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FTP using Windows Explorer or Web Browser.

You would be perhaps aware that in order to upload your web files you can use any FTP client software installed on your computer. Did you know that you could even use Windows Explorer or any Web Browser to connect to your hosting account via FTP?

If you do not wish to use a specialized FTP client, you can use your web browser or windows explorer to upload & download files to & from your hosting server.

Windows Explorer is the tool you use when you open My Computer or My Network Places.

Windows Explorer is tightly integrated with Internet Explorer and the transition from a local location is often seamless with a network location.

Note that this method can be used to only establish a plain ftp or a clear text (un-encrypted) connection to the hosting server. You cannot use this method if your hosting server requires a secure ftp connection.

Before you begin the process, you need to find out your default FTP connection information. Your ftp login details would have been provided to you in your account access details email that your hosting service provider would have sent to you after setting up your hosting account.

Opening an FTP site is simple with Internet Explorer or Windows Explorer. The procedure is exactly the same for both and is explained below.

  1. Open Windows Explorer
  2. In the address box type ftp.yourdomainname.com
  3. You will now see a popup login window asking for your username and password. In case the login window does not popup, right click the screen and click Login As. Your username will usually be yourdomainname.com and password will be your FTP password. After typing your username and password, click on Logon button.

Another way of connecting is -
type in ftp://yourusername@yourdomain.com
in the address bar.

Replace yourusername with the actual login username that you have. And replace yourdomain.com with your own domain name and extension. Replace .com in the string with your actual domain extension, which could otherwise be .info / .biz / .net ....

If this does not work, try typing ftp://yourdomain.com.

After successful login, you will be connected to your hosting server and your hosting account folders will appear on the right pane of windows explorer. You will see a number of folders pre-configured in your FTP root. DO NOT delete these folders. Your web files are to be placed under public_html folder or httpdocs folder depending upon whether you have a linux hosting plan or a windows hosting plan respectively.

Once connected, double-click the folder to which you wish to upload the files, to open it. Open another explorer window and go to the folder where your html files (that you want to upload) are located. Click and drag the files to upload from the explorer window to the Internet Explorer window under the desired destination folder. Note that this is the same as drag-drop or copy-paste operations within windows explorer. The files will be uploaded.

Enabling Active/Passive mode FTP

The data connection mode can be modified under Internet Explorer as explained below. If you are using a web browser other than Internet Explorer, you may look out for the option to enable Passive/Active mode in the browser's help section.

Open Internet Explorer. Under Tools menu, click Internet Options.

Go to the Advanced tab. Under the Browsing section, select the check box adjacent to Enable folder view for FTP sites.

By default, the Passive mode is enabled. Under the Browsing section, un-check Use Passive FTP to enable Active mode. Click Apply and then OK to save the changes.


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About the Author

Rajeev Kumar
CEO, Computer Solutions
Jamshedpur, India

Rajeev Kumar is the primary author of How2Lab. He is a B.Tech. from IIT Kanpur with several years of experience in IT education and Software development. He has taught a wide spectrum of people including fresh young talents, students of XLRI, industry professionals, and govt. officials.

Rajeev has founded Computer Solutions & WebServicesWorldwide.com, and has hands-on experience of building variety of web applications and portals, that include - SAAS based ERP & e-commerce systems, independent B2B, B2C, Matrimonial & Job portals, and many more.

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