File Transfer Protocol (FTP) is one way to get and transfer files between computers. The protocol is one of the oldest methods that is still used today; its early development started in 1971. It was developed as a mechanism for granting access to users so that they could access and use files on a specific system. An average internet user wouldn’t use FTP that often. As a website developer, however, it is instrumental.
In this article, we will learn all the basics about FTP and how to use the protocol.
What is FTP?
As stated above, FTP is a method to access and share files on the internet. The protocol is a way to communicate between computers on a TCP/IP network, the internet. It’s used by users who have access to transfer and receive files in the FTP server (also known as FTP host/site). The access control is essential to prevent an unauthorized person from getting those files.
Think about FTP like using Windows Explorer or a Finder on a laptop. With the help of such tools, the owner can get and move files – text, image or audio to a specific place in their drive.
As a website developer, FTP is often used to make changes to a website. Given the large number of files that need to be handled, it is more comfortable and secure to use FTP to manage them. For example, you can move a web template, add image files, upload specific files to build the website, etc.
How to use FTP
There are three approaches on how to establish an FTP connection. A very simple method is using a command line FTP, such as using Command prompt for Windows or Terminal in Mac/Linux. Developers still use it today for transferring files using FTP.
A user also can use a web browser to communicate to the FTP server. A web browser is more convenient when users want to access large directories in the server. Yet, it’s often less reliable and slower than using a dedicated FTP program.
Today, the most common practice to use FTP, especially for a web developer, is by using an FTP client.
An FTP client provides more freedom compared to the command line and web browser. It is also easier to manage and more powerful compared to the other methods.
There are also more features available whilst using such a client. For example, it allows users to transfer large files and use the synchronizing utility.
How to Connect to IntroNexus FTP
There are many FTP clients to choose from. From free open-source applications to premium options. For the purpose of this article, we will use FileZilla, an open-source and popular FTP client.
We will need an FTP server first, and we can set one up using our IntroNexus cPanel account.
1. Login to your IntroNexus cPanel account and navigate to the FTP accounts option.
2. Create a new FTP account by filling out a new log in option and password.
3. You will see a new server (Hostname) under the list of active FTP accounts.
4. In this case, I created example.intronexus.com on my account.
5. In FileZilla, insert the hostname, username, and password and hit the Quickconnect button. You can also fill the port number. Otherwise, port 21 is used by default.
6. The status window will tell you if you are logged in to the FTP server. As you can see in the Remote Site window, these are the files that the server has.
So there you have it, you can get and transfer files from an FTP server. As a web developer, you will need to use FTP with an FTP client to access the website that you are managing. Furthermore, it is easier to create and remove directories and read a large number of files on the server.
We hope this article helps you to understand the FTP as well as different methods and programs used.