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Knowledgebase
What is FTP and how do I use it?
Posted on 24 October 2003 07:05 PM
FTP (File Transfer Protocol)

FTP, a standard protocol, is the simplest way to exchange files between computers on the Internet. Like the Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) that transfers displayable web pages and related files, and the Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP) that transfers email, FTP is an application protocol that uses the Internet's TCP/IP protocols. FTP is commonly used to transfer web page files from their creator to the computer that serves the pages to everyone on the Internet. It's also commonly used to download programs and other files to your computer from other servers.

As a user, you can use FTP with a simple command line interface (for example, from the Windows MS-DOS Prompt window) or with a commercial program that offers a graphical user interface. Your web browser can also make FTP requests to download programs you select from a web page. Using FTP, you can also update (delete, rename, move, and copy) files on a server that you have logged on to.

FTP is usually provided as part of a suite of programs that come with TCP/IP.

Selected Links

Among FTP programs with a graphical user interface that you can download from the web are:

Regardless of what FTP client you use, there are a few things you will need to know:

  • Your UserName: Refer to your Activation Letter that was emailed for this information.

  • Your Password: Refer to your Activation Letter that was emailed for this information.

  • The Host Address: Usually ftp.yourdomain.tld (replace yourdomain.tld with your own domain name)

  • FTP settings should be set to utilize PASV or Passive transfer mode depending upon your FTP client.

  • If behind a firewall you may need to enable the "Use firewall" setting in your FTP program as well.
Note: FutureQuest recommends using SFTP (Port 22) instead of FTP (Port 21) as it provides security that plain FTP does not provide. The option to choose SFTP instead of FTP is available in many current file transfer programs including the ones listed above. Consult the product documentation for more information.