What is FTP and how do I use it?

What is FTP?

FTP (File Transfer Protocol) is the simplest and fastest way to exchange files over the Internet. The most common use for FTP is to up/download files from the Internet and the ability to easily transfer files back-and-forth makes FTP essential for anyone creating or maintaining a website/webpage.

When up or downloading a file from the Internet you’re actually transferring the file to or from your computer's hard drive - to or from another computer's hard drive (usually a server) over the Internet. The server which is hosting the file that you want to download, or where you wish to upload, could be located anywhere in the world but since each server has a unique URL or Internet IP address, it's fairly easy to set up a connection as long as you know the connection address, unique UserID and Password.

To set up an FTP connection from your computer to the server, you will need to install a small FTP Client software onto your computer.  This makes uploads and downloads fast and easy.

What is an FTP Client?

An FTP Client is software that is designed to transfer files back-and-forth between two computers over the Internet. It needs to be installed on your computer and can only be used with a live connection to the Internet.The classic FTP Client look is a two-pane design. The pane on the left displays the files on your computer and the pane on the right displays the files on the remote computer. File transfers are as easy as dragging-and-dropping files from one pane to the other or by highlighting a file and clicking one of the direction arrows located between the panes. to get started you will need to choose, download and install an FTP Client - you can perform a Google search but we recommend File Zilla because it is so easy to use.

How to use FileZilla

The best way to learn is to use it!  Please consult the detailed FileZilla online help section which does offer an easy start up tutorial.

Is FileZilla secure?

FTP transfer can be conducted in both secure (SFTP) or normal (FTP) modes.  Normal FTP mode is suitable for most people and is easy to set up. SFTP is supported but requires a bit more set up knowledge. Please consult the detailed FileZilla online help section or the help section of your chosen FTP client for further information on which method to choose.

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