How to Host a Private File Server


If your family needs access to certain files on a computer, but doesn't want to constantly use that computer to retrieve the files, you may want to consider setting up a file server. A file server is a program that allows certain files to be accessed by other computers. Some file servers require different operating systems and hours of work to set up, but the process laid out here makes setup relatively easy.

Things You'll Need

  • HFS File Server installer
  • Extra computer to act as a server (optional)
  • Download the HFS File Server installer (see Resources).

  • Open the file to begin installing HFS. Use the default options.

  • Run HFS once setup is finished.

  • Click on the button that reads "Server is currently OFF." This will activate HFS.

  • Read the series of numbers next to the "Open in Browser" button. This is the IP address of the server.

  • Open your favorite web browser and enter the IP address given by HFS. If you see text indicating you are in HFS, you have properly set up your server.

  • Enable files to be shared over the file server by dragging folders into the program's window. Be sure to specify "Real Folder" when confirming its usage.

  • Go to the "Menu" option on the server, and click "Save File System." This will make your changes permanent.

  • Browse to the IP address used in Step 6. You should be able to download any file located in the public folders.

Tips & Warnings

  • HFS does not enable any public folders by default. You will need to set them up manually.
  • HFS can set up password-protected folders as well.
  • Be careful when enabling folders for others to use. Be sure no private information is inside the folders.
  • Remember to save the file system each time you modify it. Otherwise you will lose the information and have to reconfigure the folders again.

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