September 30, 2020
4 min read
FTP (File Transfer Protocol)
File Transfer Protocol (FTP) is a protocol used to transfer files between computers in a network.
It establishes a connection between a client and a server secured by login details, which consist of a server address, username, and password.
FTP uses the transmission control protocol/internet protocol (TCP/IP) to move files between computers, or between a computer and a server.
FTP can be used to both upload and download files. Uploading is the process of transferring files from a local computer to another server, while downloading involves retrieving data from a server and storing it at a local computer.
Once you set up an FTP program, you’ll need your FTP details. These consist of a server address, username, and password. If you’re hosting the server, these logins can be found from your hosting dashboard.
FTP offers two modes of data transfer: ASCI and binary transfer.
ASCI transfer is used to transfer text-based files such as HTML documents and PHP scripts.
Meanwhile, the binary transfer is better suited for moving bigger files such as images, applications, web pages, and compressed .zip or .rar files.
Most FTP clients can tell the difference between the two, and change the transfer mode automatically based on the type of file being transferred. However, binary is often used as the default mode since this method works for both types.
The easiest way to use FTP is through an FTP client, with software that offers a quick and easy way of transferring files. It allows you to access the files on the server remotely from a local computer and make the required changes.
Here are some of the reasons to use an FTP client to transfer files:
Keep in mind that the software also comes with several disadvantages:
Even though it has a simple and intuitive dashboard, transferring files through this tool can be quite tricky for beginners. Here’s a step-by-step tutorial on how to utilize an FTP client:
Choose an FTP client and download the installer. Follow the instructions provided by the install wizard.
Once you have an FTP client set up, configure a connection between your computer and the desired web server.
As mentioned earlier, you need to collect the following FTP details to set up a connection:
If you can’t find FTP details, look around the FTP connections section in your control panel, or ask your hosting provider for assistance.
After your FTP client is connected to the desired server, you should be able to see the directory of the FTP server. It usually consists of a local site and a remote site section.
The local section consists of files stored on the computer where the client is installed, while the remote section is the server the computer is connected to. You can now navigate around these servers to upload and download files easily.