How To Setup FTP Server on Windows 8 To Serve iOS VLC Video Streaming

Recently, VLC for iOS has been updated to support FTP local network streaming. I’d like to take this opportunity to guide you through the process of setting up your own FTP server on your Windows machine and using that to stream through VLC app on your iPhone. FTP by itself is a very useful way to transfer files. It’s efficient in terms of granting user access to particular file(s). It is an old school technology comparing to those model cloud-based sharing trends such as Dropbox or other cloud services.

How To Set up FTP Server on Windows

First, we need to set up FTP server on our local machine. To do this, we are going to use the most popular FTP solutions out there, FileZilla Server. Go to here to download the corresponding version.

When installing, by default, it will install as a Windows service. You can change this to install as a program if you don’t want this to run as a service.

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When launched the first time, the server address for Connect to Server will always be 127.0.0.1, your localhost, since you have the FTP Server running locally, using the GUI to connect to the server will be local as well. By default, you don’t need to supply any Administration password. You can leave the port to default 14147 as well, if you don’t want to change.

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Go to Edit > Users. To add a new user

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You can name this user anything. In our case, we will just name it “VLC”

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Select the directory you’d like this user to access.

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You are now done the basic setup for others to start using FTP to connect to your machine and download files straight from your machine. One thing that is worth checking is the settings of your firewall. If you have connection issues either internal local network or external network, it’s a good idea to keep following this guide to ensure you have the right network settings to allow the traffic to come through.

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Go to Control Panel > System and Security > Windows Firewall > Allow a program or feature through Windows Firewall.

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If you don’t see “FileZilla Server” at the list of programs. Click > Allow another program …

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This will prompt you to select the program, usually should be under C:\Program Files (x86)\FileZilla Server . Note: it’s important to distinguish between selecting “FileZilla Server Interface” and “FileZilla Server”. You want to select FileZilla Server.

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On your mobile device in VLC app, go to > Local Network

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type in the local IP address and user name and/or password.

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Once you are connected, you will see a list of files from your Windows machine showing here.

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And that’s it. Enjoy your streaming content on your iPhone via VLC through your local FTP server right set up on your Windows system.

Jonathan Hu

Programming by day, Web Development, Canucks & Movies for spare time!
Co-founder of Next of Windows and a cool geek 🙂

Last updated: 08/04/2014

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