Have you ever wanted to share large music, video, or data files with friends, but didn’t know how to setup a FTP server? If you want to quickly share files with a more than one person, you either have to setup an FTP server and give people access or you have to use online services like YouSendIt that allow you to upload multiple files and send them to multiple people.
However, the problem with sharing files using an FTP server is that you either have to purchase space on a third party server and set it up yourself, which requires some technical know-how or you need to set it up on your own computer, which takes even more knowledge!
The problem with services like YouSendIt is that it’s free, but with restrictions! You can only send files that are up to 100MB in size and you have a 1GB monthly download limit for all of your files. And each file can only be downloaded a maximum of 100 times! So that’s not fun if you want to be able to share tons of files with anyone at anytime!
HFS (HTTP File Server) is a cool free open-source application that you can use to send and receive files for free! It allows you to run your computer as a file server, but not just for your local network. It has a web interface that lets you share files with anyone!
Since it converts your computer into a file server, you don’t have to upload files to any third party servers. It’s highly customizable and allows you to create accounts, view current connections to your files, close/end connections, control bandwidth usage, and lots more! It’s like a Windows Server File server except that it’s free and works over the web!
The cool thing is how easy it is to use! It’s simply one EXE file that you just run, no need to install anything on your computer! Next just drag and drop the files you want to share into HFS and you’re up and running your own file server.
All connections can be monitored via a tray icon and you have full control over all connections. You can specify the IP address and port number that you want the file server to run on.
It has a ton of options that you can configure, including the HTML template code, so you can customize the look and feel of your file server.
You can share just about anything on your computer and access the files remotely from any other computer connected to the Internet. When accessing from outside of your local network, you’ll need to make sure that you know your Public IP address and configure your router to forward the listening port of HFS to the computer where HFS is running.
You can learn about forwarding ports on your router by going to http://www.portforward.com/. As far as I know, HFS supports all Http browsers. This includes Internet Explorer, Netscape, Opera, Maxthon, Netcaptor, Firefox and Safari.
You can set security on the files you are sharing by right-clicking on a file and choosing Set User/Pass. You can assign a user name and password so that whenever someone tries to download it, they’ll have to enter in the credentials.
Also, you can download only one file at a time, though in future versions they will support downloading of entire folders or multiple files at once.
Overall, it’s a great free file sharing program that is super easy to setup and that works really well! Give it a shot if you’ve been looking for a free file sharing program! Remember, though, you have to keep your computer on in order for anyone to access the files (the only downside). Enjoy!