Getting Started with Filezilla

FileZilla is the most commonly used File transfer application or software (FTP client). It is available for Linux, Windows and Mac OS. It supports File transfer without encryption (Plain FTP), with SSL/TLS encryption and SFTP (SSH File Transfer Protocol).

In this tutorial, we will go through how files can be transferred using FileZilla, this is in assumption that FileZilla is already installed in the server.

Open FileZilla Application.

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Enter the following FTP credentials:

Host: FTP Hostname or IP Address

Username: FTP username

Password: Password of the FTP user

Port: FTP port (default port is 21)

Click on Quick connect to establish FTP connection.This is the simplest method to establish an FTP connection.

It is recommended to use FileZilla >> File >> Site Manager option to establish FTP connection or you may open Site Manager by just clicking on the button highlighted in the screenshot below.

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Here is how Site Manager window looks like.

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Click on ‘New Site’ button to setup a new FTP connection. When you set the Site name, all the tabs in the window becomes active.

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This portion is where most of us get confused with all the settings.

Host: Hostname or IP Address of the server you are connecting to. (You can also use the domain name if it is resolving to the correct IP of the server)

Port: Port depends on the protocol used for file transfer. For FTP (File Transfer Protocol), the default port is 21 (this may change if custom port is used for FTP application running in the server), For SFTP (SSH File Transfer protocol), default port is 22 (this may change as well if custom port is used for SSH). So, it is recommended to contact your web hosting provider for this info.

Protocol: You can choose between FTP and SFTP. (For the difference refer to this tutorial on secure FTP)

Encryption: This is only applicable for FTP protocol. You may select ‘Use Plain FTP’ for non-encrypted connection and ‘Require explicit FTP over TLS’, ‘Require implicit FTP over TLS’ for encrypted FTP connection.

Logon Type: Set this as Normal, you may also set Ask for Password for prompting the password every time you try to login. This is for being on the safe side. You may also set interactive mode for advanced interactive FTP session. To login as Anonymous user, set this as Anonymous. One other option is Account, this is to connect to FTP servers which requires account name other than FTP user name and Password to connect to it.

Here are the screenshots you can refer to.

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Above screenshot enables Plain FTP or non-encrypted FTP connection.

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The above one enables encrypted connection (FTP over SSL/TLs). This is applicable when connecting to servers where FTP service or FTP server application is secured with SSL.

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The above screenshot enables SFTP connection. Encryption type is not applicable in this type as the data is transferred over sucured SSH tunneling.

Once the connection is established, file listing is being done. You can see the files listed in the local machine and remote server as shown in the screenshot below.

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To upload files to the server, select the file/folder under the local site section and right click on it. Click on Upload button. Or you may simple drag it to under the remote site tab.

To download the files elect the file/folder under the remote site section and right click on it. Click on Download button. Or you may simple drag it to under the local site tab.

Some of the FTP servers doesn’t allow Passive FTP connections, to enable Active FTP connection, you can change the Transfer mode in FileZilla >> File >> Site Manager >> Transfer Setting >> Transfer Mode as shown in the screenshot below.

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Once the settings are made click Connect button to enable the FTP connection.

For advanced references, you can make use of FileZilla wiki https://wiki.filezilla-project.org

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