I have a TP-Link archer c7 that I use as an access point connected to my ZTE mf283 router. To my TP-Link ac I have connected a 250GB external HDD which I use as storage for my FTP server that I set up on my TP-Link router.

That works great on my local network but I wanna be able to connect to my router from outside my network so I tried portforwarding but I soon found that that I need to use passive FTP. Now I understand theory more or less but how can I set that up so that it works?

  • As long as the port forwarding is correct, what works from inside works from outside as well. Meaning: No changes required except IP address which is your public IP address and the same port and same authentication if required. – user772515 Oct 10 '17 at 21:57
  • @MichaelBay That's not completely true for FTP - You need to configure the FTP server with the external IP address in addition to port forwarding. – Martin Prikryl Oct 11 '17 at 5:49
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    FTP is insecure and your username and password is sent via cleartext. This is especially dangerous when doing this from public network. I suggest you switch to SCP/SFTP ASAP, a lot easier to port forward too. – some user Oct 11 '17 at 21:26
  • @someuser I heard that suggestion a lot but how do I do that? – Nenad Oct 11 '17 at 21:54
  • I doubt your TP-Link supports SCP/SFTP. One alternative is use an open source router that runs DD-WRT which supports SSH and FTP. You can also get a dedicated device like pogoplug or raspberry pi to act as a server for your external HDD. And then you can port forward traffic to this device. Both solution takes time though. – some user Oct 11 '17 at 23:52

You need to:

  • Forward the FTP control connection port 21.
  • Forward the passive mode data connection port range (server-specific, usually configurable).
  • Configure your FTP server with the external IP address of the router, so that the server reports the correct address to the clients.

Some references:

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