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Im using IIS 7.5 in windows 7 to establish a local FTP server to serving other clients in a LAN.

I modified site binding to add the server's local ip address (e.g. 192.168.1.2) to be able to access the server from clients using its IP and they could access the server by using ftp://192.168.1.2 and it work.

But IP addresses are setup as dynamic and assigned by DHCP in this LAN and I would like to be able to access the FTP server by hostname or server name instead a dynamic IP address. but for example ftp://MyServerName does not work.

What would be a solution?
Thanks in advance.

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1 Answer 1

The computer name in this manner (it sounds like you are trying to use NETBIOS which is handled by a WINS server) is not a reliable method of connecting to a server on a local network. What will happen is (if no WINS server is provided and no address in cache) the computer will send out NETBIOS Name Query Request messages to the local subnet. If no response is received it then checks the LMHOSTS file. [1] This is not the ideal way to set up a reliable FTP service to clients on your local area network. You don't give any detail on how your IP addresses or subnets are setup, so it may be that the clients aren't in the same subnet.

A dynamic IP is pretty much the main kicker when trying to run a server, especially for websites or FTP sites. In such a scenario, if the requests aren't returned based on your subnet, you would need to edit your HOSTS file on each client to give the FTP server IP address a name like referenced here [2], which is not ideal because they would have to change this entry every time the dynamic IP address changes.

There is of course a way to setup virtual host names for FTP sites in your IIS version [3], but again, this would be of little use with a dynamic IP.

Long story short, for your clients to RELIABLY be able to connect your FTP server you should hardcode the IP address you want on the FTP box. Then you can setup your local DNS servers (if you have access to them) to resolve the name or you can edit the individual HOSTS files on the client boxes and everything will be pristine.

    [1] http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb727005.aspx

    [2] http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc940089.aspx

    [3] http://learn.iis.net/page.aspx/320/using-ftp-virtual-host-names-in-iis-7/

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