Brian Cryer's Web Resources


File Transfer Protocol. A popular protocol used for transferring files across networks.

FTP can be used to transfer files from an FTP client (i.e. the software that runs locally on a computer) and an FTP server. An FTP server accepts connections from FTP clients. FTP servers require clients to authenticate using a simple username and password. However many FTP servers allow what is known as anonymous access, whereby users do not need to identify themselves (and enter "anonymous" as their username).

Almost all operating systems come with at least a simple FTP client. For example Windows provides a command line FTP client, which can be used to transfer files to and from an FTP server. With a traditional FTP client individual commands are issued to list files, upload or download individual files (see FTP command list in the relevant links below). There are also many GUI applications which provide a more intuitive interface and allow files to be copied without knowledge of the individual FTP commands.

FTP uses port 21 (command) and port 20 (data), unless it is operating in passive mode (see PASV).


For more information see: