What is FTP, anyway?
FTP stands for File Transfer Protocol. FTP client
software allows you to transfer files between your
hard drive and a remote server. For instance, you
could put your personal home page up on the Web
by transferring files from your hard drive to a Web
server, or you can download programs from your
favorite shareware site — fast.
Ever wonder what "http" stands for in all of the Web sites you access with your Web browser? Hypertext
Transfer Protocol is how your browser transfers files from remote servers to graphically display web content on
your monitor. Because HTML displays everything in all its multimedia glory, it's slow. However, with FTP, you
can just grab a file and download it, fast, saving time (read that "money") and aggravation (priceless).
FTP is now attracting a critical mass of users who are finding transferring
via e-mail attachments grossly
inefficient or impractical when dealing with large documents. For uploading such files — which browsers
can't handle at all — FTP is the only answer (e.g., for efficiently posting new HTML pages onto a Web site or
sharing graphics-laden files).
Today, growing numbers of power users, telecommuters, and corporate Internet
managers are unleashing the
protocol's potential by using FTP clients — file transfer software applications designed for users — to
minimize time spent online. In fact, for anyone that even touches the Internet, "FTP client" should be spoken
in the same breath as "e-mail" and "browser" when describing efficient desktop needs. You need all three.