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FTP (File Transfer Protocol)  

2.1 What it is.
2.2 Getting started with Cuteftp.
2.3 About the toolbar.
2.4 How to connect.
2.5 Navigating directories.
2.6 Transferring files.


2.1  What it is.

Just like your web browser uses the hyper text transfer protocol (http) to send/receive data (in order to display webpages); so does your computer use the Ftp protocol to transfer files over data lines.

2.2  Getting started with Cuteftp.

To begin using FTP, you will want to get an ftp client program that makes it easy to transfer and rename your files. This tutorial briefly explains the workings of the ftp client: Cuteftp.

Firstly you will need to download and install CuteFTP on your PC. CuteFTP can be obtained here.

Once you have the program installed, start it up. If you are using CuteFTP, you will get a screen like the one below on startup. If you don't get this screen, use File >> Site Manager or hit F4. You should see a window similar to:

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2.3 About the toolbar.

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Moving your cursor over the toolbar icons in Cuteftp should display each icons name.
The buttons are (from left):

Site Manager: Use this to manage your connections.

Quick Connect: Pressing down on this icon provides you with a new toolbar that works similar to the Site Manager.

Disconnect: Press this when you are done working using the ftp connection. Note: This only closes the ftp connection; you will still be connected to the internet.

Reconnect: Depending on the server you may disconnected if you are 'inactive' (not doing anything) for a certain time. If you are disconnected from the server for some reason, you can simply reconnect with this icon. No need to go back to the Site Manager.


2.4  How to connect.

Before you can connect to an FTP site, you must be connected to your ISP (i.e. have an active internet connection).

During installation, CuteFTP will have detected whether or not your computer is connected to a LAN or uses a modem for external communication.
If Your PC connects to the Internet using a LAN, no action are required on your side. Yet, if you pc uses a modem to connect, you need to do the following:

  1. Start Cuteftp (if not open already & close/exit the site manager if it pops up).

  2. From the Menu Bar, click on Edit>>Settings>>Connection>>DUN-LAN.

  3. Select the modem connection and click the down arrow at the end of the 'Use the following Dial-Up Networking connection:' field then click on the connection you wish to use.

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There are many other optional functions that you can activate, like 'persistent downloading' (allows CuteFTP to automatically reconnect in the event of a broken transfer). Help on these settings can be found in the programs's own helpfile.

Once you have an active internet connection, click on 'New' in the Site Manager window. The right column will change to a formbox requesting details concerning the connection you wish to establish:

This is simply a name to identify the connection with. This name will be displayed in the box to the left for future reference.

Host Address:
Here you specify the ftp address or hostname of the host you want to connect to.
example1.  192.456.232.67

Username & Password:
You will most likely require these to be able to connect. Hosts need to protect their data from unauthorised users.

Ftp connection port:
If the site you are connecting to, requires a port other than 21 (nearly all FTP sites use 21) to establish a connection, enter it in the this field.

Login type:
'Normal' is used if a username and password are required; use 'Anonymous' to connect to anonymous FTP sites. The 'Double' option is used when a dual login is required.

Connect Button:
Clicking this will transmit the above details to the address you specified. Your details will first be authenticated before allowing you access. If successful you should receive a 'welcome message' from the host.


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2.5  Navigating directories.

Once connected, you will be looking at a screen similar to this:

The area indicated at no.1 will constantly notify you of events that is happening.

Use the area at number 2 (displaying your pc's directories) to navigate to the files that you want to transfer to the host.

Use the area at number 3 (listing directories on the host pc) to navigate to the directory wherein you want to copy the file to.

Area 4 only becomes useful in 2.6 when you actually begin up- or downloading.


2.6  Transferring files.

Once you have both directories open at area 2 and 3, you can start transferring your files. There are many methods of transferring files: I will discuss only one:

Drag and Drop.

  • Click to highlight the file that you want to transfer.

  • Using your left mouse button, click & hold down the left mouse button on the highlighted file and drag it to the opposite window;

  • Drop the file anywhere in that window.

The messages at area 1 and 4 should notify you of you progress.

A few terms to know:

  • Upload is when you transfer files to the host.

  • Download is the opposite. (i.e when you copy from the host pc)

If you uploaded files, the only thing left to do is to set the files's access rights. See the tutorial on File Permissions.
Otherwise you are done; and you can disconnect the ftp service.



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