Since we’ve started talking about some of the free software that is available on the Internet I thought I would continue that discussion with a free FTP program called CoreFTP Lite. There are several good FTP programs available for free download but this is one that I’ve been using for several years and it has always been very reliable for me. It’s probably not the fanciest one available but it’s simple to use and does a good job.
Before we talk about how to download and use the program maybe we should backup and talk a little about why you might want an FTP program. FTP stands for File Transfer Protocol and it’s simply a way for two computers to share files across the Internet. The most common way to share files over the Internet is to email the file to a friend or have them email us the file we want. If the file is very large, if there are a large number of files, if there are entire folders full of files, or if the file is setting on a server somewhere, then email doesn’t usually work very well. That’s where FTP comes in. If you can connect to the other computer and your Internet connection has the bandwidth you can download just about whatever you want. Besides, some of the free stuff that Vince & I will be sharing with you may require an FTP download. If you install this or another FTP program then you will be ready to go.
Now, back to using the program:
- Go to the CoreFTP Lite site at: www.coreftp.com
- Click on the link that says “DOWNLOAD CoreFTP now!”. Currently this is version 1.3c. Also, they do have a pro version for $34.95 but unless you do a lot of FTP work the free version works fine.
- After you click on this first button it will take you to a page that will give you several optional sites to download from.
- Click on one of the links for the free version (it doesn’t matter which one, but if you have trouble with one site just try one of the other sites.
- The Windows file download will open and ask if you want to “Run” or “Download” the file. If you are on a fast connection and this is just for you, choose “Run”, otherwise you can download it to your computer and install it later or share it with friends. If you download it just remember where you saved it.
- When you run the download it will install the program on your computer. Just follow the instructions as you are prompted.
- The first time you run CoreFTP Lite it will probably ask if you want to make CoreFTP your default FTP client. Click yes.
- It will also ask if you want to use notepad.exe to edit ascii files. Unless you are running Windows 95 or Windows ME click yes.
- When FTP Lite opens it will first open with a Site Manger Window that allows you to enter information about the computer that you will be communicating with over the Internet.
- Most of the information you will need to get from however you are getting the files but here is the run-down:
- Site Name – you can put anything here that you want – CoreFTP Lite remembers the settings and if you have several sites that you FTP, this is a convenient way to remember which site you are connecting to.
- Host/IP/URL – this is the actual location on the Internet where the files are located. Typcially you will get this from however is telling you where to get the files from.
- Username – This is the username that is usually needed to get into an FTP site. If there is no username and password check the box called “Anonymous”
- Password – The password needed to get into the FTP site.
- Check the box “Don’t save password” if you don’t want CoreFTP to remember the password for you.
- For the rest of the setting you can usually just use the default settings. Don’t change any of them unless you are instructed by the FTP site owner.
- After everything has been entered click on the “Connect” button and CoreFTP should try to make connections with the other computer.
- The next screen contains two main windows. The window on the left shows files on your computer and the window on the right shows the files on the other computer. You can simply drag-and-drop files or folders from one computer to another or you can highlight files and folders from either window and use the arrow keys to transfer.
- Sample Screens are available on the CoreFTP download site and there are help screens available inside of the program after you’ve downloaded and installed it.
Now your ready to download files!