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FTP server - what is it and how to work with it

FTP server - what is it and how to work with it

Even those people who have used an FTP server at least once in their life to upload files are unlikely to be able to intelligently answer the question "FTP server - what is it?". Therefore, this article will attempt to give you a detailed review of what an FTP server is, why you need one, and how to set one up.


So, what is an FTP server? It's a server that uses the File Transfer Protocol (FTP), or FTP for short. This protocol was developed back in 1971, long before the appearance of HTTP. It involved the exchange of messages with a specific header between the server and the client. Since then it has changed beyond recognition - a lot of new commands have been introduced, a separate connection was established for the transfer of information.


If you have decided to buy ftp server, our specialists will be happy to install and configure an FTP server.

Very often FTP servers are confused with standard WEB servers using HTTP protocol. This happens because they have similar architecture and work according to "client-server" principle. However, the FTP server has its own characteristics:


  • The need for authentication.

  • The ability to perform various operations with the file system.

  • Uses a separate channel for each connection.

  • You can specify types of files transmitted via MIME headers.

  • Supports two data transmission modes: text and binary (binary).

  • Sessional mode of operation.

The main purpose of the FTP service is file transfer. Besides uploading files to and downloading them from the server itself, it is possible to execute a large number of various commands enabling control of the server's file system (creating and deleting directories, deleting files from the server, etc.). Using FTP has advantages, especially when administering sites - it is very convenient to manage resource files on a remote server via FTP. As a rule, this service is especially popular for uploading files to shared hosting.


How to use FTP server

To understand how to use an FTP server, it is necessary to return to its features. And the most important of them is the need for authentication to create a connection. In addition to the use of a standard "login - password" for each user, provides the ability to use anonymous connection, when as a login is used value "anonymous", and a password should serve (according to the developers) their email address. In reality, this address is not checked anywhere, so its authenticity is not obligatory.


From a security point of view, FTP connection has many vulnerabilities, because at the time of its creation, many types of attacks were not widespread. All information, including personal user data transmitted over FTP (passwords and logins) is transmitted unencrypted in plain text and can be read if the packets are intercepted by an attacker. FTPS extension (AUTH TLS command) is used to transfer data in encrypted form.

How to connect via FTP to a server

To connect to a server via FTP you can use a WEB browser or a special client, such as Total Comander or FileZilla. Almost any browser supports the ability to work with the FTP server, presenting its file system as web content. A user in this mode can only download the files he is interested in, the ability to change the file system will not be available.

Therefore, before you connect to FTP, it is better to install a file manager. In our example, we will use Total Commander. To create a new connection, you will need to enter the menu "Network", and there select the sub-item "Connect to FTP server". To quickly run this command, you can simultaneously press Ctrl and F. A window will open with a list of already visited FTP servers. If the desired server is not on the list, or if this is the first connection on this machine from this program, click "Add". Then you will need to enter the following information:


  • Connection name.

  • The address of the FTP server.

  • The type of connection - SSL/TLS.

  • The name of the account.

  • Password from the account.

  • Connection name can be anything, as long as it uniquely identifies the North.


FTP server address - what is it? It is a host name or IP address of the server. How do you know the FTP site? You can find it out from your provider (if you are trying to connect to a server on the host) or from the owner of the resource to which you connect. The connection type determines whether or not an anonymous connection will be used to connect to the server. Not all FTP services support this. SSL supports anonymous connection, TLS supports FTPS encrypted connection.


There is one more field that is not obligatory - remote directory name. It is worth entering if you need to get directly to the remote directory, bypassing all superior servers in the file system.


Attention! When you create a new connection, it is better to leave the "password" field empty. Total Commander saves unencrypted information entered during connection creation on local disk (C:\Users\<Username>AppData\Roaming\GHISLER\wcx_ftp.ini). If the "password" field is left blank, the password will be asked each time you try to connect via FTP to the server.


After a stable connection is established, the user can start downloading information from the remote computer (server).


FTP servers can be used:


To exchange personal data between any group of people (home servers with photos).

For the administration of commercial resources (uploading the file system of the site to the hosting).

If the amount of data is small and there is no need for continuous access to it, renting an FTP server is impractical. In the case of a commercial resource, the server must meet these requirements:


  • Stability of operation.

  • Fault tolerance.

  • Have a channel to connect to a wide bandwidth.

FTP server renting  in this case - the most suitable option, because for his work t continuously monitored by a team of experienced professionals. Choosing FTP hosting from RigWEB you get:


  • High-speed channel to connect to the FTP server.

  • Stability and reliability.

  • Disk space volume you define based on your own needs.

  • Experienced specialists in the support service.

  • Quick troubleshooting.

To connect to the FTP server located on the RigWEB hosting, use the following data:


  • Login - account name or login used to log in to the hosting control panel.

  • Server address - ftp.<domain name of the resource>. If the domain is not yet registered, you can use the IP address of the resource as the address (it can be found in the menu "account" in the control panel).

  • If there is an urgent need to create multiple FTP accounts in addition to the basic - please contact RigWEB support team. They will help you choose the best tariff, providing for the creation of additional FTP accounts.