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How to set up a personal FTP server for use with an IP camera’s image transfer function

With the image transfer feature found in many IP cameras you can store a number of images in a central location as an archive for security purposes or maybe for building a time-lapse movie.

These images are sent using the FTP protocol which stands for File Transfer Protocol and is normally associated with transferring files across the Internet. It also works equally as well on a local network and this guide will show you how to set it up.

Step 1 – Download the FTP server software

We will be using FileZilla which is a free FTP solution. Visit the following website for the software: FileZilla.

Step 2 – Setting up the FileZilla software

Once installed, run the program. You will the see the following dialog box when you first run the program:

FileZilla connect to server dialog box screenshot

Server Address: We’re running this on the local machine so this should be (loopback IP)

Port: It’s fine to leave it on the default setting of 14147. This only becomes important if you are configuring external access.

Administration password: Type in a password of your choice here.

Click ‘OK’ to connect to the FTP server and you’ll be presented with the follow status screen:

FTP server status screenshoot

Step 3 – Setting up a user account

Before you can start transferring files you need to set up a user account. To do this go to the ‘Edit’ menu and select ‘Users’. You will see a dialog box like the one below:

FileZilla users dialog box screenshot

On the right hand side in the ‘Users’ section click the ‘add’ button at the bottom of the column to add a user. A dialog box will pop up asking for the name:

FileZilla add user account dialog box screenshot

Enter the name of your user here and click the ‘OK’ button. We’ll use the name ‘Guest’ in our example.

Screenshot of FileZilla guest users dialog box with guest user added

Your new user should appear in the ‘Users’ column on the left as can be seen in the above example.

Final thing we need to do is configure a password for our new user.

In the ‘Account settings’ section put a checkmark in the ‘Password’ box and enter a suitable user password.

Don’t click ‘OK’ just yet, we’re not done…

Step 4 – Setting up a shared directory

The final step is to set up a shared folder for the user. This is the folder you will use to store the images which are sent from the camera using FTP.

First, create an empty folder on your computer in a location of your choice (My Document, desktop etc.), you will use this as your shared folder.

On the same ‘Users’ dialogue box select the ‘Shared folders’ option on the left hand side as shown below:

FileZilla shared folders screenshot

In the center of the dialog box, in the ‘Shared folders’ section click the ‘Add’ button to add a shared folder.

A pop-up dialogue box will appear allowing you to browse to a folder. Choose the empty folder you created earlier.

Now click ‘OK’ to save the settings.


And that’s it. The FTP server is set up and ready to use.

When configuring the camera on the local network the FTP settings will be as follows:

FTP Server address: This will be the IP address of the PC running the FTP server.
Username: the username you created in Step 3.
Password: the password you created in Step 3.

Published on May 1st, 2009 by Greg

20 Responses to “How to set up a personal FTP server for use with an IP camera’s image transfer function”

  1. Brian D. says:

    After motion is detected, camera is logged into FileZilla, then after login I see the following:

    501 Syntax Error

    this repeats for every motion detection for every camera.

    Please Help!

  2. Juliano says:

    Ad inbound rule in windows firewall, in camera settings keep port 21. Do not forget to check read write boxes. Keep filezilla window open, to see when the connection in made, and corect eventual mistakes. Wil work, i done it after some tries in 10 minutes

  3. sameolsameol says:

    Did not see any one of those boxes.( Is this directions for WinXP?) FTP cannot connect to server. Same error I get on all FTP obscure directions. Is the server my cable company or something?

  4. KevinFla says:

    just installed and needed these add'l instructions, thanks to Stitch, Andy and Lee. working great now with easy n ip cams. Did have a bit of trial and error configuring the windows firewall rule but finally got it. GL, I'm sure you know by now to click edit then users.

  5. GL says:

    My filezilla don't have a user settings page… ?

  6. Madhur says:

    I need to setup 128 camera in building.
    Will please send the structure and software / hardware detail to install ip camera wireless or wired

  7. Slothworks says:

    Pasv mode, port 21. If you have multiple cams use folders to desperate video flows. Use server software to create limits and provide delete by date.

  8. Linda Mi says:

    I got questions

    1. Does the image keep sending every second?
    I wish it send only incase of trigger motion

    2. Does the image name easy to know
    I wish it names ss-mm-hh_dd-mm-yy.jpg

    Please give me the glue

  9. Andy says:

    Worked perfectly, thanks for this. Just to add, I did have to create a rule in Windows firewall (Win 7) to allow traffic, turned it off temporarily to prove this was the cause.

  10. Stephan says:

    I configure all the setting nothing happened, the server ip ( and Port 14147 I should configure it on my router ? please I need your help

  11. Velislav says:

    I had problems before with setting up my IP camera..A friend of mine recommended fennocloudcam.com , I use their cloud based storage and the setup is very easy, plus it is free!

  12. Paul Robinson says:

    phpmyipcam is not working
    i've tried hosting it with different servers with php 5.2.x, 5.3, 5.4 versions
    keep saying " Loading system. Wait a moment please "
    please help
    anybody find English version of this?

  13. Tony says:

    Then you can use phpMyIpCam over your FTP server to see the uploaded images.

  14. henry says:

    is there a way to have my site display the files as a movie. Since they are being sent from an IP camera I'd like to play them just as if I was watching the camera.

  15. Lee says:

    You failed to mention that when you create a shared folder, you also need to "tick" write (or any other functions), if you want to send files to it. Otherwise it will fail.

    I just installed for use with my Trendnet Wireless camera, and it works great.

  16. stitch says:

    Worked very well. Do not change the port from 21 in your setup. Do not specify a location in the camera software. It defaults to the home or original location you created. Ensure you set your firewall on your computer to allow for the flowing of images to the computer. PORT or PASV may depend. Try both if one doesn't work. PORT worked for me with Wansview Camera.

  17. Don says:

    Great, another guide to get my camera to work remotely that doesn't work.

  18. Jman says:

    My IP camera requires a port. The default was 21, should i change it to 14147?

    Also, it asks for a FTP Upload folder, would i just put the path to the folder i created in that box?

    Then it asks for a mode. PORT or PASV.

    Thanks a lot for this article it really helps!

  19. Greg Innes says:

    I had a quick look at this software and couldn't see anything to limit the space used. You could create a partition on your HDD to limit the space used and create your FTP folder there perhaps? It's not going to automatically overwrite anything though. What you perhaps need is a recording application.

  20. Curt Wells says:

    re Personal FTP Server…is there a way to limit the maximum disk space used by uploading files or camera images?