Windows FTP Information And Help

March 9th, 2010 by Nick Cruise

Easy remote host connection was arguably started with the invention of the File Transfer Protocol (FTP), and it’s such an effective program that many administrators still use this application for their work development systems to this day. At any rate, for those who aren’t used to the command-line nature of old-school Windows FTP found on Windows 95 or NT, this guide should help quite a bit in enumerating the commands you need to use and what they’re used for.

About FTP
FTP refers to a type of protocol that’s used by a whole collection of computer applications that handle data or file transfer from one PC to another. It’s a term that came from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) back in the early seventies when mainframes and time-sharing were prevalent and personal computing hasn’t become part of the mainstream yet.

The foremost objective of FTP is to guarantee that the file transfer process is as simple and fast as possible regardless of how slow your Internet connection is in order to reduce the problems a user usually faces when it comes to handling the complex sequence of events needed to accomplish this operation. In any case, this article has a lot of practical information and content concerning the FTP command that’s built-in with both MS-DOS (Windows) and Unix.

Windows FTP
Nowadays, FTP clients come in the form of intuitive Windows programs; but if for some reason you’d rather access your FTP server without using such software, the built-in FTP command found in MS-DOS-based Windows operating systems will suffice. This Windows FTP is accessible from the MS-DOS prompt. You just need to type “open ftp.address.domain” in the command line (wherein “domain” is the domain name that usually ends in “.com” or “.net”, and “address” is the name of the server) in order to access this application.

You can also type in IP addresses (e.g., “255.255.255.0″) in order to open your FTP server immediately because they can serve as substitutes to your server’s domain name and address. After connecting successfully to your server, it will prompt you for your username and password; from there, you should have no problem accessing and transferring files between your local computer and remote computer.

FTP Commands
The commands used for console FTP are quite numerous, so we’ll only cover the more significant ones for the sake of brevity. If you want to learn more about FTP commands, feel free to research them on the Internet or test them out on your own. At any rate, depending on which version of FTP you have, the following commands may or may not work for you; in order to check which commands are available on your FTP, just type “help” or “?” to bring forth a list of available commands.

First off, “!” allows you to toggle back and forth between your operating system and FTP. Meanwhile, typing “exit” on the operating system should bring you back to the FTP command line. As already mentioned, “?” or “help” lets you access the help screen as well as a list of available commands. Meanwhile, “abor” refers to abort transfer, “cd” enables you to change directories, “delete” helps you remove a file, “debug” activates and deactivates the debugging mode, “cwd” changes the working directory on a remote system, “cdup” changes the parent directory on a remote system, “binary” enables the binary transfer mode, and “bye” allows you to exit from the FTP command line.

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