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FTP stands for File Transfer Protocol. It is an application that allows you to transfer files to and from FTP servers. In other words FTP is a means to transfer a file, image, sound or video to and from FTP servers. With a click of a button you can easily download or upload files from your computer hard disk to your website or any other FTP server.

File Transfer Protocol makes transferring files easy, as it provides a user friendly interface where the users can drag and drop files from one computer to another, from one’s computer to the FTP host with a click of a mouse button.

FTP is a powerful application that offers secure, reliable and an efficient way of transferring files. In order to connect to another server the user have to fill in the “User ID” and password before being granted access to the FTP host. This ensures that you are a legitimate user and therefore can transfer files to and from one computer to another.

Some FTP hosts allow the user to log in anonymously. Once a connection has been established with the other server, a complete list of files appears on the right hand side of the screen. On the left hand side, the files on your computer can be seen. Now you can locate any file you want to transfer by dragging from one side to another. Besides transferring from one computer to the FTP host, the user can also delete and rename a file or a folder.

It is a handy application for webmasters. FTP is widely used for website publishing and maintenance. FTP can be used for uploading and downloading of images, documents, music and movies. You can share important data in a secure and reliable manner with friends and colleagues. You can also make a back up of local or remote files.

It is quite usual that everybody wants to share their digital things be it an image to be seen by a friend, a video to be appreciated or some data file of the home assignment you did. If we talk about sharing across two machines, there are some set of rules which both of the machines should follow to successfully communicate to each other. These set of rules are called Protocols. By successfully communicate means the same data is to be received as it is sent from the sender side. There should not be any loss or distortion in between.

There are various protocols for sharing, based upon the type of files, the type of connection (high speed/low speed), the type of network (Wi-Fi/3G/GPRS etc) or the type of application you are using. To share the material (off course, digital things like data/images/videos etc) within a local area, there is a protocol named as File Transfer Protocol (FTP). Two or more machines can easily communicate with this simple protocol. The sharing may be one to one, many to many, open to all or password protected. In password protected method, the user has to input the username and password as set by the server. Server is the main computer or the terminal which is serving one or more number of clients.


Here are the steps to be followed to access an FTP connection to transfer a file:

1. Enter the ip address of the server in the browser address bar. Ex. ftp://10.23.12.9
Note: Since we are using FTP protocol, we embedded FTP in front of the ip address while in general while accessing Internet, we use Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP), so we write http in front of ip address or the website name. That website name is actually translated into an ip address of the site we are looking for.
2. After entering ip address, you will be asked for username and password to login if this is a secure login type FTP.
3. After logging in, you will reach to a shared folder, embedded into the webpage seeing a number of files as located in the shared folder of the server.
4. Among those files, you can copy any file to your system and you can even copy a file from your system to the server shared folder.
Here by file, I mean any type of data, document, image or video etc.
5. If the server is shared among a number of users, you can see all the clients in the ftp and you can share or copy files from there also if you have the authentication or password.

With the technology growing up along with, some very user-friendly Graphical User Interface (GUI) are developed for users to use ftp protocol easily and effectively. Even though it is a very simple and effective protocol, with the wide use of http (wherein we can embed almost every digital document today), it is no longer in large use. Even then, it is used in Universities or Offices where the data is to be accessed by every student or employee is put-up on the ftp server and everybody can access it. One more benefit is that there is no need of Internet connection for ftp because it is a Local Area Networks protocol.

With increasing number of GUI applications and extensive usage of Internet in every field now-a-days, ftp protocol is no longer a widely used protocol today like a video conferencing service or related software.




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