What is FTP? Understanding, Complete Functions & How to Use

What is FTP? FTP stands for File Transfer Protocol or a protocol that allows the exchange of information between servers, so that users or users can download or upload on their computer.

Some of you may have heard this term many times. Where we know two terms related to FTP, namely FTP Server and FTP Client. So, what’s the difference between the two?

What is FTP?

ftp is

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It was mentioned earlier that FTP stands for File Transfer Protocol. If you are currently working in the field of information technology, of course the term FTP is something you encounter everyday. FTP is an internet service designed to connect to internet servers or computers.

From this service, users can send files to a computer or commonly known as downloadand

also sends files to a server commonly known as upload. So, from this it can be concluded that File Transfer Protocol or FTP is a protocol for sending and exchanging data. When compared to wired devices or physical data transmission, FTP is certainly more practical.

Talking about FTP, you must have also heard of FTP servers and FTP clients. What’s that? FTP server is a server that provides services for exchanging files from FTP Client requests. Some examples of applications or software that use FTP servers are WU-FTPD, VSFTPD, FTPD, and PROFTPD. Mainly, the function of the FTP server is to download and upload files from or to the server.


up is the FTP Client. FTP Client is a computer that you usually use for various activities. As an FTP client, the computer must be connected to an FTP server in order to transfer files, so the FTP server can perform tasks such as: download,
upload, rename, delete,

One of the most widely used FTP Client applications is FileZilla. This application can be used for remote FTP, and is capable of running various operating systems such as Linux and Windows. Here are some examples of other FTP applications.

FileZilla is one of the most popular FTP Client applications. One of FileZilla’s FTP functions is to make remote connections on various operating systems such as Linux and Windows.

Besides being flexible and can be used on various operating systems, the following advantages of the FTP Client are that it can perform simultaneous transitions. For example, if the file upload is not successful and the connection is lost, the solution can be repeated.


if there are advantages there must be disadvantages. The disadvantage of this application is that it takes a long time to upload files when compared to other types of FTP. The larger the file size, the longer the upload time.

Also read: SFTP is: Definition, Benefits, How to Use [Lengkap]

Another application that is also widely used is WinSCP. WinSCP is often used by Windows users. The main advantage of this FTP Client application is that it supports SSH passwords, public keyhas an interactive keyboard, and Kerberos authentication.

WinSCP is also capable of handling protocols such as SFTP, SCP, FTP and WebDev. This application is only used on Windows and cannot be used on Linux or Mac OS.

The last FTP Client application is FTP GFTP which can only be operated on the Linux operating system. This FTP Client application can already be operated and supports protocols such as FTP, FTPS, HTTP, HTTPS, SSH, and FSP. However, the drawback of FTP GPTF is that it can only be used between local networks.

id="fungsi-ftp">FTP function

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In general, the function of FTP is to make it easier for users to send or download data between computers using an internet connection. This is as the name implies, namely the protocol in transferring data. However, apparently the FTP function is not limited to that. Other uses or functions of FTP are:

  1. FTP is a protocol that serves every user to perform two-way data transfers.
  2. Easily exchange files between computers, even if they have large file sizes.
  3. Furthermore, the function of FTP is to perform backup website easily and efficiently.
  4. The advantage of using ftp in transferring data is that if the connection is lost, the data transmission will not be lost.
  5. Uploading website pages on a web server/hosting to the internet.
  6. Download files from public software.
  7. Send a file that has a large size and then make it an attachment in an email.
  8. Easily upload tasks and work files to FTP Server.
  9. Perform distribution and program revision by software developers.

How FTP Works

After knowing the main functions of FTP, then we will discuss about how FTP works. In general, how FTP works is as follows:

  1. FTP Client will make a connection request to the server.
  2. Once connected, FTP can exchange data to the FTP Client.
  3. Here, FTP can be done in active or passive mode.
  4. In active mode, the server plays an active role in approving data requests.
  5. In passive mode, the server will maintain the connection which means the user can create a data channel and a command channel. The server here is analogous to still listening to commands, but does not participate actively, and relies more on the device that handles most of its work.

Also read: Definition of Firewall, Functions, How it Works and its Types

How to Use FTP

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The last part is knowing how to use FTP. The following is a method for connecting a computer with an FTP server:

  1. Using a web browser, then type ftp://ftp.domainname.com. Change the domain name to the website URL you want to use.
  2. Use command prompt (Windows) and terminal (Mac/Linux).

If the two steps above have been done, the next step is how to use a third-party FTP client. Here we will use the sample application FileZilla. Here’s how to use FileZilla FTP.

  1. Download FileZilla on the official FileZilla website
  2. Open the hosting account’s Control Panel.
  3. If using CPanel, open the FTP accounts menu under the files section.
  4. Next, on the FTP accounts menu, create a new account or login with the previous account.
  5. Don’t forget to write down the host name, username, password in the login information.
  6. If the five steps have been done, install and open FileZilla on the computer, and the application can be used for data exchange. If you want to change the site name to FileZilla, access the menu site manager at the top left of the FileZilla window.

That was complete information about File Transfer Protocol. It can be said that FTP is a very important feature in computers. All activities related to data transfer are made easier because of FTP. Now you know who’s been working behind your computer screen all this time, right?