Installing an SFTP Server on the Windows operating system can be easy and straightforward. There are several options, but in this article we will focus on how to install Syncplify.me Server! and configure it for the first use.
First of all, we have to download Syncplify.me Server!, and make sure we’re downloading the version that matches the bit-length of our operating system (32 or 64 bit).
Now, before we install the software we need to make sure that nothing is going to conflict with it. For example we need to make sure that no other SSH or SFTP server is running on the same computer. Furthermore, since Syncplify.me Server! also implements the FTP(S) protocol family, we need to make sure that the FTP server feature of IIS (Internet Information Services) is disabled or – even better – not installed.
Once we have downloaded the installer and performed the above mentioned controls, we can simply right-click on it to start the installation process.
The setup package leverages the MSI (Microsoft Installer) technology to seamlessly deploy your SFTP server onto your system. If you haven’t installed anything for a long time, the installer may spend some time creating a Restore Point for your safety.
Once the installer is done, make sure you click on the “Run Syncplify.me Server!” button. This will start the Instance Controller, a tool that will guide you through the process of creating your first SFTP Server instance.
The Instance Controller automatically detects that this is a new installation and therefore no SFTP Server instance has been created yet. Click on the OK button and a “wizard” will guide you through your first instance creation.
The first step is to decide the instance name (you can just leave “Default”) and set the first administrative account’s Username and Password. Please create a strong password using letters, numbers, and special characters.
The second step of the wizard will help you set up your database. If you are installing a single instance, or if you don’t require any kind of special deployment (which is usually the normal condition) you can simply leave the default settings, as shown in the image here below.
The third and last step is to configure the binding parameters. As you know, as server “binds” to a certain IP address that is associated with the machine it runs on, and “listens” onto a certain port. That’s how TCP/IP is designed.
The port parameters are mandatory, but regarding the IP to bind to, you may choose to leave the default “0.0.0.0” which, in regards to the IP protocol, means “all network interfaces available on the local machine”.
Once the last step of the wizard is completed, the Instance Controller will ask you whether you want to start your newly created instance or not. Click YES and your first SFTP Server will be up and running.
Now it’s time to configure the first user profile, so that authorized people can start using the newly created service. In order to do so, let’s run the Configuration Manager. The administrative username/password will be the ones you just set using the wizard here above.
Once logged in, switch to the “Users” tab you see in the upper tool-bar, and push the “Add” button, to begin the creation of your first actual SFTP user profile.
User profiles in Syncplify.me Server! are very rich in terms of options and settings, but we will go over them in a future article; for now, let’s just create a simple profile with the minimum set of required settings. We will need to:
- pick a unique Username
- select an existing directory as the user’s “home directory”
- set file/folder permissions
- set a strong Password and enable password authentication
- enable SFTP access for this user profile
We have just created our first SFTP user profile. Now we can just run our favorite SFTP Client (WinSCP is an excellent one) and log into our SFTP Server using the Username/Password of the user we have just created.
Our SFTP Server is up and running. Congratulations!