What is it and what is it for?
For many this may be something unknown, for others it may mean something more than that or a program to upload files, but we are going to see in detail what an FTP is and what it does exactly. In computing, FTP is the acronym for File Transfer Protocol In other words, it is a communication method that allows uploading and downloading files to or from a computer or server to another client, regardless of the system. operating system they use.
Connections through FTP are designed to be fast, thus maximizing the amount of information, however it is not secure since the keys used to establish connection are handled as plain text. To counteract this type of vulnerability, SCP and SFTP programs are often used to encrypt the content of these connections and prevent third parties from accessing the information.
On the other hand, FTPs are very useful for transferring large amounts of data at good speed without the need to use removable devices such as compact discs, USB sticks, etc., but directly through the network. FTPs are used to share information on editorial, visual and audiovisual work, areas in which larger files are usually handled remotely, such as uploading information to the internet.
What is an FTP client?
An FTP client is a program that, installed on the computer of a user or person, allows connection to a server through the file transfer protocol. Once we have entered the FTP server, user and assigned password, we can establish a connection with the server and exchange files with it.
What is an FTP server?
An FTP server is a program designed to run on a computer connected to the network and whose function is to be the provider of files for other computers, allowing access by other computers to upload and download files. Like a Hosting that allows users access (through an FTP client) to their folders and that they can upload and download files from their account.
The difference between an FTP client and an FTP server is that the same server can serve several clients, since it is the central node for the transfer of information.
How to create an FTP account?
When we hire a Hosting, most of them usually come with a service administrator such as Cpanel or Plesk. When accessing Cpanel we will find several icons which fulfill a function depending on the management that we are going to carry out. Once inside we look for the option or icon “FTP Accounts", then it will ask us for a user, a password, the directory to which we are going to access, and in some cases the size of the account. Otherwise we can also use the user and password data that come by default, which are generally the same access data to Cpanel.
How to transfer the files?
This is a very common question, especially if you have no idea how to use an FTP account. However, this is very simple and has no science. There are several programs that can be used to transfer files using the transfer protocol. The most common is FileZilla, however there are other programs that can be used such as WinSCP, CyberDuck, FireFTP, FreshFTP, among others.
Assuming that we are going to use FileZilla, the first thing to do is install it if we do not have it on our computer or PC. We access the FileZilla page and download the client version which is the one we require to upload files. Once installed in the upper part, it will ask us for some access data.
Server: This data is given to us by our Hosting provider, it can be an IP address, our domain or subdomain. Usually the server starts with “ftp. (Domainname.com)" depending on the extension.
Username: It can be the one created in the FTP account or the same username to access Cpanel if it is by default.
Password: The password is the one entered when creating the FTP account or, failing that, the same access password to Cpanel.
Port: The default port is 21, however it is not necessary or mandatory to enter one.
Once the data has been entered correctly, the system will establish a fast and secure connection. Now to transfer files you have to go to the folder where the files and data that we are going to upload or transfer from the computer or PC were saved and open it (upper left) In the lower left we will find the files to transfer, which we must drag to the folder to receive (lower right) either website, or any type of file that is on the web. If the process was successful, the program will show a message confirming the transfer.
As we have seen, using an FTP account has many advantages when it comes to transferring files whether they are larger or remotely and in most cases uploading a website.