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Frequently asked questions (FAQ) about ProVide.


There is a big variety of FTP Servers on the market, why use ProVide?

ProVide combines stability, performance and ease of use in a no-fuzz straightforward way. Want to manage an array of FTP-Servers from a single location? Need load balancing and virtual user directories? Need scripting facilities to manage both the server and its interaction with other software and business systems; while at the same time maintaining per user security and access rights?

ProVide is THE solution! And what's more? ProVide is connected to an active online forum resource and has been developed for many years in dialog with our users. Lately this means the inclusion of full IPv6 support as well as a built-in HTTPS-server for easy access. It is currently in use by small, large and global enterprises, online-payment providers as well as in many universities worldwide.

ProVide is a fast and powerful yet simple to use FTP server with lots of fascinating and practical features:

ProVide seems to meet my demands, how do I get started?

Download and install the program:

  • Download
  • When installation is complete use the ProVide Administration tool to configure your FTP-server.
    • A good start is to configure basic settings of the server first and then move on to configuring the accounts. Remember to use groups to simplify management of several users which have a similar setup.

Why does ProVide use a separate Administration tool?

With a separate tool you gain the advantage of remote Administration, i.e. you can administrate your FTP server from any computer using TCP/IP. Also, resources needed to run the graphical interface need not be run at all times; minimizing server footprint.

The Administration tool will not connect to the server after I configured a new listening port, why?

The port you specify is only used for client connections, the Administration program should always connect to port 3145 (unless you have specified otherwise in e.g. your firewall).

Is anonymous access possible in ProVide?

To use anonymous access you must specifically tell the server to allow anything as password for a particular account. Simply add an ordinary user account with the username "anonymous" and uncheck the box "Require password". Any other special configurations are done in the same way as with every other user account.

What is so special about Administrator accounts?

Administrator accounts have administrative privileges, which means it may be used to manage the server with the administration program (normally only system administrators have this privilege).

How do I construct the home directory for users?

You may see the "Home Directory" as a file tree, with the root on top. Simply add folders to the tree in order to build the users file tree (as seen when the user connects to your server). Directories and files from resources will be added into the file tree as requested.

"New Folder" and "Add Resource", what's the difference?

"New Folder" will create a virtual folder on the users' file tree, allowing you to build the home directory as you like. "Add Resource" will add directories and files at the location where it is placed in the file tree.

I have installed the server as a system service but I cannot add any network paths as resources, what should I do??

When a system service is installed the default in Windows is to run that program as "LocalSystem" account. What you need to do is to change the user that the program is running as in order to give the program access to e.g. network paths (a good choice is to use "Administrator" for the ProVide service).

  1. Right-click on "My Computer"
  2. Select "Manage"
  3. Double-click on "Services and Applications"
  4. Click on "Services
  5. Find "ProVide" in the right pane and double-click on it
  6. On the tab "Log On" you specify which account the program should run

Why should I add more than one resource to a users' Folder?

If you have data in several folders on your harddrives that actually should be seen as one folder, you may create a virtual file system by adding more resources to the same folder. This will be seen as one big folder for the users connecting to your server.


You have some pictures stored in one location and another set of pictures stored in another location, then you may add those two locations as "Resources" to a particular "Folder" and then it will seem as all files and subdirectories are in the same folder (for users connecting to your server).
Another useful way of using this feature is for instance by adding an upload resource to some folders, that way users may upload files to, what they see, some folders. However, the files are actually sent to a particular upload folder on the location you specified. When specifying upload folders, it may be usefull to add more than one resource since then the files being uploaded to that folder will physically end up on the resource with the most available space (it will seem as you have a huge upload folder).

I am unable to remove some resources and folders, why?

If the resources or folders are in bold face it means they are inherited from a group in which the user is a member. You cannot remove resources or folders which a user inherits from a group membership.

My Server is behind a firewall, what should I do?

First of all you need to configure your firewall to accept incomming connections to the server. Then, if you know your external IP-adress you must enter that in Server configuration. If you do not have a static, real IP-adress you may specify a dns-name for lookup every time your IP-adress is needed (e.g. "myserver.no-ip.com" could be used as an IP-adress).

Can I administrate my server even if my www-proxy blocks outgoing calls?

The Administration program is capable of using simple HTTP-commands for remote administration. Just setup Administration to use the www-proxy and otherwise connect as normal to the Server.

Note: Performance will not be optimal when connection through a www-proxy (e.g. the update of connected users and what they are doing is only updated at regular intervals (every 2 seconds)).

What is Spy User and how do I use it?

With this feature you have the ability to observe a particular user's activity on your server. "Spy User" opens a new window which logs all activity of the specified user.

Do I need to manually update the ProVide software or can it auto-update?

If automatic updates is selected the programs will check for a new version each time they are started. Observe though that Administration will only search for and update Administration, and Server will only search for and update Server. Further, the programs check for new updates every day at midnight.If a new update is available it is automatically downloaded.

Updates are installed automatically when:

  • Administration:
    • the program has been idle for 1 hour.
    • the user manually triggers the update by clicking on the yellow star, which is visible once there is an update available.
  • Server:
    • there are no users connected to the server

Alright, this is too simple... I want some challenge!

Ok, then maybe you want to experiment with the various tokens that may be used when specifying access rights for users. There are many tokens available that will be replaced by their respective value where ever they are found in paths.

These are just a small sample of tokens available:

Token Value
%USERNAME% The current user trying to access the resource (e.g. james)
%YYYY% The current year in 4-digit format (e.g. 2003)
%MM% The current month in 2-digit format (e.g. 06)
%DD% The current day in 2-digit format (e.g. 29)

Using these tokens you may specify directories where access rights depend on e.g. who is accessing the resource or when. E.g. You may only want to allow uploads in a directory with the current date. Then add a folder to the home directory with e.g. "%YYYY%-%MM%-%DD%". Then any resources accessrights under this one will only apply during the current date.

Depending on your licence you get access to more advanced tools e.g. events can be configured to execute scripts, giving you the power to do anything you can imagine.

What about the license?

After buying a licence either from ShareIt or via an invoice order, you will receive a license via e-mail. Version licences unlock the appropriate functionality and features and grant you update rights for the upcoming year. After that time all functionality will still continue to work. However, to get updated versions, after the first year has passed, you will need to purchase an extension license. Should any changes to the license model be introduced no functionality, number of accounts or connections will be lost since this is automatically detected based on when you purchased the original license.

Where do I get the trial version?

We maintain a single code base with the option to unlock functionality using licenses. The trial period is currently 30 days and during that time all the capabilities are at your disposal. Download evaluation of ProVide our premiere FTP server package from the ProVide download page.

I want to change my ProVide license, what do I do?

In case you want to upgrade or downgrade your license please e-mail us with your preferences and the license you want. Also please include your ShareIt registration number or the name under which the previous license is registered to (visible in the window bar of ProVide Administration). We will send you a coupon code that you may use for purchasing the version you want at a discounted price. ProVide is currently the only FTP server on the market that offer SFTP and FTP over Web browser at prices accessible to home users! For enterprise and commercial level usage please consider a licence that corresponds to the number of simultaneous FTP connections you need.

Is ProVide available in my own language?

ProVide is a truly multilingual ftpserver that offers full Unicode support meaning it will support file and folder names in most languages including e.g. Chinese (PRC and Taiwan) for clients. The administration program used for configuration supports a variety of languages, including, English, Spanish, Portuguese, Norwegian (Bokmål), Swedish, German, Danish, Hungarian, French, Italian and Russian.

Can I get in touch with the developers in case of a problem or if I have a suggestion?

YES! We develop ProVide in close collaboration with our user base and are more than happy to be able to help. A lot of problems can be solved via e-mail, for contact information click here.

I need help with software configuration and firewall settings

For advanced support, firewall configuration and scripting as well as for support on ProVide put in context to other software and systems we offer support coupons. All support is offered via secure remote (desktop) connection using Teamviewer. This software allows for encrypted and password-protected support where you, the customer, may monitor everything we do on-screen. After buying a support coupon we are notified via ShareIt after which we send you connection details and agree on a suitable time to help you. Dont hesitate, we can help!

Will it run on my hardware/software?

YES! Unless you employ a truly archaic system (pre windows 2000), it will work on all windows platforms both 32 and 64 bit as well as both AMD and Intel.

Is ProVide really that secure?

In short, YES! Our secure ftpserver is equipped with a number of anti-hammer methods, impersonation (threads run with the permissions of a specific user), extensive logging and not to mention support for both FTPS (TLS/SSL) as well as SFTP (v3-v6) and support for a wide range of encryption algorithms as well as self signed or purchased certificates: It is secure! We also have several research labs, government organisations, Fortune 500 companies, defence contractors as well as payment transaction firms using ProVide. And of course with more than 3 Million downloads a few others to!

Has it been thoroughly tested?

Each new version is first alpha tested using a heavily structured test scenario employing several hundred test cases. After each and every test has passed it is released into an "unstable" branch and sent out for testing in our user community. After a few iterations back and fourth, usually within a month or so we make a public release.

Is it possible to contribute or to affect development priorities?

Comments regarding new functionality are always welcome. Furthermore we regularly offer our users the ability to vote on new functionality on the web page.

I am a "regular" user, is this something for me?

Absolutely. Having problems sharing photos from your digital camera to your friends? ProVide is the way to go. ProVide is easy to administer and can be run directly on your desktop or laptop computer. Furthermore ProVide is the perfect windows FTP platform for sharing and distributing sensitive information or large files over the internet to Mac, PC and both Android and iOS based tablet units such as the iPhone and iPad. This works either using web browser sharing using the built in secure web server or via regular FTP, FTPS or SFTP access, and is easy to set up and even simpler to use on both the sending and recieving end.

I am a "large enterprise administrator" in need of advanced features and easy administration, is this something for me?

Absolutely. ProVide allows for advanced enterprise level features such as HTTPS, SFTP, TFTP as well as advanced scripting, AD integration and virtual users, simultaneously. Sometimes we are astounded with interesting and unique solutions that our users come up with. On more than one occasion, together with the customer, we discovered that the raw performance and customizability that ProVide offered is much more than we ever anticipated. Still it allows for simple, efficient and comprehensible management.

Alright, I'm convinced, where can I get it?

Get it here! Free 30 day evaluation! To access all features buy the licence that you need. No reconfiguration or reinstall required.