Windows Server 2012 Secure WebDAV

yin-yangWebDAV allows you to securely transfer files across the internet between your local PC and your remote server as easily as copying to and from a locally attached USB drive. Windows Explorer is the tool of choice for making the file transfers.

Both Windows Server and Windows PC can become WebDAV servers. The installation process is nearly identical. Thus, the installation instructions are not duplicated here. They are here.

The difference is how to install SSL security. Webdav can be installed without SSL support just by omitting the steps that document it.  Having no SSL means anyone with a little know-how and malevolence can eavesdrop on your connection and upload and download on their own if they feel like it.

If you are using Windows Server 2012 Essentials and plan to install Anywhere Access, then your security needs are already taken care of. You just need to install WebDAV. The Anywhere Access installation process provides the SSL security you need for a WebDav Server. You just need to install WebDAV.

If you’re using a version of Windows Server that doesn’t include Anywhere Access or you are using Windows Server 2012 Essentials and you don’t plan to install Anywhere Access (although I can’t imagine why you wouldn’t), then you first need to add a domain certificate before installing WebDav into IIS.

WebDav on Windows Server is sometimes a little fussy to start initially. Once you get it going, it works great and reliably and seems to fire up without incident thereafter. Troubleshooting hints are:

Reboot the server

Did you see Enable WebDav in the right panel? If not, it might not be enabled. Click the tree in the left IIS panel from the top down. On each step, if WebDAV Authoring is available in the center, select it. See if there is a notice that WebDAV is not enabled to the right.

Are your user’s properly defined within WebDAV?

Do your designated users have NTFS permission to the designated folder?

Are you naming the WebDAV folder in the HTTPS request? (ex: HTTPS://Your_URL.com/WebDAV folder)

Did you install the root certificate on the PC?

Is port forwarding on your router to your server configured correctly?

Is DDNS turned on?

Your Windows Server firewall is probably not the problem, although it doesn’t hurt to look. Port 443 inbound for HTTPS appears to be configured automatically.



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