Gore is Vice President of Praxis International, Inc.
Technical Training, Consulting, and Publishing since 1988
FTP to Upload to the Internet
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downloading files from the web is so easily done with a web browser such
as Microsoft Internet Explorer or Netscape Navigator, it is reasonable
to think uploading files would be just as easy. New web page authors
quickly find, however, that uploading and managing web files can be
hosting services often provide several ways to upload files to your web
site. For example, many web hosting services support Microsoft
FrontPage, a software program that enables you to create, manage, and
publish (upload) your web site. Other web hosts offer their own file
management systems. Virtually all web hosting services, however, support
FTP (File Transfer Protocol) uploading.
is one of the earliest Internet applications and was designed for
transferring files from one computer system to another computer system
on the Internet. Using FTP to download files from another computer
system to your computer system is very easy to do with your browser.
Simply enter the URL address of the FTP server in your browser window.
The browser then connects to the FTP server and you login. Many servers
support "anonymous" FTP, that is, you do not have to have an
account with the server to download files. To log in as "anonymous," use "anonymous"
as your ID and your e-mail address as your password. Once you are logged
on, you will see the server's current directory and list of files. To
download a file, you essentially just click on the file and save it to
disk. (Specific instructions depend upon your operating system and
an example, to log onto the AOL server, you would enter ftp://ftp.aol.com
in your browser window. To obtain US tax forms and information, you
would enter ftp://ftp.irs.gov. As you
may have guessed, the FTP server address for a web site is usually the
domain name with the "http://www" being replaced by
"ftp://ftp." You can log in to a specific directory and file
by entering the directory name and file name in your browser window like
this: ftp://ftp.irs.gov/directoryname/filename If you do not enter the
directory name and file name, you will be connected to the top-level
directory of the server.
FTP with your browser to upload files can be very complicated. A much
better option for uploading files is to use one of the many available
freeware and shareware FTP client programs available. Two of the most
popular FTP client programs are WS_FTP for windows and Fetch for the
Macintosh. You can use a web search engine to locate a source where you
can download these programs.
the Bigfoot (www.bigfoot.com)
search engine, I found I could download WS_FTP from http://download.cnet.com.
I chose WS_FTP because it is popular and because the reviews say it is
easy to use. WS_FTP can be downloaded as a free version for home and
educational use. For professional or corporate use, a version is
available for $39.95 that includes more features than the free version.
is simple and easy to install and use. After you connect to your ISP
(Internet Service Provider), run the WS_FTP program by double-clicking
on its icon. A dialog box will appear on your screen so that you can
enter FTP server information. The program comes pre-configured to
connect with over thirty servers, including AOL, Compaq, Microsoft, and
the like. You can use the pre-configuration settings as a guide to
configure a setting to connect to your web host server or to any other
connect to your web host server, you will need to enter your user ID and
password. You would probably enter ftp://firstname.lastname@example.org.
Once connected to the FTP server, the WS_FTP window will appear. Local
system (your computer) information will appear on the left side of the
window and remote system (the server) information will appear on the
right side of the window. For each side, you can change directories,
make directories, view files, and perform other functions. Uploading or
downloading files is a breeze. To upload a file from your computer to
the server, select a file from your computer and then click on the right
arrow in the center of the window. To download a file from the server to
your computer, select a file from the server window and then click on
the left arrow.
The Greg Gore Web Site on Computers and the Internet (www.GregGore.com)
column was published in the Daily Local News, West Chester, PA on May 2,
2001. Greg Gore can be reached at gg@GregGore.com.
2009 by Greg Gore. All rights reserved.