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FTP, also known as the "File Transfer Protocol" is a network protocol used for transferring files from a local computer to a remote computer -- and from a remote computer to a local computer.
What Actually Is FTP
Most commonly, it is used to download and upload the content of web pages on the internet.
Generally, web pages are created on a local computer and then uploaded to your ISP's web server by using FTP. (This may sound complicated, but I’ll explain these terms in a minute).
FTP: Beginner Guide
All you need to know about FTP 🎬
FTP uses something called “TCP/IP” to transfer your files over the internet. It’s essentially the “language” of data transfer; the same way you might use Spanish to communicate with someone in Spain, and Russian in Russia, the internet uses TCP/IP to communicate what information is contained on a web page.
An FTP server - which is what you’ll need to upload files - uses either user-based password authentication or anonymous user access. In password-based FTP, you will require a username and password to connect to the FTP server, whereas anonymous FTP allows anyone to connect to the FTP server without a password.
There are two common ways to connect to an FTP server. You can either use a GUI FTP client or Command-line client to connect the FTP server. Some FTP clients are free, while some are commercial. There is a lot of free FTP client software available for all desktop operating systems, so I recommend just downloading a free FTP client and saving yourself some money.
In this tutorial, we will show you how to connect to the FTP server using several methods.
Access FTP Server from FTP Client
Let us begin 🏁
Follow These Steps 👞
FileZilla is one of the most used free FTP clients today. It is available for most operating systems including Windows, Linux and MacOS. You can download the FileZilla FTP client from the FileZilla download page.
After installing the FileZilla FTP client follow the below steps to connect to the FTP server.
1. Open the FileZilla Client as shown below:
2. Provide your FTP server information at the top of the screen as shown below:
Host : your FTP server IP address or hostname.
Username : your FTP server username. If your FTP server is anonymous then use can anonymous as a username.
Password : your FTP server password. Leave blank if your FTP server is anonymous.
Port : your FTP server port. By default, FTP using port 21.
3. Now, click on the Quickconnect button to connect to the FTP server. Once you are connected to the FTP server. You should see the following screen:
On the left side, you should see your local computer's folder and the right side, you should see the folder of your remote computer.
4. To upload the file from your local computer to the FTP server follow the below steps.
On the left pane, click on any directory to see the child directory and right-click on any file you want to upload on the FTP server as shown below:
Now, click on the Upload button to upload the selected file on the FTP server. You should see the uploading process in the following screen:
Once the file uploaded successfully, you should see your uploaded file on the FTP server in the right side windows as shown below:
5. To download the file from the FTP server to your local computer follow the below steps.
On the right side windows, right click on any file you want to download. You should see the following screen:
Now, click on the Download button to download the selected file to your local computer. You should see the following screen:
Access FTP Server from Windows File Explorer
Different path 🛣️
Without FTP Client ⚙️
If you want to access the FTP server from the Windows system. Then you don't need to install any FTP client on your system. You can access the FTP server from the Windows file explorer.
To access the FTP server from Windows file explorer follow the below steps.
1. Click on the This PC in the left side, Right-click in the right pane and click on the Add a network location. You should see the following page:
2. Click on the Next button. You should see the following page:
3. Select "Choose a custom network location" and click on the Next button. You should see the following page:
4. Type your FTP server address and click on the Next button. You should see the following page:
5. Type your network location name and click on the Next button. You should see the following page:
6. Click on the Finish button to open the network location as shown below:
7. Provide your FTP server username, password and click on the Log On button. Once you are connected to the FTP server successfully, you should see the following page:
Now, your FTP site will appear under the "Network location" in This PC. You can download and upload files by copying them to and from this Network location folder.
How To Use a FTP Server From Your Web Browser
Answer: Easily 😎
Easiest way to connect 🕶️
The easiest way to connect to you FTP server is via a web browser. You don't need any FTP client; it works directly from the browser.
To access the FTP server using the web browser follow the below steps:
1. Open your web browser and type your FTP server address as shown below:
2. You will be prompted to provide your FTP server username and password as shown below:
Provide your username, password and click on the Sign In button to access the FTP server as shown below:
3. Click on any file you want to download from the FTP server to your local computer.
Access FTP Server from Command Line
The Only Option Left 🌗
Command Line Access 🧰
To access the FTP server from the command-line follow the below steps.
1. Open your command-line terminal window.
2. Run the following command to connect to your FTP server. You will be prompt to provide the FTP server username and password. Once you are connected to the FTP server, you should see the following screen:
ftp your-ftp-server-ip or ftp-server-hostname
3. Now, type ls command and hit Enter to see a list of all files and directories on the FTP server as shown below:
4. To upload a file from your local computer to the FTP server, run the following command:
ftp> put /your-local-computer-file-path
For example, run the following command to upload test.zip file to the FTP server:
ftp> put test.zip
Once the file is uploaded successfully, you should get the following output:
5. To download a file name hitesh.zip from the FTP server to the local computer, run the following command:
ftp> get hitesh.zip
Once the file is downloaded successfully, you should get the following output:
You can disconnect from the FTP server using the following command:
Before you go 🌅
That’s it! You now know how to connect to the FTP server using several methods. I hope you’ve enjoyed this tutorial on downloading and uploading files from an FTP server.
If you’re still not sure what to do, or stuck at any of these steps, just shoot me an email and I’ll help you through the process. Cheers. 🙂