Nofeel FTP Server 3.6

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To be experienced in using Nofeel FTP Server, you should first understand a number of concepts, especially if you are not familiar with FTP server software. Some concepts are important to understand an FTP server's working process, and some are useful to use this program easily.
Action
Action means what you can do for a connection. With Nofeel FTP Server, you may spy it, stop its file transferring or disconnect it. Action "spy" makes you see the connection's all activities in a separate window, including all client commands and server replies. Action "stop file transferring" and "disconnect" are easy to understand.

Active Mode
A TCP connection is established when an FTP client connects to server, this connection is used to receive commands and send replies for server (or send commands and receive replies for client). If the client wants to download/upload a file from/to server, they must establish another TCP connection. If it is server initialized this connection, we say the server FTP Internal.

Administration
Nofeel FTP Server actually has two programs: administration program and service engine. Administration program makes you can add/delete users, set server settings, view server activities, etc. All interactions between you and Nofeel FTP Server have to be done through administration program.

Anti-Hammering
Sometimes a user tries to establish too many connections with your server in a very short time. This may be the case that an FTP client program is trying to guess a user account and password, or the case that an FTP client program is trying to use many threads to download a file at the same time. We call this hammering, it will occupy server's much resources temporarily and others may be not able to connect to server. Anti-Hammering is an option item in server settings that makes server to avoid this case.

Authentication
Every time a FTP client connects to server, it tells server its user account and password, asks server to allow its login. Before allowing, server must make sure it is a valid user, this is called authentication. Nofeel FTP Server offers three authentication types: Password, NT Authentication (Local Computer) and NT Authentication (Domain). Password is traditional and most often used, NT Authentication is advanced but very useful for those who want to centralize user authencitation for their many different applications.

Certificate, SSL Certificate
If server runs in SSL (explicit or implicit) type, it needs a certificate to show ftp clients its identity. Certificate also gives clients the public RSA key associated with it. With the public key, ftp clients can build a secure channel with server, and all data transfered will be encrypted and can not be stolen or broken.

Command, FTP/Client/User Command
A typical FTP conversation between client and server is that client sends a command, waits for server's reply, then sends next command, waits for next reply, and so on. An FTP command (or say, user command, command) is an ASCII text string, most are three or four characters long, some are followed by parameters, and some are not. For example, commands "USER" and "PASS" are used to login. "USER" is followed by user's account name, and "PASS" is followed by user's password.

Connection, TCP Connection, FTP Connection
TCP connection is a technical term of computer network. It is based on TCP/IP protocols that are basis of today's Internet. For Nofeel FTP Server, we also call it an FTP connection, or simply connection. A TCP connection on computer network is like a telephone calls on telecom network, both are used to make two sides keeping a communication channel.

Client, FTP Client
FTP client, or simply client, is the program that requests to establish a FTP connection with server. Client generally wants some service from server it connects. In this help client usually means FTP client program running on user's machine, but sometimes it also means FTP user.

Directory Access (List), Directory Access Item
For each user account of your server, you should set up his/her directory access. Directory access is a list of one or more items, each item includes a physical directory on your Windows system and an access right that means what operations can be taken on the directory. Every time server receives a command from a client, if the command is related to file/directory operation, server firstly searches directory access list, checks if the operation is allowed, if not allowed then does nothing and tells client it has no permission. Remember the items in the access list are ordered, once server finds an item that allows the command's operation, it stops searching other items.

Directory Cache
Usually every time client asks for a files listing, server will do a searching on physical disk, list all files of a directory. But for many directories this is unnecessary, especially for directories users cannot upload file. For this case server may cache listing result for a while, so get higher performance. Directory cache is the place server saves its listing result, usually in program's memory.

FTP, FTP Session
FTP is File Transferring Protocol, a type of TCP application protocol between an FTP client and an FTP server, the basis of Nofeel FTP Server program. For FTP details, please refer to FTP Internal. In this help sometimes we say FTP session, which means an FTP connection.

FXP, Anti-FXP
The standard FTP specification allows such a case: an FTP client can instruct an FTP server to download/upload files from/to another FTP server. This is sometimes useful, but for most users it is not necessary, and for some attackers it is a potential secure problem, we call this FXP. Anti-FXP is an option item in server settings that makes server to avoid this case.

Group
If you need create many user accounts on server, you may divide them into some groups. Group simplifies your work on user account management, users in a same group can share some settings and you don't need to set for each of them.

Home Directory
Home directory is the user's initial directory every time he (she) login. He (she) can see all files and sub-directories of Home Directory. Remember every time you create a new user account, server will automatically add home directory to its directory access list, and set its access right properly. If you change the home directory later, you must manually change the directory access list properly, or the user may be not able to see anything after login.

Idle
If a client keeps a connection with server but doesn't send any useful command, we say the client is idle. This may be the case that client program's user goes out or is doing other things. Idle connections waste server's resources because they prevent others from connecting to server. Some smart client programs may send useless commands to avoid be recognized as idle by server.

IP, IP Address, Private IP, Internet IP
IP is a network address on any TCP/IP network, such as Internet. Each machine on the TCP/IP network must have an IP address, or it could not communicate with any other machine. Private IP is any IP in the following range:
192.168.0.0 - 192.168.0.255; 172.16.0.0 - 172.31.255.255; 10.0.0.0 - 10.255.255.255
Private IP can be used in any TCP/IP local private network. Any IP not belong to Private IP is an Internet IP. Internet IP should only be used on machines that are directly connected to Internet. For more details, please refer to some TCP/IP books.

IP Access (List), IP Access Item
IP access is a list of one or more items, each item includes an IP or IP range and a mark that means if server accepts FTP clients form the IP(s). Every time server receives a connection request from a client, it firstly searches IP access list, checks if the client is allowed to connect, if not allowed then simply denies it. Remember the items in the access list are ordered, once server finds an item that allows or denies the client, it takes the action and stops searching other items.

Key, RSA Key
An SSL certificate is associated with two RSA keys: public key and private key. To be sure that ftp is secure, private key must be kept as a security by server. Encrypted data's secure intensity is dependent on key's length, generally 1024-bit length is enough for most users' requirement.

Logging, Screen/File Logging
Server's main work is to provide file service to clients. Besides this, it needs to log something necessary for later query or analysis, sometimes even everything. In server settings, you can set logging, tell server log what and not log what. Screen logging is server's activities shown on program window, you watch it real-time, but it disappears once you exit the administration program. File logging is written in log file, you can use any text program such as notepad.exe to open it at any time.

Passive Mode
A TCP connection is established when an FTP client connects to server, this connection is used to receive commands and send replies for server (or send commands and receive replies for client). If the client wants to download/upload a file from/to server, they must establish another TCP connection. If it is client initialized this connection, we say the server is in passive mode. Please refer to FTP Internal. If your server is behind a router/firewall, and works for users connecting from outside Internet, you should correctly set up passive Server Settings - Passive Mode.

Port, FTP Port, Listening Port
Listening port is a TCP port number between 1 and 65535 that server listens on for your users. Standard FTP port is 21; this is the default value in server settings. If you set another value, usually should set it larger than 1024, and don't forget to tell your users the port number.

Reply, Server Reply
A typical FTP conversation between client and server is that client sends a command, waits for server's reply, then sends next command, waits for next reply, and so on. An FTP reply (or say, server reply, reply) is a three-digit number, followed by an ASCII text string, the number is the command's result for client program, and the string is human-readable for client program's user. For example, "331 Password required for user anonymous" is a reply of command "USER", and "230 User anonymous logged in." is a reply of command "PASS".

Running Mode
Nofeel FTP Server has three type of running modes, with different mode server has different performance. Please refer to Advanced - Performance

Secure-FTP
Secure-FTP is combination of traditional FTP and SSL. Secure-FTP has two types: Explicit SSL and Implicit SSL. In explicit SSL mode, server can be compatible with ftp clients don't support SSL, or clients can be compatible with ftp servers don't support SSL. In implicity SSL mode, both ftp clients and ftp server must be SSL-enabled.

Server, FTP Server
FTP Server, or simply server, is the program that waits for FTP connection requests from clients. Server is generally used to offer some service to clients. In this help server means Nofeel FTP Server program.

Server Events
Nofeel FTP Server defines many events may occur during server running. For example, once a client uploads a file to server, an event "On File Uploaded" occurs. Purpose of server events is to let you have more powerful control on server. For example, you can run a program every time a file is uploaded, the program checks if the file is a .zip file, if is, checks its integrity, if it seems a bad file, deletes it.

Server Settings
Generally word "Server Settings" should be all settings related to Nofeel FTP Server service engine, but in this help file and in program, "Server Settings" just means partial of it, not including settings of each user account and server events. For settings of administration program, we call it "Options". Proper setup of server settings and user settings is key to make server work correctly.

Service Engine
Nofeel FTP Server actually has two programs: administration program and service engine. Service engine is the program providing the real file service to clients. Service engine has no GUI and runs in background, so even you exit administration program it can still be running. This depends on what you set in administration program options.

SSL, Secure Sockets Layer
Secure Sockets Layer, or SSL, is base of Secure-FTP. FTP and other application layer protocols are based on traditional standard transport layer protocol - TCP. But TCP is not a secure protocol, to solve this problem, SSL was proposed and finally became an industry's standard secure protocol.

User, FTP User
In this help file, word "user" has several meaning. First, user means you, i.e. who use this Nofeel FTP Server program. But more cases user means FTP user account you create for server when we say "add/delete user, user settings, etc". Sometimes user also means "FTP user", i.e. the one that uses FTP client program to connect to your server, or just simply means FTP client program.

User Settings
User settings are easy to understand, it means settings of FTP user account you create for server. Proper setup of server settings and user settings is key to make server work correctly.

Variable
Variable is a concept in computer programming language or script language. In Nofeel FTP Server, you can use variables in some settings, and server will replace them to their proper values. For example, if you write a sentence in server welcome message: "Hello, your are from $(CLIENTIP)", server will replace "(CLIENTIP)" to real client's IP address. So if a client from 192.168.0.10 connects to server, it sees a welcome message like: "Hello, your are from 192.168.0.10". For full reference, please refer to Advanced - Variables

Virtual Directory/Link
Usually FTP users connecting to server can only see files in their home directories (or sub-directories). This is not ideal for many cases, for example, if you want two users (with two different home directories) all can download files in a directory, you have to copy this directory to all their home directories. Virtual directory gives you an easy to manage files' relationship on your physical hard disk. Let's see an example:

User Mike's home directory is "d:\users\mike", and you have many favorite music files in your "e:\music", you can create a virtual directory named "my_music", which maps "e:\music" to "d:\users\mike\". (By the way, don't forget to add the "e:\music" to Mike's directory access list.) After doing so, once Mike logs in server, he sees a directory "/my_music", not different than any other directory or file. He doesn't know the actual directory name and position of "/my_music" on your server.

Virtual link is like virtual directory, except that virtual link doesn't need to be mapped to any directory, user will see it everywhere, whatever directory he enters, he sees the link in it.

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