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File Transfer Protocol (FTP) Help

File Transfer Protocol (FTP)

FTP allows you to upload and download files directly from one computer to another. You can access FTP sites by two different methods: either directly through your web browser, or using an FTP application (such as Winsock FTP). Both methods require a logon procedure. Some FTP sites allow anonymous login and allow you to enter your email address as a password. Other FTP sites also allow anonymous login but require a special password (such as "guest", "visitor", or other password.) Still other sites have restricted login and passwords limited to specific people or groups.

If your browser supports FTP transfers you may be able to logon to an FTP server anonymously and access the available files. If your browser does not support FTP, then you must access the FTP site using an FTP application (FTP Software.)

To use the FTP sites listed on the web, click on the desired listing. If the access fails, you may need to connect to the site using FTP software. (This usually occurs when anonymous login requires that you enter your email address or other password, or your web browser is not configured correctly for FTP.) To connect to a FTP site using Winsock FTP or other software, copy the FTP address from the listing. Create a new entry for your FTP software using the domain address (, not

Accessing FTP Sites

File Transfer Protocol (FTP) allows you to send and receive files from one computer to another. Depending on the level of access you are allowed after logging on, FTP software allows you to create, delete, or rename files and directories. FTP works like a file manager and you may think of the remote computer as simply another drive of your own system.

You need FTP software to fully access FTP servers. Web browsers will allow you to download files by FTP, but you can not upload files or create or rename directories. The most popular FTP client software is Winsock FTP. This is available on your Special Services menu.

The FTP software will probably come with some FTP sites already loaded in the bookmarks. You may want to visit some of these sites to see how they work. You may also want to note how the bookmarks are setup with the appropriate information for accessing and logging on to an FTP server.

To log on to one of the bookmarked sites using FTP, select the site, and press "Connect." You will see the message screen display the progress of the connect and login procedure. If the FTP site allows anonymous logins, that is anyone may access the site, the password will usually be "guest" or possibly your email address. If you attempt to log in to an FTP site using this login and password and are not permitted access, the system may be restricted to authorized users only. Once connected, you may browse the remote computer's files and directories. You will usually have access to only a portion of the remote computer's resources. In other words, there will only be certain directories and files to which you will have access. Additionally, you may only be allowed to download files from selected directories, and upload files to other selected directories. Most anonymous FTP sites allow downloading only. Systems to which you have special access may allow you to create, delete, and rename files and directories.

Let's say you are given an FTP site and a file name you wish to download. Using Winsock FTP, select NEW/CREATE. Enter the name of the site in the NAME box. Then enter the FTP address in the ADDRESS box. If the address is in URL form, for example, do not include the "ftp://" portion of the URL. Use only the "" portion of the address. Next, if the site allows anonymous login, select the ANONYMOUS checkbox. Finally, press "Save" to save the bookmark. You may now press "Connect" to connect and login to the FTP site.

File Transfer Protocol (FTP)

Once you are logged in, you can navigate the remote computer's directories to locate the desired file. The remote computer's files are listed in the right window, and your computer's directories are listed in the left window. To download the file, first select the directory on your computer to which you want to download the file. You may have to double click on the dots (..) at the top of the directory listing to go to the next higher directory. Next, highlight the desired file and press the left-arrow button between the directory displays to begin the transfer. A window will display the progress of the transfer, and the message window at the bottom of the screen will let you know when the transfer is complete.

File Transfer Protocol (FTP)

To send a file from your computer to another computer using FTP, connect and login to the remote computer. Locate the directory and file on your computer, then locate the directory on the remote computer to which you wish to send the file. Highlight the filename and press the right-arrow button to begin the transfer. A window will display the progress of the transfer and inform you when the transfer is complete.

You may send or receive multiple files by marking the desired files and pressing the arrow buttons. Press and hold the Control key to select multiple files to transfer in this manner.

WWW Virtual Library of Logistics
Ver 4, Sep, 1999, Matthew D. Cox,
Sponsored by LogisticsWorld.
Copyright 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999 MDC, All rights reserved.