How to use FTP for file download

FTP is not widely used for file download due to several reasons:

  1. It requires specific software or using specific protocol (ftp) in the web browser URL.
  2. You need to use FTP login details or alternatively Anonymous FTP.
  3. If using Anonymous FTP everyone can gain access to your FTP directory.

As a whole by default it is much easier to download files using a hyper link through standard HTTP protocol.

FTP download has several advantages though:

  1. You can define a directory outside the webroot for FTP.
  2. You can create FTP logins for a limited user base and provide the details to them only. Thus restricting access to the desired users only.
  3. It consumes much less server resources than a standard HTTP download.

In order to setup FTP download you will first need to decide which is the directory you will use for the files storage. It can be any directory where you will place your FTP downloads. It can be a directory accessible over the web or one that outside of your account web root. Thus the directory can be accessible via authorized FTP user only. Once you have chosen the desired directory you need to create FTP accounts for it.

That is all. You have now setup an FTP download directory for your hosting account. Note that all FTP accounts will have read and write access to the directory in question. They will be able to download files and also upload new files and overwrite existing files in the directory they have access to.