When you want to copy files between two computers that are on the same local network, often you can simply "share" a drive or folder, and copy the files the same way you would copy files from one place to another on your own PC.

What if you want to copy files from one computer to another that is halfway around the world? You would probably use your Internet connection. However, for security reasons, it is very uncommon to share folders over the Internet. File transfers over the Internet use special techniques, of which one of the oldest and most widely-used is FTP. FTP, short for "File Transfer Protocol," can transfer files between any computers that have an Internet connection, and also works between computers using totally different operating systems.

Transferring files from a client computer to a server computer is called "uploading" and transferring from a server to a client is "downloading".



Requirements for using FTP

1. An FTP client like Auto FTP Manager installed on your computer
2. Certain information about the FTP server you want to connect to:
a. The FTP server address. This looks a lot like the addresses you type to browse web sites.
Example : Server address is "ftp.videodesk.net".
Sometimes the server address will be given as a numeric address, like "64.185.225.87".
b. A user name and password. Some FTP servers let you connect to them anonymously.
For anonymous connections, you do not need a user name and password.