What is FTP?

FTP (File Transfer Protocol) is an Internet service used to connect to a special server on the Internet, either to transfer files from the server to the local system (download) or to send files to the server (upload). In addition, the FTP protocol implements commands to execute operations on a remote system, e. g. view directories, change directories, make directories or delete files.

FTP is based on the client/server principle: a computer runs a server program which "serves" data to other computers. These other computers execute client programs which request information from the server and receive its answers. Under FTP, the remote computer - seen from the client's point of view - running the server program is referred to as  FTP server (host, remote system).

Companies, organizations, and other providers often make files and information of public interest available on an FTP server. To access such FTP servers, users require Internet access (via modem, ISDN or a local network) and an FTP client (as for example WISE-FTP).