FTP or File Transfer Protocol is an integral part of hosting and maintaining a website. This article explains everything you need to know about FTP access, the FTP server, the FTP client, and setting up an FTP client to maintain your website.

What is FTP?

FTP is an acronym for File Transfer Protocol. It is a global standard or protocol for transferring files from one computer to another over the Internet. The most common FTP application is uploading web pages to your website. There are also many FTP sites that allow you to download applications, games, etc. from the Internet to the computer.

What is FTP access?

Typically, when you visit or browse a website, you send a request to the site server using another global standard protocol called HTTP or Hyper Text Transfer Protocol. You need FTP access when you upload the pages of your website to the server or when you want to access an FTP site. FTP access is nothing more than how you connect to any site using FTP to transfer files to or from your website.

FTP history

The first version of FTP was published in 1971, just before the birth of the Internet. In its early days, FTP allowed the transfer of files through the Network Control Protocol or NCP. Initially, FTP was designed for the transfer of large volumes of data or bulk data transfers. This FTP functionality is still valid on the Internet, where FTP is most commonly used for uploading and downloading web pages, songs, and software.

How to use FTP?

To use FTP to access a site, you need to install some FTP programs on your computer. This is called an FTP client. There are a number of free FTP client programs to use available online. Once downloaded, you’ll need to provide FTP login details, such as an FTP domain name, FTP username, and FTP password to access your site via FTP. This is usually provided to you by your web hosting company when you sign up for a web hosting account. Once configured with the correct information, the FTP client acts as an interface between you and the server and allows you to either download files from the server or upload files to the server using FTP.

What is an FTP server?

An FTP server is a server that has been configured for FTP access by users. In other words, any server that allows you to upload and / or download files using FTP is an FTP server. Typically, the address of an FTP server looks like: ftp.domainname.com. Most web hosting servers are FTP servers, and your web hosting provider will provide you with FTP details to access this server when you sign up for a web hosting package.

What are the benefits of FTP access?

When accessed via HTTP or Hyper Text Transfer, web pages are usually packaged and transmitted in as many small files. This ensures that parts of a page start loading on your device, even while other parts are still downloading. This in turn reduces the time a user should wait before a web page is completely downloaded. On the other hand, when you upload or download files using FTP, it is transmitted as a single request, resulting in a continuous transfer of data until the file is fully uploaded or downloaded. This speeds up the upload or download of individual files.

FTP access has become quite easy today. All you need for FTP access is your FTP address, username and password, and you’re ready to go.

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