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FTP stands for "file transfer protocol." Whenever you upload or download a file like an MP3 or a PDF over the Internet, you are transferring that file, and FTP is mostly likely the system that�s doing it for you.
An FTP site is a computer that's dedicated to receiving an FTP connection to send and receive files over the Internet. The FTP site acts like an electronic filing cabinet. The files are organized in whatever manner the FTP site's creator has chosen, and the creator can also set up a system of log-ins and passwords to allow access to those files, if they like. However, since many website owners actively encourage users to download their material (such as a local band wishing to promote its latest single), many websites allow anyone to transfer files from their FTP site, using an "anonymous" user ID.
Standard web browsers such as Internet Explorer and Netscape understand the FTP protocol, which is how you've been able to download files from the Internet in the past without really thinking about it. If you're planning on building a robust website that can handle active file transfers, you may want to consider using an FTP client software specifically designed for transferring files over the web.
FTP clients are generally easy to use, and many offer "drag-and-drop" features for transferring files. Another convenience is that an FTP client will allow you to resume a download that was interrupted, rather than starting over from the beginning. This can save huge amounts of time if your Internet connection is subject to interruption. A good FTP client will also offer security features, such as setting up those log-ins and passwords we mentioned earlier. Obviously, the more important and/or confidential the files are that you plan to transfer, the more critical using an FTP client with heightened security features will be.
So now that you've discovered a new appreciation for your file transferring capabilities, explore the Web and find some files to transfer!
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