HFS – Http File Server is a truly nifty idea that requires just
a bit more technical know-how than, perhaps, it should.
HFS is a tool that allows you to set up file sharing from your
home computer, for your friends, co-workers, or the world, with
considerable ease–if your Internet connection, router, and
firewall are all properly configured. Using the program is
simplicity itself: You run it. There’s not even an installer, just
the EXE. Once it is run, you drag files into the window, and, there
you go. You’re sharing files. Anyone can now log in to your
computer–or just connect directly if you haven’t set up a login
and password–and download the shared files.
Unless, of course, your router isn’t configured to properly
forward ports. Or you have a dynamic IP address. Or your firewall
locks them out. If the preceding few sentences looked like
gibberish to you, you might wish to get a techie pal to give you a
Basically, HFS is a Web server running on your computer. Anyone
with a browser and your IP address (or domain, if you have one) can
see the dynamically generated (and easily modified by you) Web page
which lists the files you’ve decided to share. You can, of course,
require a user name and password to get in–but it’s your
responsibility to set this up.
There are a lot of advanced features. You can set the port the
server runs on, you can edit the default HTML template as you wish,
you can set connection limits, you can save or load “file systems”
(sets of files you wish to share), and much more. Given the
headaches involved in configuring even a basic HTTP server, HFS is
remarkably clean and simple, but the documentation is sparse and a
certain level of technical skill is assumed. If you understand all
the terms I’ve flung about in this review, and you have a need to
share files from your local system, this free program (donations
accepted) may just be for you.