In this day and age, it’s easy to question if another FTP server is really needed. For organizations that wish to provide files to be downloaded off of the Internet by users, HTTP accomplishes this simple task. For organizations that have a large conglomeration of Windows computers, NetBIOS over TCP and Windows File Sharing accomplish the task at hand with the greatest of ease.
For organizations that wish to provide files to be downloaded off of the Internet by users, HTTP accomplishes this simple task.
Problems begin to surface when you want to transfer a file securely though. Any self-respecting systems administrator knows that NetBIOS and its faithful companion, Windows File sharing, are far from the pinnacle of secure. And this is where administrators opt to use File Transfer Protocol (FTP).
Because FTP is pretty much just a set of basic commands that a client and server exchange, the server and client can be created to be almost anything the programmer wants — so long as they can issue and receive standard FTP commands properly.
RaidenFTPD is a Win32 FTP server that boasts security and speed, the two biggest drawing points of any FTP server. In fact, it seems like every FTP server claims to be the most secure and fastest.
First, let’s talk performance: RaidenFTPD offers many features that can increase file transfer speeds. Natively, the server boats almost 10000 KB per second on a 100 MBit LAN and slightly more than 16000 KB per second of total throughput on a loop-back network (i.e., the server and client are on the same machine).
If bandwidth is precious to the administrator, he or she can configure throttle limits for upstream and downstream bandwidth overall, and per user. User throttle limits also carry with them a bit of security because the administrator can limit the amount of bandwidth certain users take up, thus preventing some types of primitive DOS attacks and the like.
Information security is probably the most important issue when it comes to transferring files point to point (especially in a client/server role), as malicious clients could gain access to the server and collect or corrupt data. To track exactly what users are doing on the FTP server, RaidenFTPD logs users’ log-in attempts as well as reads, writes, deletions, and transfer speeds. The server also offers an option for log filename rotation depending on year/month/day, which makes sorting through massive amounts of logs very easy.
One of RaidenFTPD’s more useful features for file security is virtual file system support with a normal Unix permission system. The virtual file system supports all kinds of storage devices. Administrators can set files as “secret” to control access. A user will not even know that such a file exists unless he or she has inside information. But, like all virtual file systems, it is high-level software based, meaning it can, and possibly will, be hacked.
Even though RaidenFTPD is available in a fully functional free trial version that never expires (an ad-free version is also available for $12.95), it may still have problems competing in the vast Win32 FTP server market (where the built-in IIS system in Windows NT and 2000 holds a solid share) and with the millions of Unix variants that actually provide a Unix file system, not simply a virtual file system.
Pros: 7 Boasts speed and security, 7 Free, fully functional trial version, 7 Virtual file system support
Cons: Some security features may be easily compromised, 7 Not as tried-and-true as other other products on the market, 7 Few unique features
Version Reviewed: 2.2 build 598