How to connect to an FTP server from a PC and smartphone

Do we own a data server or NAS and want to access it from another device, even outside the home? Let’s find out how to do this in this guide

We decided to create a data server of type FTP at home or in the office (to save the backup of user folders or to save the images of the operating system) but we do not know how to access it using this network protocol?

FTP is one of the most used protocols since the dawn of computer networks and allows (if well configured) to get a fast and secure connection with all the folders that need remote access, especially when we are away from home.

In this guide we will show you how to connect to an FTP server using a PC or a smartphone .

We will be able to always manage all the folders and copy the necessary files wherever we are, with just a few clicks.

Recover the necessary data of the FTP server

If the FTP server is configured correctly, it will be reachable from any other device retrieving three information:

 

– IP address of the ADSL line (or IP address of the internal network , if we want to connect a device on the same LAN)

Port number used by the active FTP service

Port range used by the passive FTP service (optional)

The IP address of the ADSL line can be retrieved using a service like the one available here -> What is my IP Address?

For the entire network we will have to help with the modem, by accessing the control interface and verifying the IP address assigned to the device that acts as an FTP server.

The port number for the active FTP service is preconfigured by default; if we have not changed anything on the FTP server the port will be 21.

If we use a passive FTP transfer system we will have to know also the range of ports used for data transfer, so as to make the transfer much faster.

Once this information is retrieved, we will be able to connect to the FTP server using one of the recommended methods below.

Connect to an FTP server from Windows

 

To connect to an FTP server with Windows we can use the integrated File Explorer, more than enough to make active FTP connections.

Open File Explorer or the icon This PC on the Windows 10 desktop and right click anywhere in the window, then select the Add network location entry .

 

In the window that we will see appear let’s immediately click on Next ; we will be shown the window where to enter the network path or IP address of the FTP server to be reached.

 

 

 

If the server is available as an FTP site, simply enter the following address:

 

ftp: // FTP address: port-number

A valid example can be the one shown below.

 

ftp: //www.serverFTP.mio: 21

This method is not the best available to access the FTP server from the internal network.

In this case we recommend using a free program such as FileZilla , available for download here -> FileZilla (client version).

To add an FTP server to FileZilla, simply click on the upper left hand side of the site management icon , then click on New site .

Enter the IP address of the FTP server under Host and select the port number used in the Port entry , select FTP as the Protocol and leave it in the Encryption field Use if explicit FTP is available on TLS .

Now select the Type of access (basic is OK Normal ) and enter the credentials, then click on Connect .

Now we will be able to manage every type of FTP server using the FTP window to exchange, modify and remove files and folders (much depends on the server-enabled permissions).

 

Another valid program that we can use to connect to an FTP server on Windows is WinSCP , available free here -> WinSCP .

 

 

Once installed we can connect to an FTP server by clicking on New site, then selecting FTP eExplicit TLS / SSL encryption , by entering the server’s IP address in Server name and port number (default 21).

To start the connection insert the username and password of FTP server then click at the bottom of Log .

 

Connect to an FTP server from Android

 

Do we want to connect to an FTP server from an Android device?

There are numerous apps to manage files and folders that allow you to do this, the best of them is definitely File Manager , available for free here -> File Manager .

 

Once installed we will not have to do anything else but tap on the voice At distance , then tap againAdd a remote location .

In the new window select FTP or FTPS , then enter the IP address of the FTP server, the port number and the login credentials.

 

Another app that we can use to access an FTP server from Android is AndFTP , available for download from here -> AndFTP .

 

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Use this app is very simple: we tap the symbol at the top, we insert in the page that will open all the server information (IP address, port and login credentials) then we tap on the screen under Save for open a connection with the FTP server.

 

Connect to an FTP server from iOS

 

Do we own an Apple smartphone or an iPad and want to access an FTP server?

The best free program we can use is FTPManager , available for download from here -> FTPManager .

 

 

To add an FTP server, click on the symbol in the upper right-hand corner, enter the information required to connect to the FTP server to access all folders and files.

The app also allows you to add SMB shares, access to the Cloud of Dropbox and iCloud and to connect with other iOS devices nearby.

 

A good alternative to access an FTP server is the FTP Client Pro app , available for a fee from here -> FTP Client Pro .

 

 

With this program we will be able to connect to any FTP server even corporate, so you can exchange, open and delete files even remotely, just configure the access with the IP address, port number and access credentials.

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