FTP is short for file transfer protocol and allows users to transfer files and data form one computer to another over the Internet. If a computer is connected to the Internet they can download and upload massive amounts of information through the use of ftp. When using ftp, the end user accesses files on another computer, a server, through the use of a client program similar to the way an email program works; this is why email programs are called client programs or email clients.
An anonymous FTP site is a system in which any user can have access to files on the server without having administrative privileges. Basically, the end user can access the files using a "guest" account and will not have to sign up to a service to access said files. The anonymous ftp's on the Internet contain images, documents of all kinds, poems, songs, lyrics, software, freeware, and multiple other kinds of data and information. In addition, information like electronic mailing lists and archived information may also be found on anonymous ftps around the Internet.
An anonymous ftp server will more than likely ask for an email address for entry; this is typically not required but is a way of saying thank you by allowing the administrators of the ftp server to know who is accessing the information. All ftp servers allow access to transferring files and most do not allow the uploading of files or storage of information. Keep in mind that the anonymous ftp will only be online as long as the owners of it maintain and allow access to it. The ftp server may not be there if an end user comes back to it at a later date and time. All information on an ftp server is subject to change.
In the Web 2.0 world, anonymous FTP is beginning to decrease in prominence as internet users gravitate toward HTTP web applications for file sharing of both business and personal data. Personal file sharing sites include YouSendIt, Box.net, and Dropbox while business file sharing sites include the aforementioned personal sites plus other sites like ShareFile, Leapfile, and Tumbleweed.
A List of Anonymous FTP Servers FTP FAQ SGI Anonymous FTP Sites List How To Use FTP Garbo Anonymous FTP Service Geneology FTP archives
SOEST Anonymous FTP
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