ftp made simple

What You'll Need

You'll need an FTP client to communicate with an FTP server -- just like you use a web client (a browser) to get information from a web server, or an email client (like Outlook, Apple Mail, or GMail) to communicate with a mail server. There are dozens of FTP clients available for Mac OS, Windows, and Unix/Linux. Some are free, some are shareware, and some have to be purchased.

This tutorial shows screenshots of Cyberduck for the Mac, since it's installed on J-School lab computers and is payment-optional. Please see the Related Links section of this tutorial for other FTP client recommendations.

Please download and install an FTP client on your computer before continuing.

You'll also need to know your FTP connection details in order to make a connection, including:

  • Server name (hostname)
  • Username
  • Password

Your web host or system administrator can provide you with this information, but in most cases you can assume that the hostname is the same as your domain name (domain.com) or a subdomain of that (ftp.yourdomain.com). Your username and password are most likely the same ones you used to sign up for the hosting account. However, in some cases FTP accounts take the form of an email address (even though it's not), such as webfiles@yourdomain.com. Check your host's FAQs or knowledgebase if unsure.