Backups are a very important part of modern life as all technology will fail after a set time and this can cause some major nuisances from the loss of important work documents to sentimental family photos. Many people already carry out backups on a local drive but even these are destined to fail and can’t be accessed from external locations.
A NAS (Network Area Storage) is a great way to create another backup that is external from your PC but the problem with these is that they can’t be accessed externally. In this article we will show you how to switch on FTP on your DD-WRT (check out our Big DD-WRT Guide if you are unfamiliar with the custom router firmware) so that you can access it externally or make back-ups from an external system. The advantage of these over other cloud services such as DropBox is that you do not need to keep a copy of the files on your own system.
Of course it is important to keep cloud backups as these are the only types that are guaranteed not to fail. You can find out more about this at the end of the post.
If you’re interested in DD-WRT, we’ve recently released a huge DD-WRT guide, which you can also download as a 60 page ebook!
FTP on DD-WRT
Enabling FTP access on DD-WRT is fairly straight forward and if you are already using it as NAS then you’re not stranger to the process. Unfortunately FTP is not secure therefore we will implement some extra precautions but remember that your files won’t be encrypted during the transfer process and if intercepted will be accessible to others.
To enable proFTP on DD-WRT you need to following steps once your USB storage device is plugged into your router.
- Under Services->USB enable Core USB Support, USB Storage Support and Automatic Drive Mount. Save and Apply Settings.
- Wait until your router registers your device under disk info
- Under Services -> NAS do the following settings
- Enable ProFTPD (change port as your see fit)
- Enable WAN Access
- We recommend not allowing Anonymous Login. For Authentication we recommend using a password list as this is more versatile but the Radius method is more secure.
- Under Users enter a User name a strong secure Password and select which drives you’d like to share as well as FTP.
- Save and Apply Settings.
- Go to Administration->Commands and enter the following
wanf=`nvram get wan_iface` iptables -I INPUT 2 -i $wanf -p tcp --dport 21 -j logdrop iptables -I INPUT 2 -i $wanf -p tcp -m state --state NEW --dport 21 -m limit --limit A/minute --limit-burst B -j logaccept
Change the values as you seem suitable:
- A(2) – the number of guesses allowed per minute after B (3) the number of unsuccessful initial tries – this will slow down and limit anyone trying to break in
- You can also use the following code instead but this will be less secure
iptables -I INPUT 1 -p tcp --dport 21 -j logaccept
- Save as Startup, Apply Settings and Reboot router
- Your FTP Server should now be running on your DD-WRT
Accessing the drive using FTP
- Download an FTP Client. We recommend using WinSCP for Windows, FileZilla for Mac, ES File Explorer for Android and FTP Manager for iOS – but you may have your own preferences.
- Enter the settings according to what you set on your router and click connect
- If you want to access it externally you will need to know your IP address (before hand) which you can find using Ipleak.net and if you are using a modem before your router you will also need to set up a port forward these vary by ISP & Modem so look at the documentation they gave you.
- That’s it your connected
Cloud BackUps are the most fool proof way of making sure you do not lose your data. There are plenty of different ones you can use and our sister website BestBackups has us covered on this. Their 5 best for FTP accessible drives is listed in the table below and you can find out more about them by either visiting the links of the BestBackups website. Also note that if you sign up to VyprVPN you can receive up to 50GB of free DumpTruck storage (which can be further expanded at a cost) and this can also be accessed with FTP.
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We have shown you how you can access a drive connected to your DD-WRT using FTP from local and external location. We have also recommended the best way to find a suitable cloud backup for your documents so go ahead and protect yourself against data loss now.