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Ftp Servers?

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GroundSwell

Sophomore Member
Joined
Apr 6, 2003
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
California
I've been thinking about setting up an server system so that I have a centeralized location to keep all my reports. I have some appraisers as well as an assitant that work out of the office (my home :lol: ). Instead of e-mailing reports back and forth - I thought it would be better to have a central server system where everyone could upload there 'latest and greatest' versions of reports too.

How many of you out there have a system like this? Through a bit of research it seems that an FTP server is the easiest and most hassle-free way to go. Is this true? Assuming it is true... what's the best kind of ftp server software to use? Do I need a static IP address for this server? What's the best way to back-up your server? Any info would be great. Thanks.

~RJ
 

dgill

Freshman Member
Joined
Feb 22, 2002
Professional Status
General Public
State
New York
RJ,

I'm no tech guru, but what I do know is that you would have to have a static IP address set up. And make certain you have lots and lots of bandwidth available. I would suggest contacting a local tech contractor to give you an overview of what it would entail, and shop around for the best carrier in your area that can provide you with the most bandwidth.
 

Head Surfer

Administrator
Staff member
Founder
Moderator
Joined
Jan 4, 2002
Professional Status
Retired Appraiser
State
Florida
You wouldn't necessarily need a static IP, if you just registered a domain name and used a hosting account somewhere. That way you would have off site backup as well as a central location. Most data centers have much better security, fire protection, break in protection, etc. than you could ever arrange in your office, plus generator back up in case the power goes out. Most give lots of band width for a small monthly fee, and most have little or no set up costs.

I know you are thinking of setting up a PC in your office and letting it act as a server over your DSL or cable line, but for the price that you have to pay for the server and the trouble of setting it up you could come out cheaper the other way, and and also someone else would be responsible for keeping it updated, running, and so forth. Not to mention that the host is better equipped to handle the data flow.

All you would have to do is the FTPing! Also most hosts do nightly backup (or have that as an option) so you would have yet another safeguard for your data.
 

Hugo Coolsaet

Freshman Member
Joined
Jan 21, 2003
Wayne McKerley, it isnt difficult to set up a server,
first of all, sorry for my bad english
Im hugo Coolsaet his son. Aswin Coolsaet.
Im a 17 year old boy,
I study ICT
You dont need a static IP adres. ....
Or you dont have to pay for a domain name...
It is easy to set it up.(if you are computer minded)
My UPLOAD speed here is 128Kbps or 16KB/s is is not so fast but it is ok...
And you dont have to pay something for set up an FTP server...
I have a lot experience with Internet applications.
@ my home i have:
FTP , HTTP (web) + webhosting(incl php mysql frontpage server extensions and so on... , nntp, smtp, AND printer server (someone on the inet can connect to your printer and print... with pas en usernam ofcourse )

If you want to know more, mail me @ [email protected]
or MSN? [email protected]
 

Head Surfer

Administrator
Staff member
Founder
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Professional Status
Retired Appraiser
State
Florida
Hugo,

Yeah you could have a server at home for hobby work, but for mission criticial performance for a business that does hundreds of thousands of dollars a year I wouldn't risk it.

Just my opinion for what it's worth.
 

xmsdfafdn

Freshman Member
Joined
Sep 13, 2007
I have a static IP through SBC. It costs me an extra $25.00/month.

1. I just use Windows 2000 Professional for my computers. If you try to use Windows 2000 Server, it't going to be more of a headache than it's worth. If you have your other servers connected to the router directly or through a switch, this shouldn't be a problem.

2. I use a NetGear "ProSafe VPN Firewal" to provide most of the security against hackers. This is your first line of defence.

3. I also use "Merak" for my email server. It has filters for Spam, viruses and nuisance IPs. It works great and is fairly easy to configure. This is my second line of defence against hackers and viruses. Also, much easier to use than Microsoft Exchange. I use MS Outlook for email; although I used to use Eudora - which is simpler and more robust but lacks features.

4. There are many advantages to having your own server. For one, you will be able to log IPs that are trying to access your server. You will in many cases be able to determine who is trying to access your website and possibly cause problems. In those cases,where you can't determine who is behind the troublesome IP, you can probably report it to authorities and block it on your system.

5. You will be able to enhance your own security, by adding SSL/PKI.

6. But be aware that someone needs to babysit your server 5-10 minutes a day - assuming that person knows what they are doing. Here are some rules:

Rule 1: Run http://windowsupdate.microsoft.com to update your MS system (assuming you are using MS) on a weekly, if not daily basis. This will be your third line of defence against viruses.

Rule 2: Configure IIS to log accesses to your website. Check the log daily for unusual activity. Also check the NetGear Router log (which usally reports a number of Code Red and other viruses on a daily basis). Report 'naughty' IPs ... ISPs (Internet Service Providers) will disconnect servers that are infected and warn it's clients to clean their systems.

Rule 3: Oh yes, add Symantec or McAffee's Virus/Firewall protection to your computers.

If you are a "control" person, have the technical expertise and access to static IP DSL/T1, I think you will want your own server.
 

Hugo Coolsaet

Freshman Member
Joined
Jan 21, 2003
This is not the Hugo, but his son... :)
Yes but, i dont think that he would use it for some 200 people... i think just the people from his office ... i was thinking about 20 - 40 people ?
and then it is ok... but when you think about hundred or more people i should chouse your opinion.
sorry for my bad english

But you DONT need a static ip adres!!!
there are free services like http://www.no-ip.info --> (it is freeware, no spyware or adware, no commercials.. )
1) it instal a little program on your pc.
2) it searches for your WAN ip, it is the ip not from your pc, but the ip you are cennected to the internet (example, the ip from the router.°
3) The program "uploads" your ip to a name that you have chosen, (like ****.no-ip.info )
so to reach your server they have to typ ftp://****.no-ip.info or http://****.no-ip.info
it is much easyer then a static ip adres... because of our mind...
what is the easyst to ( :blink: have it in your mind.. :blink: )
domain name ****.no-ip.info --> aswin.no-ip.info (this name does'nt work ofcourse :twisted: )
an ip adres ***.***.***.*** ---> 217.136.62.249 i think aswin.no-ip.info is the easiest ?
4)you have to configure your router, that he rederect port 21 (ftp) or 80(http) or ... to your ip in the network at home. (an ip something like 192.168.1.* or 10.0.0.*)

most of al, on your router you could set a default server: 192.168.1.9 (on ip adres that doest exist.)
and then you can configure the ports 21 192.168.1.3 (look the attachent)
so all incoming connections (from hackers... ) or redericyted to a pc that doesnt exist.. (default server)


You also can use windows XP RPOFESSIONAL (not the home) for an webserver, it is much better than windows 2000
1) it has a webplugin, remote webcontrol. you go to the site @ your pc @ home true internet. and you log in, and All your mouse movements and keypresses are transferred directly to the remote computer(your pc home)
2) you have all the plugins from windows 2000
3) i just like more XP then windows 2000.

questions about seting up the web, pint ftp, http mail server ... or how to config your router?
mail me :)
[email protected]

Greetz
Aswin Coolsaet
 

xmsdfafdn

Freshman Member
Joined
Sep 13, 2007
I think Wayne McKerley's solution is best for most appraisers, unless they are computer gurus. Set up an account with a company like www.crystaltech.com and use FTP to have everyone upload and download files.

In my opinion, anyone who set's up a server should be licensed to do so. Servers which are not set up and maintained correctly become havens to viruses like CODE-RED and wind up infecting other users on the system. Letting a hosting company do this for you means that THEY are going to maintain the firewalls, update the software on a regular basis and provide virus protection (you still need virus protection on your own computers, because they aren't going to catch everything).

I personally have encountered too many who set up Windows servers, without keeping patches up-to-date or running anti-virus programs. In fact, it is really surprising how many server "administrators" think that all there is to security is setting up user accounts and passwords - and then installing an Anti-Virus program that's maybe two years old. What is so shocking is that they REALLY believe their servers are secure. They aren't - and worse they create problems for other IPs.
 

dbiggers

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 1, 2002
Professional Status
IT Professional-Appraisal Related
State
Florida
This is one of the reasons we created our Vault service. For $149, you can upload and store 1000 appraisal files, and you can do so from as many PC's as you like. You can assign password access to anyone, and they get a simple web interface to view the files. Uploads are done automatically (or can be triggered manually), so your files are all backed up.

With the Vault, there's no need for an FTP server (it is a giant FTP server), no static or dynamic IP issues, your files are accessible from anywhere via a clean web interface, and all the files are backed up not only to our main servers in Oklahoma City but also our redundant servers in Salt Lake City.

The Vault works with any appraisal software, not just our WinTOTAL. If you are a WinTOTAL user, it's integrated with your File Cabinet. Also, if you are a WinTOTAL user, then the Vault files can also include all the pieces of your digital workfile -- all the contracts, notes, MLS printouts, etc., so you can toss your paper copies of your workfile. (We're adding an interface for non-WinTOTAL users to be able to do so as well.)

Anyway, for a novice who doesn't want to manage all that on their own, this is much, much easier to do. And even for experts, it's cheaper than doing it alone. Daily tape backups would cost you more than $149 by themselves.

Dave Biggers
CEO
a la mode, inc.
 
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