Understanding FTP

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					Understanding FTP
FTP stands for File Transfer Protocol. FTP is used to make files and folders publicly
available for transfer over the Internet. In some cases, you will need to get permission
from the computer's administrator to log on and gain access to files on the computer. But
often you'll find that you can use FTP to gain access to certain networks or servers
without having either an account or by being an official password holder. These
anonymous FTP servers can contain a broad range of public information.

The Internet address (also known as a URL) for an FTP server looks slightly different
from the URL you use for a typical webpage. For example, Microsoft has an FTP server
at, where you can download files ranging from product fixes,
updated drivers, and utilities, to Microsoft Knowledge Base articles and other

How much access you have to files and folders on FTP servers depends on whether you
gain access to the servers through a proxy server or directly, and what kind of
permissions you have with the FTP server.

      Access through some proxy servers is limited to viewing or downloading files. In
       some cases, you cannot rename, upload, or delete files or folders. Check with
       your administrator to see whether you can bypass the proxy server or whether a
       full-service FTP proxy server is available.
      If you gain access to FTP sites directly, you can work with files and folders on the
       FTP servers much like you work with them on your own computer. You can view,
       download, upload, rename, and delete files and folders. If you need permission
       from the FTP server to perform any of these actions, you will be prompted to
       provide your user name and password.

To access FTP sites directly

   1. In the Internet Explorer Address bar, type the Internet address (URL) for the FTP
      site you want to connect to (for example, and then press
   2. The FTP site opens in the main Internet Explorer window. In this window, you
      can do one or more of the following:
          o To open a file or folder, click it.
          o To download a file or folder, right-click it, and then click Save Target As.
   3. If you have rights on the FTP site, you can also open the site in a Windows
      Explorer window. To open the site in this way, click the Page button, and then
      click Open FTP site in Windows Explorer. In the new window, do one of the
          o To download a file or folder, right-click it, and then click Copy to Folder.
          o To log on as a different user, click the File menu, and then click Login As.
           o   To rename or delete items in an FTP folder, or paste items into an FTP site
               (upload), use the same methods you use with Windows Explorer or My


       On some FTP sites, you can only view or download files. Only the people who
        run or own the site can rename, delete, or upload files. If you don't have
        appropriate rights, you will get an error message.
       On many FTP sites, you are automatically logged on anonymously, so you can
        view or download files. To upload, rename, or delete files, you may need to log
        on using a special user name and password. Also, different areas of the same site
        may require different logons.
       You cannot move files within or between FTP sites. You can move files from an
        FTP site to a temporary location on your computer or a network drive, and then
        upload them to another FTP site or different folder on the same site.
       Some programs allow you to open files from or save files to FTP servers by
        typing an FTP address when you open or save a file.

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