FTP, or File Transfer Protocol, is the way to transfer/move files from one computer to another. Most Internet service providers have tools built into their service that will allow you to 'upload' or 'download' a file. Stand alone software tools are also available for Windows (WS_FTP) and Macintosh (Fetch) computers. The process is usually a step-by-step progression.
Connect & Log-in
Using a program such as Fetch, connect with a remote host computer or FTP site. The address or location may be saved as a shortcut if you have visited before. Logically, the address starts with ftp://ftp.happyvideo.com
This alerts the host of your presence and your intent to browse, upload or download from their libraries. A password is usually required. If you have an account, your password is known only to you and allows you access to your corner of the file libraries. Most systems are setup to allow limited access to log-ins by 'guest' or 'anonymous'. These public areas often require only your email address as a password.
|Once access is okayed a message from the host will pop up in a window
to tell you the particulars of using their site. Read this to familiarize
yourself with the rules of the road. You can then navigate through
the hierarchy of file folders to find the particular file your
interested in downloading to your computer. |
The location of a file can be directly accessed if you are familiar with the 'path' to its location in the directory at the time of log-in. A 'path' describes the foldername/foldername/file depending how deep in folders the file is buried. The slashes between represent levels of folders that must be opened.
|Downloading a file is simple. Select it from the list and choose the
Get File button. You will be prompted for a destination on your
local hard drive to save a copy of the file. A progress bar or
clock will show you the status of your file as it transfers to your hard
drive. Most files are compressed for speedy transmission, so you will need
a program like Stuffit Expander to decompress them once they have arrived
to your computer.|
|Uploading a file to most ftp sites is equally simple but backwards to downloading. Navigate to the proper level of the directory to which you want to add your file. Choose the Put File button. You will be prompted to find the file on your local hard drive to transfer to the host computer. Opening it will bring another prompt to save it with a suggested name and choice of several formats to send it. Macintosh computers can use a MacBinary format and like most others use the bin.hex as well. Check to see which which formats are acceptable to your gracious host.|