FTP Overview

File Transfer Protocol allows two computers to transfer files over a TCP/IP network such as the internet. As well as being able to download files, FTP clients can also upload files to a server using a Web Browser.

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When accessing files over FTP through a browser such as Microsoft Internet Explorer, files and folders appear in the standard Windows Explorer view and can be copied, pasted and modified as if you were located at the Web server. If permissions on the Web Server permit, files and folders can be easily uploaded and shared for other users by simply using copy and paste between Windows Explorer and the Web Browser.

FTP is commonly used for transferring files to a Web Server for use on a Web Site. This allows you to work remotely on your web site and upload the files to the server. To use FTP you must Select the File Transfer Protocol (FTP) Service when installing IIS. Expand FTP Sites to view the FTP sites that this server contains. As with the Web Sites there is also a default FTP Site. To create a new site right-click on the FTP Sites folder.

Select New > FTP Site. The FTP Site Creation Wizard will appear. Click on Next to continue. Choose a Description for the FTP Site. Click on Next to continue. Choose an IP Address and Port for the site. The default port for FTP is 21. Click on Next to continue.

FTP allows you to give each user on your system a home folder. When users login they are automatically taken to their home folders.  This is known as FTP User Isolation. To accept the default click Next. Specify the Path for the FTP home directory. Click on Next to continue.

Choose the level of access you want to the FTP site and click Next. N.B. NTFS Permissions can easily be used in conjunction with FTP. Click on Finish to close the Wizard.

The new FTP site is displayed in the IIS Management Console. The folder can be easily accessed from a Web Browser using the URL “ftp://server”. Right-click on the site to configure a few more advanced options. Select Properties. The FTP Site contains general information about the site, the number of allowed connections and whether to use logging.

The Security Accounts tab allows you to configure how users authenticate to the server. By default the IUSR_computername account is used for anonymous access.

The Messages tab allows you to configure any messages that you want your users to see when browsing the FTP site.

The Home Directory path states where the FTP site’s home folder is and the access permissions to the site. Since FTP is multi-platform, Directory listings can be given in UNIX of MS-DOS style. N.B. Some UNIX systems maybe unable to use MS-DOS style listings. The Directory Security tab allows you to grant or deny computers based on TCP/IP information.