Connection Problem Vista Ultimate/Mac/Paralells/Firewall


Was wondering if someone could help me debug an issue I'm having connecting from my MAC client to a 2008 windows server FTP site I set up.

Evidently nobody has a problem connecting to this server of mine when passive mode isn't selected. I have a DSL router in front of this home server I'm using, that has some firewall capability. For the time being all ports should be open to server. As well I turned off the firewall on the server.

I can connect using PASSIVE connection when both firewalls are turned off but, obviously I don't want to keep it this way.

I'm running Smart FTP on on a paralells instance of Vista Ultimate. They are sharing a bridged ethernet connection for networking.

I had a buddy help me debug it and basically we both used the fireftp plugin for firefox today, and I made sure the settings were identical. With passive mode off he could connect , while I could not. The only difference was I was on the parallels instance of a mac, and he was just on a pc.

Basically when the firewalls are up, everyone can connect except me. I can however connect using the MAC ftp program from the finder (ctrl k). I'm not sure what mode its using to connect this way.

I recently purchased Smart FTP and this issue is a bit of a downer. Is there any tips, or advice someone can pass along to help me with this a bit more time efficiently? I already blew 2 hours on it today ...

Thanks in advance for any help ...

Passive Mode
The client connects to the server. If you cannot connect usually the firewall on your FTP server blocks the incoming connections. Setup a fixed port range for passive mode and setup port forwarding in the firewall on the server (and maybe the NAT router if you have one in front of it). If you are using the Microsoft FTP server use something else.

Active Mode
The server connects to the client. if the server cannot connect to the client the NAT router on the client side or the software firewall on the client blocks the incoming connection. Some firewall automatically detect which ports to open because they monitor the FTP control connection. Same applies for the NAT router.

With this information you should get some ideas where to look if your data connections are not successful. My recommendation is to fix Passive Mode (setup port forwarding on the server) because this will fix the problem for all FTP clients connecting to your server in passive mode. Passive mode is the default for almost all ftp clients.