Unveiling FTP

By : Arundhati   Date : 20 Dec 2007
Standing for File Transfer Protocol (FTP) is a software standard used to send file to a web server. When we upload sites on a server, we use this protocol. It allows moving files between computers. In other words, it helps to upload files from a computer to a web server, and recover from a web server to a computer.
That was a simple introduction to FTP. Now let us unveil it further more. As already stated, FTP is used for transferring of files from one computer to another computer over a network connection. Moreover users on a larger intranet can also use FTP to transfer files between computers.
To unveil how a FTP works, you don’t have to dig into the technical details. To beseech files from another computer, a computer uses an FTP Client Software program and the file is moved without any further complications. The first computer is the “client” here and the second from which a file is requested is the “server”. To upload files, the same FTP client software program can be used. Moreover, FTP can also be used be used to download software and to transfer information between your office computer and the one at your home. And to add to that, transferring of files that are bigger for an email attachment is also possible through FTP, with just your account present on both the computers.
Diverse FTP programs are available now-a-days with a user friendly GUI interface, even though it started with a command line interface. Internet explorer also supports FTP for its user friendly interface and the best part is, it is free. When you are using FTP, it is always helpful if you know the URL or the IP address of the site that you want to connect. When you use FTP for connection, you use ftp:// in place of http:// and if you have your own domain name what need to be used is something like ftp://ftp.yourdomain.com/ into the address bar. And with this you are able to connect IE with and FTP site.
But for transferring of the file, a little bit of set up is needed. When you are connected with the web host through IE, open Windows Explorer and reach the place on the hard drive where you have saved the files that are to be transferred. Now reposition windows explorer and internet explorer side by side in two equal windows. And then just drag and drop or copy and paste the file that you want to transfer. Transferring of a file from your website to your computer is possible using the same process.
The number of FTP client programs is increasing everyday providing graphical user interface. Some of them are free with video tutorials and screen shots in many of them. Dreamweaver is already equipped with FTP and you don’t need FTP client programs if you are using Dreamweaver to design your site. Among the thousands of FTP client programs that are available, from Win SCP, SmartFTp to CuteFTP, the same basic steps are to be followed, i.e. create a connection with your FTP site and download or upload the required files.
Once you start unveiling FTP in its truest sense, you will know how it supports you in managing your site, and I feel I removed the first curtain….
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