Using FTP Server: File Transfer channel you might not be conscious of

Common internet users are hardly aware of the thing like FTP Server though, to most of them, the word Web Server is not unacquainted. The history of FTP Server is older than that of Web Server. FTP stands for File Transfer Protocol. There are many PROTOCOLS to transmit web resources (text, image, video, animation, mail, web page, database etc.) through Internet by following Server-Client Model.

Among them, most common protocol is HTTP [Hypertext Transfer Protocol) through which website or webpage or web content is delivered to the client and responded to request from the client. Here Server is Web Server and Client is Browser or Device or User.

On the other hand, FTP (File Transfer Protocol) is used for transferring files between Server and Client Computer connected with internet. Here Server is FTP Server and Client is Web Browser or FTP Client Program and, in other word, User’s device. But unlike Web page, you can just download files via FTP but cannot see or interact with what is inside the files.

Using FTP Server focus image


However, here is our tutorial to clarify every probable question regarding FTP and its uses which every Internet user as well as web developer should be acquainted with. Let’s proceed through our Question-Answer model.

FTP Server and its background

QUESTION: What is the necessity of FTP Server though we can transfer file by website and Mail channel?

ANSWER: The history of data exchanging grew keeping pace with the history of Internet. If you connect your PC and Laptop with required cable making a LAN (Local Area Network), you can exchange files between these two devices. Now what would happen if you stretched your cable out hundreds of kilometers away connecting two PC’s located in two continents? Could you exchange files? The answer is ‘Yes’. You can do it by fulfilling required conditions. So is the picture of today’s Internet system in which each computer is linked with another simply with cable. But exchanging files between two devices such a way is uncommon, unusual and not up to the standard due to security issue and other reasons. However, for transferring data over internet, special techniques/methods/protocols had developed over time. Among them one of the oldest methods is FTP for transferring files. It was developed at the initial stage of Internet (since ARPANET period during. 1960s) long before HTTP or Webpage period (starts after 1989). It is actually fastest File Uploading and Downloading process by file name only and Website or Mail Service was never considered FTP’s alternative.

QUESTION: Are files transferred in form of site in FTP like Website? In other word, is there FTP site that stores files in FTP Server?

ANSWER: As a matter of fact, FTP Server is FTP Site. If you can collect Address and Log-in Credential from an FTP Server, you can use it to access to that server. Being accessed, you’ll find list of the files of the Directory you are allowed to access. From there you can Download any file or Upload something if permitted and necessary. Unlike Web Server, FTP does not allow to display files.

How to enter any FTP Server

QUESTION: Where do I find FTP Server address and Log in Credentials?

ANSWER: Nowadys, almost every website has FTP Service which they get by their Hosting Provider. So you can ask for Log in Credentials (Username, Password and others) to the administrator of your desired site to Download files from. If they send, you can reach that FTP Server or site by logging in. But first, you have to type the address in the browser’s address bar. What is the address? It is the site address used ftp in place of http. Suppose, a site’s URL is http://example.com. Its FTP address might be ftp://example.com or sftp://example.com.

Another potential FTP Server which most people like to download files from is the Server from your Internet Service Provider (ISP). You can acquire their Log in details just after you get connected with their network.

Having entered any FTP site, you see a list of downloadable files from where you can start fast and easy download without any hassle.
QUESTION: What is FTP Client? Is Browser essential to enter an FTP Server?

ANSWER: Actually two questions are complementary. Here comes the Server-Client Model in the scenario that I implied above. In HTTP, Server is Web Server and and Client is Browser. In FTP, Server is FTP Server and Client is FTP Client Programs like FileZilla, CoreFTP, CuteFTP, Cyberduck, FlashFXP etc.

FTP Server Filezilla client

Among them FileZilla is the most popular. Naturally any FTP Client program is the best medium to enter an FTP Server and run functionality comfortably with full privileges. But alternatively, you can access FTP Server through your Browser also. Hence Browser is an alternative FTP Client.

How to build up FTP Server

QUESTION: How can I own an FTP Server?

ANSWER: Here are the ways

  • You can build your own FTP Server by yourself at home with own PC.
  • You can purchase FTP Hosting package from renowned Server Companies and set up your FTP site.
  • If you have a website and you have Web Hosting account purchased; then your Server company will provide FTP Server access for your site by free FTP Account in Cpanel. Presently, almost every Web Hosting Company provide FTP service to their clients free of cost. Thus you can own one.

Contextually, check out our step-by-step guide on building FTP Server by following the link below

Hope friends, you enjoyed this post. This article is my efforts for an all-out-conception build-up about what FTP Server is; not a specialized discussion. Do you have any FTP Server or Do you usually download files through FTP Channel? Which Client Program do you use? You’re welcome if you share your experience by commenting.

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