Amazon S3 - pseudo FTP server?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by digitaldean, Apr 27, 2008.

  1. digitaldean macrumors member

    Feb 13, 2006
    I am contemplating setting up an FTP server for a magazine client of mine. I do the production work for layout/editorial, etc. He handles the ad design.
    We are going to need a remote server so I can get his .psd, .qxd files so I can create the signature layouts.
    Was going to invest in a MacMini or cheap PC with Ubuntu to make it my FTP server. Already got an account set up with DynDNS.
    On the flip side, I looked into Amazon S3's services. Their cost per GB per month is dirt cheap, making it a possible alternative vs. me investing in the hardware/time to set it up.
    Has anyone used S3 as a pseudo FTP server? Any feedback would be appreciated.
  2. stevelack macrumors newbie

    Jan 27, 2010
    I realize this thread is almost two years old but...

    Did you ever come up with a solution. I am looking into the same thing, using Amazon S3 as an FTP server for my hosting clients. Any insight would be appreciated.


  3. Badger^2 macrumors 68000


    Oct 29, 2009
    Well I hate to top post this... but...

    Getting your own host is like $6 a month, say from someplace like or

    www . stevelack . com (or whatever)

    *Unlimited* web space and unlimited number of FTP accounts.

    So each client could have their own FTP login and password even.

    The bigger issue is educating your clients on how to access your FTP. Painful at best.

    If its from other designers, like DD had, then getting them to use an FTP is easy, they should already know how.

    For clients, using something like is the easiest by far. Nothing to learn, nothing to install, totally free, takes just a few clicks.

    Another free solution is dropbox. 2 gigs of web storage for free. Again, probably not a problem if its for other designers, since many prob already have a dropbox account, or creating one is easy enough. But for clients...nah. Anything more than a few clicks is too much.
  4. stevelack macrumors newbie

    Jan 27, 2010
    Thanks for your response.

    Most cheap webhosts will not allow you to upload or transfer files that are not related to your site, ie: sending a quicktime to a client for approval. What I'm trying to do is set up an FTP server that will allow my hosting clients (I'm setting up a hosting reseller account) to have their own directory and log in on the server that will be used exclusively for transferring large files. There are many way to do this but I'm trying to make a solution that they will be able to use through my service as opposed to directing them to set up another account somewhere else. I'm looking at Amazon as an alternative to setting up my own hardware.
  5. Badger^2 macrumors 68000


    Oct 29, 2009

    I can put any freaking thing I want on my FTP, and you can too. Wherever you heard different is... well, wrong was the word Im looking for -- how about "misinformed" instead.

    My FTP has crap from everything digital on it -- music, ripped movies, PDFs, jpegs, Quark files, fonts, etc, etc, etc. There are files from 2006 still sitting on it. I have 1000+ GBs of space and unlimited bandwidth and unlimited FTPs and pretty much unlimited everything else.

    My host offers reselling options as well, probably about the same specs as anywhere else:
  6. stevelack macrumors newbie

    Jan 27, 2010
    You're probably in violation of your hosts terms of service and they can, and I have known them to, shut down sites that exceed their file transfer and storage limits, even if they do offer unlimited FTP, unlimited bandwidth and unlimited storage space for your sites. For a personal site it's probably flying under the radar but since I'm trying to build a commercial hosting business I'm looking for a more robust service.
  7. Badger^2 macrumors 68000


    Oct 29, 2009
    OK, now Im confused? :confused:

    The link I gave to "reseller" web hosting -- isnt that *exactly* what you want to do?

    Directly from their site:
    Affordable, profitable hosting for online entrepreneurs!
    Start your own business with our RocketOrbit package for the price of a shared hosting account! Create your own packages, set your own pricing, and start making money. The RocketOrbit package gives you full access to a WHM reseller account, which allows you to give your clients their own fully-enabled cPanel accounts. Share your 1,000+ GB of storage and unlimited bandwidth with all your customers as you see fit. RocketOrbit is also perfect for supplementing your existing business by offering your clients hosting accounts. Reliable reseller hosting, packed with features, at a low price - start turning profit today!

    HR even offers "non branded" Control Panels -- so your clients would have no idea where their site was being hosted at.

    Probably the only thing I have on my FTP that would be against their TOS is are the ripped movies I get from a buddy a couple of times a year, and I delete them after I get them.

    I guess I did misunderstand your original post, since the only thing it really had to do with the OP was Amazon S3, but the whole part about file sharing was totally different. You arent doing that.

    I still dont understand how the reseller part of hostrocket isnt exactly what you are looking to find...
  8. jtara macrumors 65816

    Mar 23, 2009
    If security is an issue at all, don't use FTP. FTP is an insecure protocol, and sends passwords "in the clear". I would never run an FTP server on server or hosting account. Period.

    I use sFTP (which really has NOTHING to do with FTP! It's just a name, and a confusing one at that...) which runs over ssh. I have it set up on my Ubuntu server at home which runs all the time. My router maps a non-standard port to ssh running on the standard port 22 on the server, and only allow access using public keys. I set up my designer with Macfusion and set up an account on the Ubuntu box that only allows sFTP access (no shell).

    This is the geeky, safe way. It's not particularly easy to set up the client, but once set up it's very easy. He uses MacFusion to establish a connection, and then it just looks like any other mounted resource and he can just copy files using Finder or open and save them directly from PhotoShop, etc.

    For most people, I'd recommend using one of the many inexpensive "remote drive" type "cloud" services. These are typically secure (usually using SSL) and have the advantage of being able to access files using either some program that can mount the remote device on your file system, or using a drag-and-drop web interface. And they are cheap. Some of these do use S3 for storage, others have their own storage provider or a choice of providers including S3.

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