTP server off.

Connection Settings

Connection Settings

From the logs tab, comprehensive logs to keep track all connections, errors, transfer details etc. can be created. Custom messages on successful connection and disconnection, along with extensive encoding options, are all available under their respective tabs.

Activity Monitor

Activity Monitor

Activity Monitor

The activity monitor lists all users connected to the FTP server including complete details of the file being transferred, the speed at which it transferred, the progress of the file transfer and more. By selecting a user, detailed information including the IP address and bytes transferred can be obtained.

Web FTP

Web FTP Settings

Web FTP Settings

The Web FTP feature is one of the USPs of Rumpus. Web browsers capable of understanding the file transfer protocol and can be used in lieu of a fully blown FTP app. However, they are often a major pain to use and rarely support file uploading.

Rumpus offers a unique solution to this problem through the Web File Manager, which puts an attractive HTML interface on your FTP server. Now you can control the FTP server from the comfort of a web browser and this feature is possible because of the built-in Web server that delivers most of the same features of FTP using a simple, customizable HTTP interface.

Final Thoughts

When it comes to serving files over the Internet from your servers, Rumpus does everything right. Except for controlling the packets being transmitted, Rumpus offers numerous features to keep all aspects of file transmission under control. To be very particular, the ability to control the user rights while connecting and transferring data is thorough and comprehensive.

Rumpus ensures you the much required peace mind that no one can download or upload data that you have not screened yourself. A great feature in this era of digital piracy. For those planning to run FTP servers from their own infrastructure, Rumpus is the ideal choice if they could not find a free, open source app with similar set of features.


Summary

Rumpus makes it easy for anyone with an Internet connection to run their own FTP and Web file transfer server. Clients who have access to your network can effortlessly upload and download files directly to your server, using dedicated FTP clients or a modern Web browser.

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  • http://www.cmnddsgn.com Luke

    Most home connections don’t have the upload speed to host a FTP server. I can’t understand why you would pay for this and use it when there is a FTP server built into OS X that you can access in the Sharing Tab. You just have to set up port forwarding on your router to port forward it to that machine then you can access it worldwide as long as you have the IP, or better yet use DYNDNS.

    • http://novastormsoftware.com Justin Mrkva

      This. You can easily do the same thing without relying on a $269 application that’s essentially a simplified control panel. My recommendation though: go with something like S3.

  • gi

    the question is, why use FTP in 2011? it’s an ancient, slow and insecure (unencrypted) protocol — even web hosting providers are switching to stuff like SFTP, which can be configured not to allow shell access.

    • alex

      The bigger question is….what do suggest people use instead??

      • Frank

        @gi makes an excellent point – FTP is an antiquated method of transferring files. And it’s usually a pain in the butt for anyone who isn’t an IT professional.

        To answer your question, Alex, there are a host of programs and services out there that offer much simpler and more secure file transfer. My personal favorite is FilesDIRECT (http://www.filesdirect.com): you can send files up to 2GB in size, storage starts at 30 GB, there’s no software to install AND it includes 128-bit SSL encryption on all transfers. There are lots of other features too, which is why I prefer this one over it’s competitors.

  • http://www.istorefiles.com/ Michael Z

    I’m a volunteer at istorefiles.com, so I’ll add my 2 cents… This is a great tutorial… And, to the person who said FTP is ancient… Without FTP, how do you transfer large files in your home network? Suppose you want to move large videos to your desktop PC from a netbook. FTP is very fast. Also, most FTP servers support FTP-SSL.
    If you want to share over the ‘Net via FTP, there are advantages to running your own- better privacy, full control over settings and not needing to upload files to share them are a few reasons.
    If upload bandwidth is a concern, you can always use us at iStoreFiles. We provide free ftp sites or our competitors like box.net.

    • http://X111.com XIII

      Not to rain on the spam parade, but why oh why would anyone need ftp for sharing on a HOME network when every OS supports network shares out of the box.

  • http://X111.com XIII

    Or if you want a full featured, free and easy to manage ftp server you can use the wonderful
    PureFTPd Manager instead:
    http://jeanmatthieu.free.fr/pureftpd/

  • http://martinfoto.se Martin Öberg

    For me having a firm. Rumpus is a very good webserver! The clients love that they can download all the pictures and movies from their own folder. Everything from the projects is gathered at one space.

  • Stephen

    1. It’s more than FTP in the Sharing tab.
    2. There is no way to easily do the same thing in OS X that Rumpus does.
    3. What is true is that those who are criticizing Rumpus know little about it and/or its capabilities.

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