It’s quite common for people to buy expensive laptops or desktops after hearing or reading exceptional reviews, only to then not use the purchase to its full capabilities, due to users remaining unaware of all that their system is able to do. If you were aware of all that your computer can do, you’d be able to accomplish your everyday tasks, that may take minutes or hours, in a matter of moments. Such is the power of knowledge. For example, did you know you can turn your Mac computer into an FTP server, by adjusting your settings, with the press of a few buttons?

If you don’t have any idea what FTP is, it stands for File Transfer Protocol, and is a standard network protocol. FTP is used when you want to transfer files between a client and a server on a computer network. Basically, you can transfer files to any computer in the world, as long as there’s an internet connection. In this process, one computer would act as the server and store information, while the other would act as the client and send or request files from the aforementioned server.

Some examples of when to use FTP is when you have employees who work remotely and may need to upload non-confidential information, such as spreadsheets or timestamp information. Another example is when you want to give a friend or family member access to your files, so you give them access to your FTP server. If you have two Macs, one for work and one for home, you can be at work and access files from your Mac that’s currently at home, using the FTP server.

Overall, there are many benefits to using FTP, rather than more common methods of transfer such as email, or messaging, which are in fact, quite limited. Luckily, every Mac comes with a built in FTP server, that’s very simple to turn on and use. In order to get started, and setup the FTP server on your Mac, follow the instructions below.

Turn On and Enable FTP Access

The first thing you need to do in order to setup FTP on your Mac, is actually turn FTP on. If you’ve Mac OS X or onwards, this process is very simple, and can be done in a matter of moments. In order to get started, and turn on FTP access, follow the steps below.

1. Click on the Apple logo in the top left corner of the screen.

Click on System Preferences

2. Click on System Preferences.

Click on Sharing

3. Click on Sharing.

4. Click on the Services tab.

5. You’ll see a list of services towards the left of the window. Scroll down, and click on FTP Access.

6. Click on the Start button.

7. The FTP Server will now turn on. Please be patient, as this may take some time. After it has turned on, click on the Firewall tab.

8. Ensure that you’ve turned your Mac’s firewall on.

9. Ensure that the checkbox for FTP Access is enabled. This will ensure that users can access your files through your Mac’s firewall.

10. Close System Preferences.

That’s all you had to do. By adjusting a few settings on your Mac, you’ve now turned on your Mac’s FTP server. Please note that if you’re on a local network, your FTP server will remain inaccessible to the rest of the world. Don’t get frustrated, as this is for your safety. This is what prevents strangers with malicious intent from accessing your computer.

Unfortunately, however, you’re also prevented from sharing your files, due to this. Luckily, you can always use a service known as DynDNS, which will bypass this and make your FTP server available to everyone.

If you move your Mac to a different location and change the IP address, DynDNS will still work, since it automatically tracks and maps your IP address to a domain name. Using DynDNS is very simple, and the website provides a great and easy to use interface, that will make the process very simple for you. Feel free to go on the DynDNS website and register for an account, in order to make your FTP server available to everyone.