Getting Started

The first thing you have to do in order to use Free FTP is set up your server profile. You can do this by clicking File > Manage Servers. This will open the My Servers window. Click the green plus sign icon to add a new server. This creates a blank server profile that you can fill in with the information provided to you by your hosting provider.

This is a nickname for the FTP connection being created. Since it is just a personal reminder of which server you are using, you can name it anything you want.

This is the TCP/IP hostname of your FTP server. It should be in the form of an IP address, your domain name (e.g., or your domain name preceded by ftp. (e.g. Do not include ftp:// or any directory name such as, because these are invalid TCP/IP hostnames. It is up to your Web hosting company to assign your FTP server hostname, so you will need to find out from them what it is.

Examples of valid hostnames

Examples of invalid hostnames

This is the FTP username assigned to you by your Web hosting company. Be sure to enter the information exactly how it was given to you by your provider. Usernames are case sensitive, so if there are capital letters in your username, you must enter it that way.

This is the FTP password assigned to you by your Web hosting company. Be sure to enter the information exactly how it was given to you by your provider. Passwords are case sensitive, so if there are capital letters in your password, you must enter it that way.

Passive Mode
Checking this box activates passive mode. Enable passive mode if you experience trouble connecting.

More/Fewer Options
Click this button to show or hide options pertaining to protocols, ports, connections, local and remote folders, and proxies.

This option lets you specify your FTP connection. You can choose FTP, SFTP over SSH, FTPS over TSL/SSL, FTPS over SSL, FTPS over TSL, HTTP, or HTTPS.

This option depends on what protocol you are using to connect to your FTP server. When you select a protocol, the program automatically changes this value to the default port for that protocol. Do not change this value unless your hosting provider has told you to do so.

This field allows you to enter how many simultaneous transfers you would like to be able to run at one time. Some servers may limit the number of connections, so you should check with your hosting provider before modifying this field.

Local Folder
This is the default local folder Direct FTP will access in the Local pane on the left-hand side of the program. You should set it to whichever folder contains your Website files.

Remote Folder
This is the folder where your Website files are stored. Common names include www, public_html, or web. If you are not sure of this information, contact your hosting provider.

Clicking this button opens the Proxy tab of the Preferences window. This area allows you to add or modify your proxy settings. If you are not sure whether you have to connect using a proxy, you probably don't, but you may wish to contact your hosting provider just to make sure.

This optional field allows you to add a comment about your server. This is just a personal reminder, so you can enter anything you want in this field.

After you have set up your connection, click Connect to connect to your FTP server.

If you already have a connection set up, just click the arrow next to the Servers button and select which connection you want to connect to from the drop-down list provided.

Transferring Files

Once you have successfully connected to your FTP server, you can begin either uploading or downloading files.

You should see two main panes in Free FTP: the Local pane and Remote pane. The Local pane shows the files on your local computer, and the Remote pane shows the files on your server.

To get started, first select the file(s) you want to upload in the Local pane. To select a file, left-click it. To select multiple files, you can drag a box over them, or click one, hold down Shift, and click another. All the files between will be selected.

The files will be uploaded to whatever folder is open in the Remote pane. If you wish to upload your files to a different folder than the one currently selected, browse to the desired folder within the Remote pane, and then click Upload.

To download files, the same concepts apply. Highlight the files or folders you want to download under the Remote pane, browse to the folder on your computer where you want the files to be downloaded to, then click Download.

Files are either transferred in ASCII or binary mode. To set the transfer mode, navigate to Actions menu > Transfer Mode. You can let Free FTP automatically decide which it should be by setting the transfer mode to Auto. Alternately, you can choose ASCII or binary if you would like.

To delete files, right-click the files and choose Delete.

3. File Permissions

Any files on a server have properties called permissions that tell the server how it should treat the file in question. To access a file's permissions, right-click it and choose Change Permission.

You can change the way the server treats this file depending on certain user groups. The groups are Owner, Group, and Users. The different permissions you can set for the files are Read, Write, and Execute. Please keep in mind that the only time you should need to change any permissions is if you are installing any sort of CGI or other scripts into your Website.

You may be instructed to set a certain file to permission 755, which is:

Owner: Read, Write, Execute
Group: Read, Execute
All Users: Read, Execute

This is the normal setting for a CGI script in your Web server.

To find out more about how file permissions on Web servers work, you can read some tutorials available online. Search here.