File Transfer Protocol is a protocol used to transfer files over the Internet. For example when we download a file from Internet we are transferring the file from a remote computer to our own computer. Transferring files from a client computer to a remote computer is called as uploading and transferring from a remote computer to a client computer is called as downloading . A file transfer takes place in the following manner:
- A user executes the ftp command on his local computer, specifying the address of the remote computer as a parameter.
- An FTP process running on the user’s computer establishes a connection with an FTP process running on the remote computer.
- The user is then promoted for login name & password to ensure that the user is allowed to access the remote computer.
- After successful login, the desired file are downloaded using get command & uploaded using put command.
Commands to connect to remote machine
To connect the local machine to the remote machine the following command is used: ftp machine-name where machine-name is the full machine name of the remote machine, e.g. msdn.microsoft.com.
Also Read: List of Commonly Used Well-known Ports
If the name of the machine is unknown, the machine number can be used, ftp machine-number where machine-number is the IP address of the remote machine.
If the remote machine has been reached successfully, FTP asks for a login and password. After login and password is entered for the remote machine the user can access the data on the remote machine. The other commands are:
- USER R User name, userid for access control
- PASS O Password for access control
- ACCT O Account info
- CWD O Change working directory
- CDUP O Change to parent directory
- SMNT O Structure mount, mount a different file system
- QUIT R informs server that client wants to quit
- REIN O restart session
- PORT R Host addr and data port to use
- TYPE R Data type, type of subsequent transfers
- STRU R File structure
- MODE R Transfer mode
- RETR R Retrieve, download the file from server
- STOR R Store, upload the specified to server
When a user do not have login of a computer from which he wish to copy files from, the user can use anonymous FTP. When the remote machine asks for login, the user should type in the word anonymous. Instead of a password, the use should enter his own electronic mail address. This allows the remote site to keep records of the anonymous FTP requests.
An FTP Client is software designed to transfer files back-and-forth between two computers over the Internet. It needs to be installed on your computer and can only be used with a live connection to the Internet. Suppose you have created a website and you want to put your website on the Internet so that any user can see the contents of that website.
The contents of the site must be uploaded on the internet which is done using FTP. Cute-FTP is an example of FTP client software.
Here is the list of top 10 FTP softwares: