Using an FTP Client: Introduction

FTP stands for "File Transfer Protocol", and is the means by which digital files (whether image, text, program executables, sound, or whatever) may be transferred across the Internet. FTP predates the Web by quite a bit, and is used to upload (transfer) your website files from your home or office computer to a web server via the Internet. You may also use FTP to download files from an internet server to your home or office computer. If you have ever downloaded a program (such as Netscape Communicator, Internet Explorer, system software updates, shareware, game demos, etc) from a website, you have probably used FTP without even realizing it.

FTP client programs are the pieces of software you would use to upload or download files to/from an ftp or web server.

There are many different FTP client programs available on all platforms. For this discussion, we are going to look at just two programs which are free to you as students: WS_FTP LE for the PC, and Fetch for the Macintosh. Both of these programs are available for download at

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