How to Use File Transfer Protocol

Level of difficulty: Intermediate

File Transfer Protocol or FTP is a Web-based tool that enables you to browse and transfer files to and from remote computers. These files are usually available for free download. When uploading files from your computer to another remote computer, you may be prompted to present necessary authorization before the file transfer completes. Failure to provide the username and password would terminate the created connection. The use of the FTP is widely utilized on information-based fields such as research and education.

Materials Needed:
- Computer
- Web browser supporting FTP
- FTP client program
Step 1
The most common FTP that almost everybody uses is anonymous FTP. To start using FTP in transferring files, you should inform the designated FTP server by logging in a username and a password. You may not be able to access secured FTP databases if you do not provide the required username and password.
Step 2
You can enable file protection by providing a password when sharing a file. The files shared using FTP can either be binary or ASCII. The ASCII or American Standard Code for Information Interchange is a collection of widely accepted letters and characters. The binary files transferrable by FTP include executable files, sounds, and images.
Step 3
Anonymous FTP also enables you to browse the shared files. Viewing these files is available by using Web browsers such as Microsoft Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, and Netscape.
Step 4
To view an FTP site, you need to type the specific FTP address of the designated file server. Instead of the common http://, the ftp:// is used for browsing FTP sites. FTP upload using a Web browser is normally difficult and the download procedure is unprotected.
Step 5
The anonymous FTP method allows you to download files even without engaging into any authentication procedures. The login name that you should enter in the username field is literally the word anonymous.
Step 6
You may also want to use FTP using a client program. The same login procedures apply. What makes this more convenient is that you can view the files as if you were using the Windows Explorer. The FTP view of the client categorizes the files under separate directories which resemble file folders.
Step 7
The FTP also enables file sharing with its upload and download features. To upload files, drag the files you need to share onto the appropriate folder. The download feature resembles copying files from a file directory.
Step 8
Remember to sign out your account after you use FTP to avoid unnecessary access to your FTP account.