File Transfer Protocol (FTP)

File Transfer Protocol (FTP) is a standard network protocol used to transfer files from one host to another host over a TCP-based network, such as the Internet. It is often used to upload web pages and other documents from a private development machine to a public web-hosting server.

Below is a list of well known FTP programs available either as freeware or for purchase. If you host with us, in your cPanel area you will also find some automatic configuration tools to assist with setting up FTP connections with FileZilla, CoreFTP and Cyberduck. You can find these under "FTP Accounts" in the "Files" section of CPanel. Once there, look for the "Configure FTP Client" link next to the account you wish to connect to.

NOTE: Encryption: Use Plain FTP - insecure (you don't want TLS).

FileZilla (Windows)

Highly recommended and used by many GM-Innovations clients, FileZilla is a free, open source FTP client for Windows. It supports FTP, SFTP, and FTPS (FTP over SSL/TLS). The main features are the site manager, message log, file and folder view, and the transfer queue. The site manager allows a user to create a list of FTP sites along with their connection data, such as the port number to use, the protocol to use, and whether to use anonymous or normal logon.


1. Open the Site Manager to add the site - the Site Manager command is located under the File menu.
2. Click on the 'New Site' button, then change the name that appears from 'New Site' to your site name or whatever you want to save it as.
3. In the right panel, you have 4 tabs but you should just need the General tab. Settings as follows:

OPTION 1 (SFTP - Recommended)
Host: (the URL for your website)
Port: 22
Protocol: Select SFTP (you don't want FTP)
Encryption: Use Plain FTP (you don't want TLS)
Logon Type: Normal
User: your cpanel login username
Password: your cpanel login password

Host: (the URL for your website)
Port: 21
Protocol: Select FTP (you don't want SFTP)
Encryption: Use Plain FTP (you don't want TLS)
Logon Type: Normal
User: your cpanel login username
Password: your cpanel login password

4. Now click OK.
5. Now click the down arrow next to the first icon on the menu bar, the new site you created will be accessible.
6. Click on the site in that drop down list, and the site will connect.

NOTE: For the error "Connection timed out after 20 seconds of inactivity": Open FileZilla > Edit > Setting > Time out seconds (change 20 to 90).
NOTE: Some have found instead of <username>, they must use <username>@<domain>

Cyberduck (Mac & Windows)

Highly recommended and used by many GM-Innovations clients, Cyberduck is a libre FTP, SFTP, WebDAV, Amazon S3, OpenStack Swift, Backblaze B2, Microsoft Azure & OneDrive, Google Drive and Dropbox browser for Mac and Windows.

FireFTP (Mac & Windows)

FireFTP is a free, secure, cross-platform FTP/SFTP client for Mozilla Firefox which provides easy and intuitive access to FTP/SFTP servers.

Core FTP (Windows)

CoreFTP is a secure FTP client gives you a fast, easy, reliable way to update and maintain your website via FTP. It also provides a secure method (via SSL, TLS, FTPS, HTTPS, or SFTP) to upload / download files to and from FTP servers.

SmartFTP (Windows)

A solid freeware FTP client, SmartFTP offers loads of handy features, including a Windows Explorer-like interface, drag & drop support and resumption of broken transfers. (For Windows). Free for personal, as well as educational and non-profit usage.

CoffeeCup Free FTP (Windows)

Use an unlimited number of FTP accounts, resume broken downloads and transfer files in binary, ASCII or auto-mode. It also includes auto-refresh on each file upload or download, and FTP log transcription.
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