ARCHIVED: What is anonymous FTP?

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Some universities, government agencies, companies, and private individuals have set up public archives that you may access via FTP, usually in a directory named pub. These sites contain programs, data files, and informational text. You can often find specific directions or information about the site in greeting messages or files with names like README.

You can use an FTP client such as WinSCP for Windows or Cyberduck for Macintosh to connect to an anonymous FTP site, or you can use FTP from the command line in Windows, Mac OS X, or Unix. For more information, including specific commands and more detailed instructions, see Use FTP to transfer files Typically you will need to use the username anonymous and an arbitrary password. Most sites will ask you to enter your email address as the password. If your login is successful, you can browse the public directories on the site.

You can also access anonymous FTP sites in your web browser. For example, to connect to the Usenet FAQs maintained at MIT, visit:

  ftp://rtfm.mit.edu/pub/faqs/

Anonymous FTP is a privilege granted by the organization that owns the computer to which you are connecting; be considerate in your usage. Don't transfer files you don't need or an excessive amount of material, and try to restrict your transfers to off-peak hours. Some FTP sites are used very heavily, and you may need patience to connect.

This is document abwr in the Knowledge Base.
Last modified on 2018-01-18 09:05:07.

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