anonymous FTP (File Transfer Protocol) definition

Using the Internet's File Transfer Protocol (FTP), anonymous FTP is a method for giving users access to files so that they don't need to identify themselves to the server. Using an FTP program or the FTP command interface, the user enters "anonymous" as a user ID. Usually, the password is defaulted or furnished by the FTP server. Anonymous FTP is a common way to get access to a server in order to view or download files that are publicly available.

If someone tells you to use anonymous FTP and gives you the server name, just remember to use the word "anonymous" for your user ID. Usually, you can enter anything as a password.

This was first published in April 2005

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