How to Use the File Transfer Protocol (FTP) for File Sharing

How to Use the File Transfer Protocol (FTP) for File Sharing

File Transfer Protocol is in use for more than three decades now still, not all the computer users are aware of how to use the File Transfer Protocol for file sharing. Most of them even don’t know what FTP stands for. Well, in this article, you will gain a complete set of information on File Transfer Protocol.

FTP stands for File Transfer Protocol that is a set of rules for computers in a private network to communicate with each other. Generally, the File Transfer Protocol (FTP) is created to send large files within the network or the group. File sharing and storage made simple with the use of FTP.

What Makes FTP different from HTTP?

The FTP protocol is majorly used in the corporate environment to send large files fast and easy. FTP is used to transfer files between different computers on a network.
FTP is used for server location on a browser while HTTP is used to browse a website. HTTP (Hypertext Transfer Protocol) allows you to download a file while using FTP, you can copy-paste files from the server or computers. HTTP is not as robust as FTP file transfers.

How To Use an FTP Account?

FTP Accounts are set of user accounts with special permissions to access a particular FTP location. For example, Sample papers of a college are placed on an FTP server of the college. The college will provide a User name and Password along with a path to a secret location where these sample papers are stored. You can log in using your credentials and download the papers as per your convenience from any location.

Generally, most of the FTP servers are secured with a username and a password to establish a connection between the portal. However, there are servers that allow anonymous users without any username or password. They are meant to send big files or make them available for download.

File Transfer Protocol

Also Read: Best File Copy Utility Software For Windows

Basic FTP connection Practices

Login With Username and Password: These are secured servers that only allow users with a user account. This practice is more common on FTP platforms where users can upload or download files from the server.

Just the Username: Some of the FTP sites only demand a username to get on to the portal. However, with such setup, you can only download files but can’t upload anything on the FTP portal.

Anonymous Access: Anonymous access doesn’t require any credentials to access the FTP portal. That means without any username or password, you can access the FTP location and download files such as forms, files, software, media or anything.

“Please Note: If you are downloading a pirated movie from an Anonymous FTP server, it can be unsafe.”

Methods to Use an FTP Server

There are various methods to access an FTP server however, the most common methods are listed here.

Access Through A Web Browser: The most common method to access an FTP server is through the Web Browser. This doesn’t require any FTP client interface, and you can directly browse the FTP location in the address bar of a browser and directly download files from the server.

Using Command-line FTP: The next most common practice of using an FTP protocol is through the command line. Command-line is the most secure method to transfer or access files using FTP protocols. Almost every Operating System has FTP client’s functionality enabled in the command-line. It is a bit tricky but absolutely effective.

Using A GUI Enabled FTP Client: Since FTP file transfer is widely used, there are several easy-to-use third-party applications that allow users to establish a two-way connection and transfer files over the FTP connection. You can send big files to make them available for other users.

File Transfer Protocol - file sharing

Objectives of using an FTP Portal

Though, everybody has a different objective of using an FTP server however the major objectives behind the use of an FTP Portal are:

• As the name suggests, File Transfer Protocol (FTP) is majorly used for File Sharing.
• File sharing and storage made simple, now securely send large files fast with authenticity.
• Gain flexibility and promote file-sharing to share files, data, software, large media or send files.
• Build a trusted booth to transfer data more securely and efficiently over the FTP network.
• Host large files and share files online to access from anywhere around the world.
• Multi-user access at the same time over the FTP server to access & send big files.

Using Cloud Storage as an FTP Portal

File Sharing using Google Drive Shared Folder

Almost everyone has a Google account or a Microsoft Account. Now you can make use of your Google Shared Drive or Microsoft OneDrive as an FTP Protocol to send large files or share files online.

“Please Note: This is just an alternative to the FTP Protocol.”

• Login to your Google Shared Drive account.
• Click on the ‘New’ button on the top-left corner and create a folder to share files online.
• I named it as ‘FTP Folder’. Now right click on the ‘FTP Folder’ and click on the ‘Share’ option from the drop-down menu.

Google Share Drive Link

• You get an option to enter the email address to share files online with specific people or you can just create a short link of your Google Shared Drive and send it to people you want to share the folder.
• In this case, I have clicked on ‘Copy Link’ and created a short URL.

shorten link using

• Open and paste the link in the ‘shorten your link’ box and click on the ‘Shorten’ button.
• Once it displays the shortened link in the same box, click on the ‘copy’ button and you are good to go.
• Now you can share this link with people you want to share files online or send big files.
• You can upload any big file in this folder and share the link with someone to access it.

“Please Note: Instead of sharing URL to a user, if you enter his email address, he will need to login to his account to access the shared folder. This is a more secure way to share files online over Google Shared Drive.”

Summing Up

Here we have shared detailed information on file transfer protocol to send large files with the ease of access using FTP protocol. Now, you can send large files fast and easy as file sharing and storage made simple with FTP protocol.

If you want to gain more information on FTP file transfer, please drop us a comment and we shall help you with the best possible solutions around file transfer protocol to share files online. Please like and share this article with someone, who is willing to know more about file sharing using FTP protocol.

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