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Killer FTP Server for Android

There are a handful of FTP daemons on the Android market but SwiFTP is special. I’ll get to that part in the next paragraph. Reasons to run an FTP server on your phone when on your local network with wifi include that if you want to grab or dump files onto your chip you don’t need to plug in the USB line (giving you the option to charge more heavily with the AC adapter line while you do your transferring), your computer doesn’t need to mount the chip grabbing exclusive access until you unmount and, were you inclined, you could set up a nanny spy cam to make sure your kids are in good hands when you’re at the opera. Most importantly, it just feels badass to run a server on your phone.

But because of the way the world works, phones, when just using cellular, can’t accept incoming connections so if you’re not on wifi (and if you want to access it from outside the network you gotta set up port forwarding), no soup for you. That means no running around the beach taking pictures of fine babes while your buddy grabs them from your phone while you hunt for the booty in real time. Enter SwiFTP. In addition to all the regular FTPD stuff you can do with any old server, its developer Dave Revell rigged up his own proxy server so that your babe-hungry buddy can access the phone over a cellular connection without doing any fancy tricks or creating some kind of Dropbox account with their clutterware needing to be installed on the computer accessing the phone remotely. Basically I think what happens is the phone makes and keeps a connection to his proxy server, the computer accesses a URL pointing at the proxy server, the proxy server lets the computer download or upload files first to or from the proxy server … ahh whatever it works.

Another feature of the software is that it’s free. So it’s free all right; however if you use the proxy thing, that means you’re using this guy’s bandwidth and contrary to popular belief bandwidth isn’t free. So especially if you do that instead of just using it with your wifi, and really especially if you do that a lot, but even if you’re not going to do that but you want to be cool anyway, I encourage you to throw him a few bucks. It’s available on the market, just search for swiftp. If the proxy serving thing fascinates you, you can get his proxy thing over SVN and screw around with it. Yes it’s open source. By the way, on Dave’s to-consider-doing list is cooking up an Android web server.

Doug Simmons