The letters FTP stand for File Transfer Protocol, and that’s exactly what FTP allows you to do – transfer files from place to place.

The most common use for FTP is to download files from the Internet to ftp servers. When downloading a file from the Internet you’re actually transferring the file to your computer from another computer over the Internet.

Most often, a computer with an FTP address is dedicated to receive an FTP connection. Just as a computer that is setup to host Web pages is referred to as a Web server or Website, a computer dedicated to receiving an FTP connection is referred to as an FTP server or FTP site.

The virtual ‘key’ to get into an FTP site is the UserID and Password. If the creator of the FTP site is willing to give everyone access to the files, the UserID is ‘anonymous’ and the Password is your e-mail address (e.g. If the FTP site is not public, there will be a unique UserID and Password for each person who is granted access.

When connecting to an FTP site that allows anonymous logins, you’re frequently not prompted for a name and password. Hence, when downloading from the Internet, you most likely are using an anonymous FTP login and you don’t even know it.

To make an FTP connection you can use a standard Web browser (Internet Explorer, Firefox, etc.) or a dedicated FTP software program, referred to as an FTP ‘Client’.

Today many people use a sophisticated FTP client to get files to and from their web sites. You just launch the program, enter some basic information (such as the site address, account name and password) and connect. Once connected, you can usually just drag and drop files from your own hard drive to the site.

Our preferred solution for FTP transfers is CuteFTP. This software boasts with a lot of added functionality and is one of the most advanced yet easy to use ftp software.

Check out CuteFTP here!

CuteFTP Guide is a blog about FTP in general and how to get the most out of your CuteFTP software.