I have an FTP site setup with basic anonymous authentication - and it works fine - I can connect and upload/download.

I need to add another site on the same machine but cant have them both on port 21 so I have tried to setup a binding to the hostname (it is in DNS and I can connect to the site via the hostname without the bindings setup - so I know the hostname works correctly).

When I add the binding for the site - I cannot connect to it anymore through Windows Explorer - the error says "Windows cannot access this folder. Make sure you typed the filename correctly and that you have permission... Details - A connection with the server could not be established"

I have read something about virtual hostnames etc but am not quite sure what I need to do to set this up? Meaning Ive tried what the posts said but it still does not work.

I just need anonymous auth with to a couple of different FTP sites on the same box. I guess I could use different ports - but this should be doable on 21 I thought?

1 Answer 1


FTP (the protocol) does not have a concept of name-based virtual hosts. On HTTP this works because of the Host request header (or TLS SNI with HTTPS). There is no such thing on FTP: You connect and then authenticate.

The only thing you can achieve using FTP is user-based “virtual hosts”: Each user can be restricted to a specific folder. This is how IIS does name-based virtual hosts: You login with a specially formatted user name: Hostname|Username

So basically with anonymous FTP this won’t work.

  • OK thanks - thats what I was afraid of and thought may be the case - just wanted confirmation. Thanks again
    – pelagos
    Mar 29, 2021 at 20:57

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