What is an FTP server?

An FTP site is based on a server program that runs on a "host" computer. Such a host is a networked computer which can run one or more servers. This is why host computers are often referred to as servers in colloquial language.

A server is a program waiting to be contacted by a client program such as WISE-FTP in order to exchange information. This communication is organized according to the so-called client/server system. The rules determining the format and meaning of the information exchanged between server and client are called the "protocol"

Many companies and organizations maintain FTP servers so that the public can, for example, download shareware versions of their software.

If you are logged onto such a server and you cannot find what you are looking for, search for files with names such as readme, readme.txt, index, or 00index. Such files usually contain important information about the files available on the server. FTP sites are usually public sites. You may simply log in with the user name anonymous and enter your e-mail address as your password.

Password-protected servers allow users to upload files themselves for use by others. This is how websites can easily be updated and expanded.