"Zvezdi" FTP
What is FTP?

Short for File Transfer Protocol, the protocol for exchanging files over the internet. [A protocol is an agreed-upon format for transmitting data between two devices.] The protocol determines the following:

  • the type of error checking to be used
  • the data compression method, if any
  • how the sending device will indicate that it has finished sending a message
  • how the receiving device will indicate that it has received a message

There are a variety of standard protocols to choose from. Each has particular advantages and disadvantages; for example, some are simpler than others, some are more reliable, and some are faster. From a user's point of view, the only interesting aspect about protocols is that your computer or device must support the right ones if you want to communicate with other computers. The protocol can be implemented either in hardware or in software.

FTP works in the same way as HTTP (HyperText Transfer Protocol, the underlying protocol used by the World Wide Web) for transferring Web pages from a server to a user's browser and uses the Internet's TCP/IP protocols to enable data transfer. FTP is most commonly used to download a file from a server using the Internet or to upload a file to a server (e.g., uploading a Web page file to a server).

Why and when FTP is better than e-mail?

Usually e-mail is completely adequate for transferring small to moderately sized files between users of the WWW. Transferring larger files (e.g., larger than 3 or 5 MB) often is not practical by e-mail for a numer of reasons: many e-mail servers have limitations on the size of the sent and/or received messages and do not let larger messages through, many corporate networks scan the e-mail messages for certain potentially harmful files and do not let those through, with slow (dial-up connections) getting a large e-mail can be a problem, since if the connection dies midway retrieving the message, one has to start all over again from the beginning, etc.

For transferring large files FTP transfer uses an intermediary - an ftp-server, which provides (temporary) storage for the data until the receiver claims it. Ftp-transfer has numerous advantages on the upside: the limit on the size of the files is usually much higher - the gigabyte range is more and more common, usually you can initiate a transfer, and do not need to complete it in one session, e.g. you can continue the transfer at a later time, continuing from where you last left it off, any data can be transferred.

On the downside you need more technical knowledge and resources to use ftp. You need the ftp server storage facility, and you need a program called ftp-cient, which is knowledgeable of the workings of the ftp-protocol. Moreover, you have to set the appropriate options of the ftp client to make any particular data transfer.

How can I get an FTP-client?

In older days ftp clients were harder to use by non-technically inclined users, since they presumed some knowledge of the underlying operating system, and a command-line environment (like communicating with your PC through a DOS-window).

Nowadays there are numerous ftp-clients on the Internet, some are commercially available (for usually small charge), some are free for a limited period of time, and some are completely free under certain easily met conditions.

If you have an ftp-client you can use it, and you will probably not need the detailed instructions below. In case you do not have one, you can donwload one here. Our choice is CoreFTP - a free ftp-client requiring only the provision of an e-mail address for follow-up communication. The detailed explanations for setting up a working ftp link with "Звезди" below presume the use of CoreFTP.

I downloaded the FTP-client program. Now what?

First you need to install the ftp-client. Start the setup program you downloaded to your PC and follow the onscreen instructions, until the installation procedure is finished. The next thing you have to do before you can use the software for ftp transfers is to properly configure your ftp-client.

How do I configure my ftp-client?

When connecting to servers, some basic information is needed.

HOSTNAME or IP or URL (abbreviation for internet address) -- This is the address of the remote server that you wish to connect to.

The "Звезди" host name is in the format "ftp.ftp://ftp.zvezdi.org.com". Host names are translated into IPs (the internet address format x.x.x.x). They are one and the same except that a host name usually remains the same while the IP it is using can change at any time. More often than not, the computer you wish to connect to will be in the host name format.

An example of a host name would be:  ftp.microsoft.com
An example of an IP would be:        207.46.133.140

USERNAME or USERID -- User identification is required to log into the "Zvezdi" server. In most cases, public FTP servers are going to be able to be accessed freely by use of the "anonymous" username. Servers that are used for personal and private use will usually use a personal account that is provided by the administrator of the server you are connecting to.

PASSWORD -- A password to access a server is usually required. When using the anonymous username, the password provided will be in the format: username@yourhost.com. Otherwise your password can be almost anything.

  1. When you start CoreFTP the Site Manager windows pops up:




  2. In this windows you enter the parameters of the ftp-sites you want to connect to.

  3. To enter a new site (in this case ftp.ftp://ftp.zvezdi.org.com) press the button.




  4. Change the <New Site> default name to something meaningful, like Zvezdi-FTP.
    Enter the data you were provided in the HOST/IP/URL, Username and Password fields.


  5. Once you have completed the above steps you are ready to connect to the Zvezdi ftp site.
    No more configuring is required unless your computer does not have direct connection to the Internet. In the latter case, if you are connected to a LAN which is connected to the Internet, then you need to consult also the <How do I connect through a proxy?> section below.
How do I connect through a proxy?

If your computer is part of a LAN, which is connected to the Internet, but your computer does not have direct connection to the Internet, then you will have to:

  1. Press the button on the Site Manager window:




  2. Select in the left pane of the Advanced window.


  3. If the browser on your computer works, then the safest route to configure the ftp-client is to select HTTP 1.1 as the <Proxy settings>.



  4. You must also fill in the fields and with information provided to you by your system administrator.
  5. Do not forget to check the checkbox.




  6. Now press <OK>, which will return you to the <Site Manager> window and proceed with connecting to the ftp-site.
How do I connect with my ftp-client to an ftp-site?
  • Press <Connect> button.




  • The main ftp-transfers window opens up.

  • In the right pane you see your "Звезди" ftp site.
    In the left pane you navigate to the relevant folder on your local computer.
    Now you are ready to proceed with transferring files from your local computer to the "Zvezdi" ftp site (called UPLOADING), and from the "Zvezdi" ftp site to your local folder (called DOWNLOADING).
    How can I download/upload a file from/to an ftp-site?

    To upload files to your ftp site:
    1. Connect to your "Zvezdi" ftp site.
    2. Double click the folder on the right pane.
    3. Select one or more files and/or folders in the left (local) pane.
    4. Press arrow directed left-to-right.
    5. A list of one or more files are queued for execution in the lower active transfers pane.
    6. You can watch details on the transfer.
    7. The transfer is complete once the lower active transfers pane contains no more file names.

    Note: With this ftp-client you have to wait until an initiated transfer is complete before you can initiate another transfer.


    To download files from the "Zvezdi" ftp site:
    1. Connect to the "Zvezdi" ftp site.
    2. Double click the folder on the right pane.
    3. Select one or more files and/or folders in the right (remote) pane.
    4. Press arrow directed right-to-left.
    5. A list of one or more files are queued for execution in the lower active transfers pane.
    6. You can watch details on the transfer.
    7. The transfer is complete once the lower active transfers pane contains no more file names.

    Note: With this ftp-client you have to wait until an initiated transfer is complete before you can initiate another transfer.

    When you are finished with uploading/downloading files with the respective ftp-site, you can either invoke the <Site Manager> window and connect to another ftp-site, or exit the program to finish the ftp-transfer session.

         
         
     
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