How Do I Set Up a Free FTP Site?

Written by mika ortiz
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How Do I Set Up a Free FTP Site?
(notebook computer image by Lisa Eastman from

Use FTP websites to store and share files of all formats. These files are uploaded to online servers, which function as a storage space. The files can be accessed remotely through a Web-based or desktop client for downloading, uploading or file modification. FTP sites may also offer various levels of security, and additional permissions for multiple users.

There are many free FTP sites available to meet your specific needs. Whether you are a businessperson collaborating with colleagues or a musician sharing your work, user-friendly interfaces and features make setting up an FTP site and sharing files easy.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Computer
  • Internet service
  • Browser
  • FTP website

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    How Do I Set Up a Free FTP Site?

  1. 1

    Review free FTP websites, like,, and to determine which has the features that meet your needs. Choose your FTP site, and begin the sign-up process.

  2. 2

    Sign-up for a free web FTP service by entering your basic information and choosing a username and password. An e-mail address is most likely required to activate your account. Confirm your e-mail address, and log into your FTP account.

  3. 3

    Adjust your account settings to activate or deactivate account notifications. Set upload and download preferences. Establish account access for other users if you are collaborating, or if you access the FTP site yourself from multiple computers.

  4. 4

    Transfer files from your computer to the FTP server. Most FTP interfaces have a common design that allows you to see files on your computer alongside files on the FTP server. Simply select and transfer or drag and drop the files from your computer and into storage folders in your FTP space.

  5. 5

    Copy, delete and alter files on your FTP site with your interface. You can also download files yourself, and send download links to others.

Tips and warnings

  • Many free FTP sites allow you to mass-transfer files in batches. This saves time and work when dealing with many files. Instead of selecting individual files for upload to the FTP server, copy entire folders and folder structures, then transfer them.
  • Depending on the FTP service you use, you may be able to create multiple passwords for individual folders. This is a great way to allow users to upload files while locking and protecting files already on the server.
  • Many free online FTP services include restrictions for free users, and full features for paid subscribers. Check the FTP site's storage space and bandwidth limitations before signing up.
  • A free FTP site does not function like a website. Rather, it is a place where files and software can be accessed and exchanged without the visual presentation that we associate with website design.

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