Friday, June 12, 2009

FTP Options in Microsoft Windows XP

Last weekend, I was helping a relative get connected to a remote server via ftp on his computer, which is running Windows XP.

Microsoft Windows XP does not come with a built-in FTP software. Here are the possible options you have if you need to ftp to a remote server from your computer running Windows XP:

Option #1:
If you are looking for an excellent free open source FTP app, I would strongly recommend Filezilla, which is a robust ftp client for Windows (as well as Linux too!).

Option #2:
If you use Firefox as your browser, I would strongly recommend the Firefox add-on FireFTP, which is a cross-platform add-on for Firefox browser (works in Windows, Linux, etc)

Option #3:
My not-so-tech savvy relative opted for this solution: map the ftp remote site as a drive on Windows. He likes this solution because it gives him a one-click access to the ftp site through Windows Explorer. Here's how you can set it up:
  • Open Windows Explorer and choose/click on the "Tools" menu

  • Select the "map network drive" option

  • Select the "Sign up for online storage or connect to a network server" option

  • Select the custom location option

  • Enter the ftp address (e.g., ftp://abc.def.com/)

  • Enter the user name (do not select the anonymous login option)

  • Don't worry about the password. You'll be prompted for it when you click to connect

  • When you connect, Windows Explorer will open the ftp site as a Windows folder, which makes navigating, copying, deleting, etc., very easy through point, drag and click.

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