What you’ve read or heard, but still don’t know what is FTP ? Broadly, it is a way of transferring files online. You may now be thinking in the sites that you visit in your browser as “the internet”, but your web browser only uses one protocol: HTTP. If you didn’t know, there are many other protocols that, collectively, make up the internet. IMAP and POP, for example, are two protocols that email clients use to send and receive messages. XMPP is a protocol used to send and receive instant messages. And also is DNS, the protocol used to translate domain names into IP addresses.
FTP is another protocol of this type, and it comes to mean “file transfer Protocol” (“File Transfer Protocol”). It is one of the protocols most ancient in use today, and is a convenient way to move files. An FTP server provides access to a directory with subdirectories. Users connect to these servers with a FTP client, a piece of software that allows them to download files from the server, as well as upload files in it.
Many Internet users will never need to use FTP, but if you’re creating a web site, it will be an essential tool in the web, and as such, it is worth to know what it is, even if you’re not a developer. We tell you then everything that the average user of the Internet you need to know about FTP and how to use it.
What is FTP?
FTP is a very useful tool to move information from the computer on which you are working at the server where is hosted a web site. If you want to install WordPress on a web server, for example, you will need to FTP to copy the files.
It is also used occasionally to share files. A person can upload a file to a FTP server and then share a link with another person. This type of use has become less common in the era of cloud services easy-to-use, but some people still prefer to keep their files hosted on a home server and use FTP to enable it.
What do you think the FTP?
Although it depends on the client you use to manage the files, essentially it will look like the other files on your computer. There is a hierarchical folder structure, which you can explore in a similar way as you would in Windows Explorer or Finder.
You can have an idea of this by browsing on a public FTP server. For example, Adobe offers downloads of all their software via FTP, for customers who have software like Photoshop with a valid product key but do not have your installation CD. Browsers like Chrome and Firefox also support the browsing of FTP servers (but not the loading of files).
On Reddit, r/opendirectories is an entire community dedicated to sharing FTP servers for public access. However, many of these directories are filled with pirated content, pornography, or a mixture of both.
Use FTP to download files this way is relatively rare. For the most part, FTP is used to upload files from your computer to a server on which you are working.
What is secure FTP?
Not by design. FTP dates back to 1971, long before cybersecurity was a lot more than a field hypothetical. This means that the FTP transfers are not encrypted, so that it is relatively easy to intercept files by any person moderately knowledgeable.
For this reason, many people use FTPS. Basically, it works the same way as FTP, but it encrypts everything, which means that prying eyes will not be able to read any file, even though the intercept. At this point, many servers refuse to provide access, not encryption, and in its place, they offer only FTPS.
What FTP clients are the best?
FileZilla and CyberDuck are two of our customers favorite FTP, and we can recommend them with entire safety. Have all the functions and have existed for years, that have established user interfaces and tools refined to make your process of FTP transfer is fast and easy.
How can I setup my own FTP server?
The short answer is yes. Windows users can download and run the server FileZilla. Mac users, for their part, do not need any third party software. Simply, go to Sharing in system Preferences, then enable Remote Session. This will enable a server FTPS on your Mac, which gives you a safe way to explore your computer and capture files with any FTP client.
However, you will need an FTP client installed in another computer to browse your files. Just use the IP address for the computer that you previously configured as a server.
To access files from outside your home network, you’ll need to set up port forwarding in your router. And if you plan to make a FTP server is accessible online, it will be a good idea to lock it with a good encryption.
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