There are various ways of using FTP in Windows 7. Once enabled in the operating system, you can use Windows Explorer or the command prompt to upload and download files from your FTP server.
However this can get a bit messy at times, which is why there are several good quality FTP solutions available to download. These might be free or premium solutions, and are designed to make file transfer from and to webservers easy.
Some popular names such as CuteFTP, FreeFTP and SmartFTP all available, the most popular option currently (according to Google) is FileZilla, a free and open source FTP solution.
Available from filezilla-project.org (just click the Download FileZilla Client button), FileZilla is fast, easy to use and will enable you to access FTP servers within minutes.
Setting Up Your FTP Account in FileZilla
Once downloaded and installed, FileZilla offers two ways to connect to your FTP site. The first is to use the Quickconnect bar, where you can enter your Host, Username, Password and Port number and click the Quickconnect button; this is a great choice if you can remember your details and don’t have any complicated configuration to apply.
The second option is to use the Site Manager, accessed either via File > Site Manager or the first button below the File menu.
Using this option will open a dialogue box for entering your FTP site details. Begin by clicking New Site, and give the site a name – something descriptive is always best. Next, go to the General tab and enter the Host name, which is the FTP server’s URL or IP address. Then, choose the Server Type from the drop-down menu; the choice here is between:
- FTP – File Transfer Protocol
- SFTP – SSH File Transfer Protocol
- FTPS – FTP over implicit TLS/SSL
- FTPES – FTP over explicit TLS/SSL
Which of these options you choose will depend on your FTP server, so check the details with your administrator – the same goes for your Logon Type.
Following this, enter a password and if necessary an account name. All you need to do then is hit Connect and you can watch as FileZilla connects to your FTP account!
Using FileZilla FTP Client
With your account setup and your connection established, you will notice various status messages flashing through the Message Log at the top of the screen. Once this settles down, you will see that your Local site is listed on the left of the screen (this is a folder on your PC) and your Remote site is listed on the right.
On the Remote site, use the + next to the folder icon to expand the displayed directory to find the location you want to upload to, and then repeat the action on the Local site to find the directory that you wish to upload from.
With your upload file identified, all you need to do is double-click the file to upload, or drag it to the Remote site file listing. You might also tap enter; if you have several files to upload, right-click and select Add to queue. Downloading from the FTP site is a simple case of selecting double-clicking or dragging files from the Remote site listing to the Local site!