How to Access a FTP Server

By Contributing Writer

File transfer protocol (FTP) is a popular way to transfer files between client and server computers. FTP uses the TCP/IP network protocol, and allows both downloading and uploading files from/to a server. A special type of FTP servers called anonymous FTP permits file transfers without designated user/password credentials.

Things You'll Need

  • FTP server name or IP address.User name/password on FTP server.

Step 1

In Windows Vista, click "Start," type "cmd" and press "Enter."In Windows XP, click "Start," then "Run." Then type "cmd" and press "Enter."The new window (shell) should appear.In Linux, right click on Desktop and select "open terminal" in pop-up menu. A new terminal (shell) should appear.

Step 2

In the shell, type "ftp < machine name >" or ftp " " and press "Enter" i.e.ftp ftp

Step 3

Type "< your username>" and press "Enter," then type " " and press "Enter" to access the server. Note: if you connect to an anonymous FTP server then type "anonymous" as a user name and give your email address as the password. The FTP command prompt ("ftp>") should appear.

Step 4

Type "quit," and press "Enter" to close the ftp connection.

Tips & Warnings

  • FTP does not encrypt data that are sent over.