Using FTP

Before choosing to send a large file(s) via standard FTP, consider our more user-friendly web-based transfer module. Instructions can be found HERE.

If you are new to the concept of using FTP to transfer files, the information below may be of some help.

If you are an experienced FTP user and just need the particulars about our site, please click here.

What Is FTP?

FTP (Fle Transfer Protocol) is a method of sending and retrieving files to and from other computers on the Internet. FTP is fairly fast and reliable, and in most cases, you are able to resume a transfer that has been interrupted due to loss of connection or other problems rather than starting over from the beginning.  FTP is most commonly used for large files that can not and should not be sent as e-mail attachments due to their size.

All you need in order to transfer files via FTP is the use of a computer which has a connection to the Internet, an FTP client (software designed specifically for FTP file transfer), and the name (or numeric address) of the site you want to download from or send a file to (the exact directory name and filename is also useful, but often not essential, as you can normally browse through what is available).  Depending on the site, you may also need a User ID and Password for access.

The names of machines are usually in the format, for example but you can also use the numeric (IP) address if you know it.

How do I use FTP?

When FTP was first developed, you connected to other sites using a command-line interface like DOS, Unix, or VMS.  Although you can still use a command-line interface to connect, today it is much easier to use a graphical interface, commonly called an FTP client, in order to connect to an FTP site. 

Most people prefer to use an FTP Client because it is more reliable and has the ability in most cases to resume broken transfers.  There are several FTP clients available for your use.  Most Mac users have an FTP client called Fetch.  A free Windows FTP client is called FileZilla (from the makers of the Mozilla web browser), and can be downloaded here.  Since most FTP clients work the same, an understanding of one client will lead to the understanding of others.

Connecting Using an FTP Client:

Once FileZilla is installed and opened, you can enter the name of the machine you wish to connect to in the "Address" box.  Enter a username and password if needed (leave blank for anonymous connections).  Port 21 is the default port for un-encrypted FTP connections, but the encrypted port 22 is required in order to connect to servers on the K-State campus.  Pressing the "ENTER" key or clicking on the "Quickconnect" button will connect you to the FTP site listed in the "Address" box.

The upper FileZilla window will display the commands to and responses from the FTP server.  The left-side window that displays your local drive/directory structure, and once connected, the right-side window will display a directory listing of the remote host. You can easily download files to any local directory by right-clicking on a remote file and selecting it's local destination. The box at the bottom of the window monitors all transfer progress. 

Remember that depending on what User ID and Password you used to connect, you may or may not have sufficient rights to upload files and create and/or delete files and folders on the remote site.  When you download files from a remote site to your local machine, you should also be sure that you remember the name of the file and the directory that you downloaded it to so that you can find it later.  It is a common practice to create a "Downloads" directory on your local machine that you use for all files you retrieve from remote sites.


Accessing the KSUCVM FTP Site

  • The Host Name for the KSUCVM FTP site is: MUST use port 22 (sftp) to connect.

  • Anonymous connections are allowed, and browsing and downloading are authorized from within the Public directory.  Uploading is NOT allowed from an anonymous connection. 

  • If uploading is required, please contact to obtain the necessary User ID and Password.  You will be given a User ID and Password that will allow file uploading AND directory creation within the Public directory.  However, for security purposes file and directory deletion are NOT allowed with this User ID.  Files within the Public directory are purged once they are over 60 days old.  If you need files or directories deleted before the 60 day period, or require that they remain available for a longer period of time, please contact

  • It is possible for us to create a secure location on our FTP site if you want the files you transfer to be invisible to other users.  If a secure file transfer location is necessary, please contact and we'll create a secure location along with a special User ID and Password for you to use. 

  • You might also consider using our Ad-Hoc Transfer Module to send files to users who may not be familiar with FTP. It uses a web interface to upload files, and sends e-mail links to download files from our FTP server.

  • If you have any questions, please feel free to contact: (who else?).