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How to setup an SFTP / FTP server

Traditionally setting up an SFTP server involved finding hardware or creating a file server as a virtual machine, working out how to run a Linux package, ensuring firewall rules are configured and then attempt to have your third party connect and interact with files that would also reside on the same server.

Now days this is highly simplified with cloud solutions that make this process easy as they remove the need for managing infrastructure and firewalls and can integrate with your cloud storage (SharePoint, Dropbox, S3, etc.) to make data accessible outside of the SFTP server itself.

Configuring an SFTP server now can take literally 5 minutes and only takes a few steps, these steps in sumamry are:

  • Step 1 — Create Couchdrop account
  • Step 2 — Connect storage (or choose Couchdrop’s storage)
  • Step 3 — Create an SFTP/FTP user for your external users/parties
  • Step 4 — Have your users connect via SFTP/FTP

How to setup an SFTP / FTP server guide

Step 1 — Create Couchdrop account
Navigate to Couchdrop and create an account. Don’t worry you don’t need a credit card straightaway and you can get access to a free trial for 14-days to test and make sure it does what you need it to.

configure sftp ftp server
Creating a Couchdrop hosted FTP account

Step 2 — Connect Storage
Once you’ve signed up you will immediately get a screen (see below) where you can now connect your storage backend, select your desired storage by selecting Add Connection within the tile.

Note: If you don’t wish to connect your own storage, you can simply opt in to use Couchdrop’s storage which is encrypted and backed by Amazon S3.

hosted ftp as a service
Select your backend storage for data at rest

In this case we’re connecting Couchdrop’s storage, and selecting the US region. Take note of the alias you name it, in this case we’ve called it cdstorage.

sftp as a service
Configuring Couchdrop’s storage for cloud SFTP

Step 3 — Create an SFTP/FTP user
Now you need to create a user for your external party to connect to your new SFTP server with.

  • Head to Administration -> User Accounts and Create New User
  • Configure the account with the following: Username, Password, Directory (this will be under the alias of your storage you connected before), Make the user active and then Save User Settings

Note: You can specify a sub-directory here under the Home/Root Directory section so that each device accesses its own home folder within your root storage folder.

sftp user hosted
Creating an SFTP / FTP user
ftp user cloud hosted
Additional user settings

Step 4 — Have your user now connect via SFTP
Provide the following information to your user for configuration in their SFTP client:

connecting to couchdrop ftp sftp
SFTP connection details

For more information or to get started jump across to or for more guides see



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