What is FTP and FTP Server? How to transfer files using FTP on Windows and Ubuntu OS?

What is FTP?

FTP, or File Transfer Protocol, is a standard protocol used for transferring files over the internet. It is a client-server protocol, which means that it requires two parties to communicate with each other: a client that initiates the transfer, and a server that receives the transfer.

FTP has been around since the early days of the internet and is still widely used today for various purposes, such as uploading website content, transferring large files between computers, and sharing files with others.

The FTP protocol works by establishing a connection between the client and the server, and then allowing the client to browse and transfer files from the server's file system. The client can use various commands to navigate the server's directory structure, download files from the server, upload files to the server, delete files on the server, and more.

One of the key advantages of FTP is its cross-platform compatibility. FTP clients and servers are available for virtually all operating systems, including Windows, Mac OS, Linux, and Unix. This makes it easy for users to transfer files between different types of computers and devices.

FTP also provides various security options, such as user authentication, encryption, and secure FTP (SFTP). These features ensure that only authorized users can access files on the server and that data is transmitted securely over the internet.

While FTP is still widely used, it is slowly being replaced by newer file transfer protocols such as SSH File Transfer Protocol (SFTP), which provides more advanced security features and improved performance. However, FTP remains a popular choice for many users due to its simplicity, ease of use, and wide availability.

What are FTP Servers and FTP Clients?

An FTP (File Transfer Protocol) server and an FTP client are two different software applications that work together to facilitate file transfers between two computers over the internet.

An FTP server is a software application that runs on a server computer and enables users to transfer files to and from the server. It accepts FTP connections from FTP client applications, allowing clients to browse, upload, and download files from the server's file system. An FTP server requires user authentication to access the files on the server and can be configured to provide various security features, such as encryption and secure FTP (SFTP).

FTP servers can be configured to operate in different modes, including anonymous access, which allows anyone to connect to the server without a password, or with restricted access that requires a valid username and password to connect. Additionally, FTP servers can be secured using various encryption technologies, such as SSL or TLS, to protect the data in transit.

An FTP client, on the other hand, is a software application that runs on a user's computer and is used to connect to an FTP server to transfer files. It provides a graphical interface that allows users to browse the server's directory structure, upload files from their computer to the server, and download files from the server to their computer.

An FTP client requires the server's hostname, username, and password to connect to the server and can also be configured to use various security features.

Together, an FTP server and an FTP client provide a powerful tool for transferring files over the internet. They are widely used in various industries and applications, such as uploading website content, sharing files with others, backing up data, and transferring large files between computers. While there are newer file transfer protocols available, FTP remains a popular choice for its simplicity, ease of use, and cross-platform compatibility.

Important Information for setting up FTP Server?

To set up an FTP server on your friend's PC, they need to install FTP server software on their computer. There are several FTP server software options available, including FileZilla Server, Cerberus FTP Server, and vsftpd.

Here's a brief overview of the steps your friend can take to set up an FTP server:

  1. Install FTP server software: Your friend should download and install an FTP server software of their choice on their PC. This software will allow their computer to act as an FTP server.

  2. Configure FTP server settings: After installation, your friend will need to configure the FTP server settings, such as the server port number, authentication settings, and directory structure. They can also set up user accounts with specific permissions to access files and folders on the server.

  3. Open FTP server port on the router: If your friend's PC is behind a router or firewall, they will need to configure the router to allow incoming traffic on the FTP server port. This is typically port 21 for standard FTP connections or port 22 for FTP over SSH connections.

  4. Test FTP server connection: Once the FTP server is set up and configured, your friend can test the FTP server connection by connecting to it using an FTP client software on their own computer. They can also share the FTP server address, username, and password with you so that you can connect to the server and upload or download files.

It's important to note that setting up an FTP server can be complex and may require some technical knowledge. Your friend may need to consult online tutorials or documentation for their specific FTP server software to ensure a successful setup. Additionally, it's recommended to secure the FTP server with encryption, such as SSL or TLS, to protect the data in transit.

How to set up an FTP server in Windows for transferring files?

Here are the step-by-step instructions on how to set up an FTP server in Windows 10:

  1. Open the Control Panel by clicking on the Start menu and typing "Control Panel" in the search bar. Click on "Control Panel" to open it.
  2. Click on "Programs" and then "Turn Windows features on or off".
  3. Scroll down and find "Internet Information Services (IIS)" and expand it.
  4. Expand "FTP Server" and then check the box "FTP Extensibility" and "FTP Service".
  5. Also, expand "Web Management Tools" and check the box "IIS Management Console" to be able to manage your FTP server using a graphical interface.
  6. Click on "OK" and wait for the installation to complete.
  7. Once the installation is complete, open the IIS Manager by typing "IIS Manager" in the search bar and clicking on it.
  8. In the IIS Manager, expand the server name and then click on "Sites".
  9. Right-click on "Sites" and select "Add FTP Site".
  10. In the "Add FTP Site" wizard, give your FTP site a name and specify the folder where your files will be stored. You can also choose whether to allow anonymous access or require user authentication. Click "Next".
  11. Specify the IP address and port number for your FTP site. You can use the default settings if you're not sure. Click "Next".
  12. Choose the SSL settings for your FTP site. If you're not using SSL, choose "No SSL". Click "Next".
  13. Specify the authentication settings for your FTP site. If you chose to require user authentication in step 10, you'll need to create an FTP user account. Click "Finish" to create the FTP site.
  14. You should now see your FTP site listed in the IIS Manager under "Sites". Right-click on it and select "Explore" to open the folder where your files will be stored.
  15. To connect to your FTP server, and transfer files, there are various methods explained below.

That's it! You should now be able to transfer files to and from your Windows 10 FTP server.

How to transfer files using FTP on Windows?

Method-1: By using File Explorer

Here are the step-by-step instructions on how to transfer files using FTP in Windows 10:

  1. Open the File Explorer by clicking on the folder icon in the taskbar or pressing the Windows key + E.
  2. Type the FTP server address in the address bar in the following format: "ftp://[username]:[password]@[server address]". Replace [username] and [password] with your FTP username and password, and replace [server address] with the address of your FTP server. For example, "ftp://john:password@ftp.example.com". OR type the FTP server address in the address bar. (For example, ftp://ftp.example.com or ftp://192.168.0.3) and enter your FTP username and password if prompted.
  3. Press Enter to connect to the FTP server. If you're prompted to trust the security certificate, click on "Yes" or "OK".
  4. Once you're connected to the FTP server, you'll see the files and folders stored on the server.
  5. To transfer files to the FTP server, simply drag and drop the files from your local computer to the FTP server window.
  6. To transfer files from the FTP server to your local computer, drag and drop the files from the FTP server window to a folder on your local computer.
  7. You can also use the "Upload" and "Download" buttons in the File Explorer ribbon to transfer files to and from the FTP server.

That's it! You should now be able to transfer files using FTP in Windows 10.

Method-2: By Using Windows Explorer

To transfer files using FTP from Windows Explorer, you can follow these steps:

  1. Click on the "This PC" icon and open it.
  2. Right-click on the blank space area and select "Add a network location".
  3. Select "Choose a custom network location" and click on the "Next" button. (If "connect to the internet" dialogue box opened, then cancel it).
  4. Provide your network address(For example, ftp://ftp.example.com or ftp://192.168.0.3) and click "Next".
  5. Uncheck the "log on anonymous" box and provide the user name of the FTP server.
  6. Type a name for the network location and click on the "Next" button.
  7. Finally, click on the "Finish" button.
  8. A network icon will be created under the "Network locations" tab on Windows Explorer.
  9. To connect to the FTP server, open this icon and provide the username and password of your FTP server.

That's it! You should now be able to transfer files using FTP in Windows 10.

Method-3: By using Command Prompt

To transfer files using FTP from the command prompt, you can follow these steps:

  1. Open the Command Prompt or Terminal on your computer.
  2. Type the FTP command followed by the FTP server's IP address or domain name. For example, ftp ftp.example.com or ftp 192.168.1.1.
  3. Enter your FTP username and password when prompted.
  4. Use the cd command to navigate to the directory on your local computer where the files are stored that you want to transfer.
  5. Use the lcd command to change to the directory on your local computer where the files are stored that you want to transfer. For example, lcd C:\Documents.
  6. Use the binary command to set the file transfer mode to binary mode, which is necessary for transferring non-text files such as images or programs.
  7. Use the put command to transfer a file from your local computer to the FTP server. For example, put file.txt.
  8. Use the get command to download a file from the FTP server to your local computer. For example, get file.txt.
  9. When you're finished transferring files, use the quit command to close the FTP connection.
    ftp ftp.example.com
    username: myusername
    password: mypassword
    ftp> cd public_html
    ftp> lcd C:\Documents
    ftp> binary
    ftp> put file.txt
    ftp> get test.pdf
    ftp> quit
    
    This would transfer the file "file.txt" from the "C:\Documents" directory on your local computer to the "public_html" directory on the FTP server at "ftp.example.com".

Here's an example of how you might use these commands to transfer a file:

How to transfer files on FTP by using the FileZilla software application in windows?

Setting up FileZilla Server:

  1. Download FileZilla Server from the official website and install it on your Windows computer.
  2. Launch FileZilla Server from the Start menu or by double-clicking the desktop icon.
  3. Click on the "Edit" menu and select "Users" to add a new FTP user account.
  4. Click on the "Add" button to add a new user.
  5. Enter a username and password for the user. You can also choose to restrict the user's access to certain folders if you want to. Click "OK" to save the user.
  6. Click on the "Edit" menu and select "Settings" to configure the server settings.
  7. Under the "General settings" tab, specify the IP address and port number for the server. You can also choose to allow or disallow anonymous connections and set the maximum number of simultaneous connections.
  8. Under the "Passive mode settings" tab, specify the range of ports to be used for passive mode connections.
  9. Under the "FTP over TLS settings" tab, choose whether to require FTP over TLS or allow plain FTP connections.
  10. Click "OK" to save the server settings.

Setting up FileZilla Client:

  1. Download and install FileZilla Client on your Windows computer from the official website.
  2. Launch FileZilla Client from the Start menu or by double-clicking the desktop icon.
  3. Click on the "File" menu and select "Site Manager" to add a new FTP site.
  4. Click on the "New Site" button to add a new site.
  5. Enter a name for the site and specify the host address, username, and password for the FTP user account you created in FileZilla Server. You can also choose to use FTP over TLS if it's required by the server. Click "OK" to save the site.
  6. Click on the "Connect" button to connect to the FTP server.

Transferring Files:

  1. Once you're connected to the FTP server, you'll see the files and folders stored on the server in the remote site pane on the right side of the FileZilla Client window.
  2. Navigate to the local folder on your Windows computer where you want to transfer the files in the local site pane on the left side of the FileZilla Client window.
  3. To upload files to the FTP server, select the files in the local site pane and drag and drop them to the remote site pane.
  4. To download files from the FTP server, select the files in the remote site pane and drag and drop them to the local site pane.
  5. You can also use the "Upload" and "Download" buttons in the FileZilla Client toolbar to transfer files to and from the FTP server.

That's it! You should now be able to transfer files on FTP by using FileZilla Server and FileZilla Client software in Windows.

How to set up an FTP Server in Ubuntu for transferring files?

  1. Update package lists: Open a terminal window and update the package lists using the following command:
    sudo apt update
    
  2. Install vsftpd: In the terminal window, install the vsftpd package using the following command:
    sudo apt install vsftpd
    
  3. Configure vsftpd: Once the installation is complete, open the vsftpd configuration file using a text editor. In the terminal window, enter the following command to open the configuration file:
    // Before editing the vsftpd.conf file copy the file in a different file and then modify it.
    
    sudo cp /etc/vsftpd.conf /etc/vsftpd_original.conf
    
    // Then type the following command to modify.
    
    sudo nano /etc/vsftpd.conf
    
  4. Change configuration settings: In the configuration file, you may change the settings according to your requirements. Here are a few essential settings that need to be changed:

    //Uncomment the following lines to allow local users to log in and upload files:
    
    local_enable=YES
    write_enable=YES
    
    //Uncomment the following line to allow anonymous users to download files:
    
    anonymous_enable=YES
    
    //Set the following line to NO to disable anonymous FTP:
    
    anonymous_enable=NO
    
    //Set the following line to YES to enable passive mode:
    
    pasv_enable=YES
    
    //Set the following line to the range of passive ports you wish to use:
    
    pasv_min_port=40000
    pasv_max_port=50000
    
    
  5. Save and close the configuration file: After making the necessary changes, save and close the configuration file by pressing Ctrl + X, then Y, and finally Enter.

  6. Allow FTP traffic from Firewall: To allow FTP traffic from the firewall in Ubuntu, you can use the following commands:
    // Run the following command to check UFW status:
    
    sudo ufw status
    
    // If the following output comes, means UFW is not installed.
    
    ufw: command not found
    
    // Then install UFW by running the following commands:
    
    sudo apt-get install ufw
    sudo ufw enable
    
    // To allow the FTP traffic run the following commands one by one.
    
    sudo ufw allow OpenSSH
    sudo ufw allow 20/tcp
    sudo ufw allow 21/tcp
    sudo ufw allow 990/tcp
    sudo ufw allow 40000:50000/tcp
    
    // After completed again run the following command to check the Firewall status.
    
    sudo ufw status
    
    // You will see the following message, then FTP traffic is allowed now.
    
    Status: active
    To                         Action From
    --                              ------ ----
    OpenSSH                    ALLOW Anywhere
    990/tcp                    ALLOW Anywhere
    20/tcp                     ALLOW Anywhere
    21/tcp                     ALLOW Anywhere
    40000:50000/tcp            ALLOW Anywhere
    OpenSSH (v6)               ALLOW Anywhere (v6)
    20/tcp (v6)                ALLOW Anywhere (v6)
    21/tcp (v6)                ALLOW Anywhere (v6)
    990/tcp (v6)               ALLOW Anywhere (v6)
    40000:50000/tcp (v6)       ALLOW Anywhere (v6)
  7. Restart vsftpd: In the terminal window, restart vsftpd to apply the changes by entering the following command:

    sudo systemctl restart vsftpd
    
  8.  Create a new user account: Create a new user account that will be used for FTP access. In the terminal window, enter the following command:
    sudo adduser ftpuser
    
  9. Set a password for the new user account: When prompted, set a password for the new user account.

  10. Create a directory for FTP files: Create a directory where FTP files will be stored. In the terminal window, enter the following command:

    sudo mkdir /home/ftpuser/ftp
    
  11. Set the ownership of the directory: Set the ownership of the directory to the new user using the following command:
    sudo chown ftpuser:ftpuser /home/ftpuser/ftp
    
  12. Allow FTP user to access the directory: Allow the FTP user to access the directory using the following command:
    sudo chmod 755 /home/ftpuser/ftp
    
  13. Test FTP server: Test the FTP server by connecting to it using an FTP client and uploading a file to the directory.

That's it! You have now successfully set up an FTP server in Ubuntu for transferring files.

How to transfer files on FTP in Ubuntu from FTP Client?

  1. Choose your FTP client: There are several FTP clients available for Ubuntu, including FileZilla, gFTP, and lftp. Choose the one that you prefer to use.

  2. Install FileZilla: If you haven't already installed FileZilla, you can do so by opening the terminal and running the following command:
    sudo apt-get install filezilla
    
  3. Open FileZilla: Once you have installed FileZilla, open it by clicking on the FileZilla icon in the Applications menu or by typing filezilla in the terminal.

  4. Connect to your FTP server: In your FTP client, connect to your FTP server by entering the hostname or IP address, username, and password. If you are using FileZilla, you can enter this information in the Quickconnect bar at the top of the screen.
  5. Navigate to the local file directory: Navigate to the local directory on your computer where the files you want to transfer are located. This is usually done by using the file explorer in your FTP client or by entering a local directory path in the client's command line.

  6. Navigate to the remote file directory: Navigate to the remote directory on the FTP server where you want to transfer the files. This is usually done by using the file explorer in your FTP client or by entering a remote directory path in the client's command line.

  7. Transfer files: To transfer files from your local computer to the FTP server, simply drag and drop them from the local directory to the remote directory. You can also use the transfer buttons in your FTP client to initiate the transfer.

  8. Monitor the transfer: Once you start the transfer, you can monitor its progress in the transfer queue or transfer log in your FTP client. Depending on the size of the files and the speed of your internet connection, the transfer may take some time to complete.

  9. Disconnect from the FTP server: Once the transfer is complete, disconnect from the FTP server in your FTP client to ensure the connection is closed.

That's it! You have now successfully transferred files using FTP in Ubuntu.

13/03/2023, 12:32 pm Read : 421 times