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Setting up an FTP server behind a Linksys router

File Transfer Protocol (FTP) servers are useful especially if you are hosting files that will be accessed by remote users on the Internet.  This article will give you instructions on how to set up an FTP server behind a Linksys router.  If you are using a Linksys Smart Wi-Fi Router, click here instead.   

To set up an FTP server behind a Linksys router, you must do the following:

i. Identify the IP Address of the FTP server
ii. Identify the WAN IP Address of your router
iii. Set up FTP port forwarding on a Linksys router

This article will discuss the guidelines in setting up an FTP server behind a Linksys router.  You might need to refer to your ISP and third party providers to accomplish the task.

Identify the IP Address of the FTP server

If you are using a Linksys router, it will be easier to access the FTP server if you have assigned an IP Address to the server.  There are two (2) ways to do this:

  • Set up Static IP on the server
    On your server’s TCP/IP settings, set up a local network Static IP.  Refer to your server documentation or contact the manufacturer for instructions.

    Example of a Local IP Address:

    NOTE:  Ensure that the Static IP Address you set is within the same LAN segment as your router.  Most Linksys routers are in 192.168.1.x range.

  • Set up DHCP Reservation on the router
    Most Linksys routers have DHCP Reservation feature.  This will allow you to assign a specific IP Address on a certain device for easy access.  To know more about this feature, click

Identify the WAN IP Address of your router

To connect to an FTP server, client/remote users should know the address of the FTP server.  You will have a hard time accessing the server if its IP Address is dynamic.  To solve this issue, you may choose one of the following:

  • Obtain a Static WAN IP from your ISP
    Contact your ISP for details on how to get a Static IP account.

  • Set up a Domain Name Server (DNS)
    Having a DNS account can be a good substitute to having a Static IP account.  Some DNS accounts have a free one (1) year trial.  Refer to DNS providers for more information.

NOTE:  If you have successfully created a DNS account, you will be able to access your FTP using the registered domain.  Example:  ftp.ftpdomain.com

Set up FTP port forwarding on a Linksys router

Once you have set up the IP Address of the server computer and the WAN IP of your network, you should now forward the FTP port to the server’s local IP Address.  This will allow all FTP transactions to be sent to the server’s IP Address.

To learn how to enable port forwarding on a Linksys router, follow the steps below:

NOTE:  Images may vary depending on the model and firmware version of your Linksys router.

Step 1:
Access the router’s web-based setup page.  To learn how, click here.

Step 2:
On the Setup page, click Applications & Gaming.


Step 3:
Under Single Port Forwarding sub-tab, select FTP for Application.

NOTE:  If the Single Port Forwarding sub-tab is not available in the web-based setup page you have, you may use the Port Forwarding sub-tab instead.  For instructions, click here.

 User-added image

NOTE:  The External Port, Internal Port and Protocol fields will be automatically filled in.

Step 4:
Enter the IP Address of your FTP server under To IP Address.

 User-added image

NOTE:  In this example, is used.

Step 5:
Tick the Enabled check box.

 User-added image

Step 6:
Click Save Settings.

You should now be able to access your FTP server using either the Static WAN IP or the DNS account.

Static IP Example:                  or                   
DNS Example:                ftp.ftpdomain.com               or                             domain.com:21

Related Articles:

Setting up Single Port Forwarding on your Linksys Smart Wi-Fi device
Setting up Single Port Forwarding on Linksys Smart Wi-Fi Routers and Linksys Wi-Fi Routers using the Classic firmware

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