Public Hosting (Web Hosting)

Public Hosting (Web Hosting) mode allows your site to operate as a public-facing web server, serving files via HTTPS without requiring login or requiring any specific API, protocol, or app.

Customers use Public Hosting (Web Hosting) mode for a wide variety of use cases, such as large scale distribution of files, hosting static websites, sharing files with China (which often blocks file sharing sites, like, or integrating with apps that require a direct HTTPS link to a file.

File Types Supported

Your folder in Public Hosting mode can serve any type of file and MIME type.These include html, xml, css, javascript, images, videos, music/sound files, pdfs, text files, and many more.

Public Hosting mode does not support any server-side scripting or databases, such as PHP, .NET, or JSP. If you would like to serve a website that has dynamic content, that is best accomplished using Javascript that retrieves data from an external source. This approach is called the JamStack approach.

Index Pages

You may enable Index Pages on your Public Hosted folders; when this option is enabled, folders inside your web server will show public indexes of their contents. This is very useful if your web site visitors don't always know the full path to files they need, or if you do not include an HTML document with a table of links to other files.

Password Protection

You may secure your Public Hosted folders with a single username and password, which is collected via HTTP Basic authentication. This looks like a popup dialog in the browser used by your visitors, and it also works with curl and other tools.

This password protection requires that you set a single username and password for the entire folder, which is used by everyone accessing the public URL. If you need to create multiple usernames and passwords, we recommend that you create these as full users on your site.

Your site's rules for Password restrictions are applied to public hosting passwords by default. Site administrators may disable this feature with the Apply password rules to shares, inboxes, and publicly served folders setting.

Custom Domains

Your site uses an entirely different domain for public hosting mode as a security measure. Public hosting mode enables the hosting of any content, including Javascript that could potentially execute in a web browser. Consequently, we need to isolate this Javascript away from your site's primary domain in order to avoid CSRF attacks. Because Public Hosting uses the separate [subdomain] domain rather than your account domain, your main site is protected.


Public Hosting does not record any logging for requests related to publicly served files. If you are interested in logging for Public Hosting, please let us know and we would be happy to track this as a feature request.

Other file operations that occur in publicly shared folders, such as operations by logged-in users or downloads via share links, are logged.

Enabling Public Hosting (Web Hosting) on your Site

Public Hosting is specific to a folder, which means you can access it through the folder settings. You must be a site administrator or have admin rights for the relevant folder.

When you activate Public Hosting (Web Hosting) mode for a folder, you can specify the URL in the Serve files and sub-folders publicly at the following URL setting. The value can be anything that does not contain reserved, unsafe, or excluded characters as defined by RFC 1738. Space characters are permissible and will be handled appropriately by most web browsers but will be encoded in the URL. The value must also be unique among your publicly served folders; you cannot save a value that duplicates another Public Hosting folder setting.

Strategies for choosing a URL value for your folder vary with the mission your new web server will fulfill. For example: if your folder's content is intended to be freely available to the public anywhere or is serving content embedded in one of your websites, you might choose a descriptive URL.

Alternatively, if your folder's content is intended to be publicly available but very difficult to find without specific communication from your team, you can take a "security by obscurity" approach with a URL that resembles a token, such as "sh4g7f3gf9xz39h-3hgtr4d" or any link that no one could reasonably guess without being provided the link directly.

Disabling Public Hosting (Web Hosting) on a Folder

A site administrator or a user with admin rights to a folder can disable the public hosting at any time. As soon as the setting is updated, your files will no longer be accessible at the previous URL.

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