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File Transfer Protocol (FTP)

The Basics
FTP is a protocol used to transfer data over the Internet (as is HTTP and SMTP). It gets its name from its usage to move files between servers. If you need to move a large file or document, FTP is most certainly the way to go. FTP is a two-way protocol in that you can both send and receive files and control both processes.

How It Works
When you run an FTP program, you simply tell it which server to connect to and it does. Sometimes, you have to enter a specific login and password. Other times you can log in with anonymous and an e-mail address. Once you are logged in, you are presented with a directory structure that you have access to. You can navigate the directory structure and depending on the system, pull files off the server or put files on to the server (get and put). The files will then be copied from one location to the other (typically, from the server to your hard drive). It's analogous to copying files from one directory or folder on your computer to another, except that one of the folders could be on a server three thousand miles away.

What You Need
FTP requires a client on your machine that you use to connect to the server. Windows and Mac customers can use Web browsers such as Internet and Netscape Navigator to transfer files via the FTP protocol by simply typing ftp://'username' in the browser's address bar. Once the user has logged in with the password for the account, files can be easily transferred to the server with a simple drag and drop or copy and paste.

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$Date: 2004/11/11 23:53:43 $ $Time$ $