What is FTP?

FTP is a way of downloading, uploading, and transferring files from one site to another on the Internet and across computer systems.

What is FTP, and how does it work?

Individuals and corporations can use FTP (File Transfer Protocol) to share electronic files with others without needing to be in the same room. This can be accomplished via an FTP client or the cloud. Regardless of the choice chosen, all participants will require an operating Internet connection or secure VPN connection.

Many people have utilized FTP without even knowing it. You’ve used FTP if you’ve downloaded a file from a website. Some public FTP servers may require you to sign in, but many won’t ask you to sign in because you can access them anonymously.

Most online browsers have FTP clients, allowing users to transfer files from their device to a server and vice versa. Some users prefer using a third-party FTP client because many include additional capabilities. FTP clients that are obtainable for free download include FileZilla Client and FTP Voyager

How do I transfer files using FTP?

FTP can be used to transfer files in a variety of ways. A command prompt, a browser, or an FTP client can all be used.

To connect to an FTP server from a command prompt (command line), use the “ftp” command, which is included in most operating systems. Once the connection is established, you can use FTP commands to get, upload, edit, or manage files on the server.

FTP can also be used to transmit files between computers when using a popular browser like Google Chrome or Microsoft Edge.

  1. In the address bar of your internet browser, type “ftp://” followed by the FTP server’s IP address or domain name. As in, “ftp://ftp.example.com.”
  2. Enter your FTP login details, such as a username and password, if prompted.
  3. When you connect to the FTP server, you will get a list of the server’s directories and files. 
  4. To download a file from the server, right-click it and choose “Save As” from the context menu. Choose where to save the file on your computer and click “Save.”
  5. To upload a file to the server, hit the “Upload” button and choose the file. Select a location to save the file on the server and click “Open.”

Is FTP still being used?

FTP, or file transfer protocol, was created in 1971. While FTP remains popular, with over 21 million FTP servers linked to the Internet today, numerous businesses are looking for FTP replacement alternatives to transfer information. FTP became a popular method for file transfers because it was easy, efficient, and dependable. However, it has severe shortcomings in terms of security, speed, and data integrity, encouraging the use of FTP substitutes for file transfers. 

The bottom line

While FTP has been the standard for many years, many are turning to alternative options that have improved security and speed when sharing files online. Still, FTP is used widely, and you have likely used it recently without even realizing it. 

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