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How to Set Up FTP (File Transfer Protocol)

FTP (File Transfer Protocol) is used to transfer computer files between a client and server on a network. FTP users authenticate themselves with a clear-text sign-in protocol in the form of a username and password. The server can be configured to allow users to connect anonymously.

The first FTP client applications were command-line programs which are still shipped with Windows and Linux operating systems. Many graphical FTP clients have since been developed and FTP has been integrated into applications, such as web page editors.

Several different data formats can be used with FTP to transfer data:

ASCII mode: Used for sending 8-bit ASCII text.
EBCDIC mode: Used for sending text in the EBCDIC character set.
Binary mode: Sends data byte for byte, used for sending images or and files that contain data other than plain text.

FTP was not designed to be a secure protocol, it does not encrypt its transmissions. All transmissions are in clear text, and usernames, passwords, commands and data can be read by anyone able to perform packet sniffing on the network. (This problem is common to many protocols (such as SMTP, Telnet, POP and IMAP) that were designed prior to the development of encryption mechanisms such as TLS or SSL.)

For secure file transfer that protects the username and password, and encrypts the data, use the secure version FTPS instead of FTP, or SFTP (SSH File Transfer Protocol). Or you can use a secure tunnel such as a (VPN) virtual private network.

How to Set Up FTP on IIS

To let users transfer files to or from a site on IIS use the following steps:

1. Install FTP service on the Web server when you want to let users transfer files to or from a site.

1. In the Start menu, select Administrative Tools, and then click on Server Manager.
2. In the Server Manager Pane, in the Roles Summary section, click on Web Server (IIS).

Note: if you can't find "Server Manager", in the Start menu, select Run and type in mmc for Microsoft Management Console. In the MMC File menu select Add or Remove Snap-ins. Highlight the Server Manager snap-in in the Available snap-ins list, and click Add to add it to the Selected snap-ins list.

3. In the Server Manager Web Server (IIS) section, click on Add Role Services. 4. Under Role services, select FTP Publishing Service. This will install the FTP service and the FTP management console. 5. Click [Next], and then click [Install].

Installing the FTP service creates a default FTP site at LocalDrive:\Inetpub\Ftproot that you can then customize to your needs using IIS Manager.

2. The FTP service is not started by default when you install it on IIS.

To start the FTP service on Windows Server:

1. In the Start menu, select Administrative Tools, and then click on Server Manager.
2. In the Server Manager Pane, in the Roles Summary section, click on Web Server (IIS).
3. In the Web Server (IIS) section, under System Services, click Microsoft FTP Publishing Service and then click Start.

More Networking Protocols and Standards:
• SYN-ACK Handshake to Establish a TCP Connection
• A Simple Description of the IPv6 Header and Datagram
• The OSI Data Link Layer
• X.25 and Frame Relay Overview
• Comparison of the Layers of the OSI and TCP/IP Models
• Video - Transport Layer (Layer 4) of OSI Networking Model
• TCP/IP Protocol Suite
• Network Gateways
• The OSI Application Layer
• Shortest Path Bridging (SPB) Protocol

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