File Transfer Protocol (FTP) Client is basically a software that lets your computer connects with a remote server that allows FTP access. It simply allows you to establish a mutual connection between the FTP server and your computer so that files and other data can be exchanged. It does the file transfers over the Internet or a TCP network. These days, numerous FTP clients are available for different operating systems that lets you quickly connect with the remote server so that you can easily download or upload your data to the server. As it follows the Server/Client Architecture, therefore as you install the software of FTP connectivity on the user’s computer, therefore, it’s called as FTP Client. The remote server to which we connect is called as FTP server.
Most commonly, Port 21 is used by most of the remote servers for normal FTP connection and Port 22 is used for SFTP (Secured File Transfer Protocol). But it is not necessary for a server to use only these ports for the purpose of file transfer connectivity. It completely depends on the availability of ports on the server.
Usually, to connect with an FTP server, you need to enter three-four things as mentioned below.
- Server IP Address
- Port Number
Server IP Address and Port numbers tell the FTP Client which server to connect with and now the server may have different users. Different users may have different file rights. Therefore, you also need to enter a particular username and password in order to establish a successful connection with the remote FTP Server.
FTP clients have numerous features of file management, other than just upload or download. For example, they can be used to change the file and directories rights. FTP Clients are also capable of connecting with the server using SSH Keys. They also have searching and logging features.
- Filezilla is a popular FTP Client Software available for Windows, Mac and Linux Operating Systems.
Following screenshot shows the interface of Filezilla FTP Client on Windows Operating System. Here I’ve connected to a remote SFTP server. On the left side, the directory and files of my Local Client PC are displayed and on the right side, the files and folders of Remote FTP Server are shown. Every other FTP server would have a similar interface but different features.
I’ve also published a list of some of the Best Free FTP Client Softwares for different operating systems, which you can find out at the following link.
There were the days when using FTP Client software was the only way out to upload and download files to and from the server. But these days most of the web hosting providers offer control panels like cPanel that has web browser-based file managers. They give you the flexibility of managing everything that an FTP client can do within the web browser without the worries of establishing additional connections other than just logging into your web hosting account.
If you have any questions related to FTP Clients, feel free to ask us via the comments section and also let us know do you prefer FTP or web-browser based file managers and why? You can also share the name of the FTP software that you utilizes. You can subscribe to WTMatter for latest updates.