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FTP software and server

What is FTP software?

FTP (File Transfer Protocol) is a standard internet protocol used, as the name suggests, to transfer files between computers. FTP software uses a client server model so it requires two parts, an FTP client and an FTP server. Popular applications for FTP are to upload or download files for archival or the sharing of files too large for email. In most instances, today, FTP's function is actually served by SFTP servers and SSH clients. SFTP is similar to FTP with the exception that all traffic, including passwords, commands and data, are encrypted to prevent eavesdropping during transmission.

How do I use FTP?

Historically, FTP has been a popular means of moving large files between systems or between desktops and systems. FTP is also a common means of sharing a file that is too large for an email attachment by uploading it to a neutral location for access by other systems, software or individuals. Developed in a time simpler time,  this limited protocol does not provide the security or file management features that are often now required for the exchange of business data. SFTP (Secure File Transfer Protocol) arose to provide these features by combining enhanced FTP with SSH. To communicate with an SFTP server, you need a client that supports SSH.

How do I find my FTP server?

Try using the Windows command line FTP client to establish a connection to the FTP server.

  • Select START | RUN.
  • Enter "cmd" and select OK.
  • Type "ftp hostname" at the prompt, where hostname is the hostname you wish to test, for example: ftp
  • Press enter.


Suggested Video

List of FTP packages

An incredible tool for web design and transferring./compiaring files

Note from author: For webdevelopment and for both copying and comparing files, I have found this tool invaluable: