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Stands for "File Transfer Protocol." It is a common method of transferring files via the Internet from one computer to another. Some common FTP programs are "Fetch" for the Mac, and "WS_FTP" for Windows. However, you can also use a Web browser like Netscape or Internet Explorer to access FTP servers. To do this, you need to type the URL of the server into the location field of the browser.

For example: "ftp://ftp.servername.com/" will give you a listing of all the directories of the FTP server, "ftp://ftp.servername.com/directory/" will give you a listing of all the files available in that directory, and "ftp://ftp.servername.com/directory/filename" will download the actual file to your computer. Many FTP servers are "anonymous FTP" servers which means you can log in with the user name "anonymous" and your e-mail address as the password. Other FTP servers require a specific login in order to access the files.

Published: 2002

Definition from the PC Glossary