FTP: File Transfer Protocol
FTP stands for File Transfer Protocol. A protocol is a language that enables computers to speak to one another. FTP is used to make files and folders publicly available for transfer over the Internet. In some cases you may need to get permission from the network computer's administrator to log on and gain access to files on the computer. But often you'll find that you can use FTP to gain access to certain networks or servers without having an account, or being an official password holder, with that computer. These "anonymous" FTP servers can contain a broad range of data that is publicly available through FTP.

The Internet address (URL) for an FTP server looks slightly different from the URL you use for a typical Web page. For example, Microsoft has an "anonymous" FTP server at ftp://ftp.microsoft.com, where you can download files ranging from product fixes, updated drivers, and utilities, to Microsoft Knowledge Base articles and other documentation.

How much access you have to files and folders on FTP servers depends on whether you gain access to the servers through a CERN proxy server or directly, and what kind of permissions you have with the FTP server.

Access through a CERN proxy server is limited to viewing or downloading files. You cannot rename, upload, or delete files or folders through a CERN proxy server as you can through other types of proxy servers. For more information, click:

Access FTP sites through a CERN-compliant proxy server

If you gain access to FTP sites directly, you can work with files and folders on the FTP servers much like you work with them on your own computer. You can view, download, upload, rename, and delete files and folders. If you need permission from the FTP server to perform any of these actions, you will be prompted to provide your user name and password.