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Explanation of FTP Protocol

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What is FTP?

FTP, or File Transfer Protocol, is commonly used to transfer files over the internet through a client-server architecture. It makes use of the TCP/IP protocol to allow this and can be secured with SSL/TLS.  Although some services such as File Manager through cPanel offer the ability to upload files, these can be limited to a certain file size.  FTP offers the ability to upload multiple files and folders, avoiding the potential headache of uploading files one at a time and large files.


Showing the FileZilla FTP Configuration File download button


How does FTP work?

FTP uses a client-server architecture to deliver files from your computer (the local host, or client) to and from a server, just as HTTP delivers the content of a website to your browser.


How do I use FTP?


You can transfer files through FTP with FTP software. For cPanel, there are three main software programs that can be easily configured: FileZilla, Cyberduck and CoreFTP. You can use any software you like, but cPanel can generate a script to automatically configure these three to work quickly.


What information is used within a FTP when attempting to connect to my cPanel?


Typically any FTP service will ask for 3 things to use in order to connect; hostname, username and password.  Hostname would be the IP you are trying to connect to, in this case the IP of your cPanel service.  Username and password would be the exact same username and password used for the cPanel account.  Normally the “port” input field can be left blank, however, if required, port 21 should work.