Frequently Asked Questions

The NearlyFreeSpeech.NET FAQ (*)

Uploading (*)

What is the connection information to upload files to my web site?

How do I upload my content to my site?

Can I access my web site via ssh?

What directory do I upload my web site's files to?

What hostname should I use for SFTP?

What program should I use to connect via ssh?

Why do I have to enable FTP in two places to get it to work?

What is SFTP?

Can I configure my ssh connection to use a public key?

I tried to SFTP to ftp.xxx.nearlyfreespeech.net and it failed. Why?

What are the fingerprints for the NearlyFreeSpeech.NET ssh keys?

I am having trouble uploading with FTP. What could be wrong?

What if I think the name of your ssh server is too long?

I can connect to NearlyFreeSpeech.NET just fine, so why is your FTP or ssh server unreachable or timing out?

Is automated SSH/FTP access to the system allowed?

For the most part, no. We do not allow unattended, automated access because it is an excessive use of resources we currently do not charge for and because it can be very bad for our system security.

This means that the of use embedded devices that upload information via FTP automatically on a regular basis, such as web cams and certain "weather station" devices in conjunction with our service is strictly prohibited. Such devices are a security disaster; they broadcast your member password over the Internet every few minutes in plaintext, and we will not allow that. If we find evidence of FTP being used in this fashion it will be disabled or, after repeated problems, blocked entirely.

We are somewhat less strict about SSH access, as the focus is more on excessive resource usage. We will overlook unattended SSH access under the following conditions:

Please be respectful of the shared resources assigned to FTP and SSH by observing these guidelines.

If you have an application that needs the ability to remotely upload on a regular/automated basis, it is entirely possible to do so. All you need to do is set those tasks up via HTTP, e.g. using POST or PUT requests and a small script to receive the files.

All these limits apply only to unattended access. As long as you are physically present at the keyboard initiating uploads or downloads yourself, no such limitations are imposed.

If you need FTP access for allowable purposes, but your FTP access to one of your sites has been blocked due to repeated or egregious violation of our policies in this area, and you are a subscription member, you can contact our support for assistance. If you are not a subscription member and you have FTP access blocked under this policy, you will have to alter your methodology to use SSH/SFTP (which you should be doing anyway) and to comply fully with the policies outlined above.