GetCpanelSupport Blog

How to connect to FTP using an FTP client and what are the possible reasons for the failure of the connection?

Published on : November 13, 2018 by Andy Robert

File transfer protocol commonly knows as FTP is widely used to transfer files over the Internet. We all know the fact that to transfer files with huge sizes, the easy way to do the same is using FTP clients such as FileZilla, Cyberduck etc.

Before we begin with connecting to an FTP client, we would require an FTP account. Now from where would we get that? Well, answer to that lies in the control panel that you are using such as the cPanel, Plesk etc. Since cPanel is one of the widely used control Panel, I am taking it as an example here.

How do I create an FTP account?

You can create an FTP account from your cPanel -> FTP account. You would see a couple of options to fill in the same. The first option that you see in “Login” is where you provide the FTP name for your account.

Next is the domain name in which you can select the required domain name that you need to create the account on. After which, you can provide the password for that account.

Then you can see an option called the directory where you can specify the location to the folder that you like to share and keep the rest of the files or folders hidden from the external user. After which you can set the quota for the FTP account and click “Create FTP Account”. There, you got yourself an FTP account.

How to connect to an FTP client?

As we have learned on how to create an FTP account, now let's connect to an FTP client using the account.

There are many FTP clients available in the market such as FileZilla, Cyberduck etc as mentioned earlier. Here, I am going to use FileZilla as it is the most widely used and popular FTP client.

Install the FTP client FileZilla from their official site. You can find the download link for both Linux and Windows operating system from here “https://filezilla-project.org/

Once you have downloaded the same, open it and you can see a whole lot of options in the FileZilla interface. What we have to worry about is only the 4 fields in the top in which we would provide the details for connecting with the FTP account.

You would be able to see four options as follows

1)Host

2)User Name

3)Password

4)Port

Now, let's see the above terms in detail. The host is the hostname of your server or the domain where you want to connect FTP. Usually, this would be the domain name or the IP to which your domain is pointing.

Next, you can give the username which is the FTP account name that you had created. After which, you can give the password and the Port which FTP uses by default is 21.

Note: You can find all the FTP details from your cPanel -> FTP account -> Configure FTP client.

After entering the required details, press quick connects and after the secure connection has been established. You can transfer files between your local system and the server.

Common Issues and solutions while connecting to FileZilla

You may encounter a lot of errors while connecting to an FTP client. We would now discuss some of the common errors and how to troubleshoot the same.

1)Authentication failure

If the details that you have provided in your FTP client does not match the FTP account details, you would see this error. Please double check and ensure that you have provided the correct details.

2)Domain not pointing to the correct server.

While using the details to connect your FTP account, if the hostname that you are using for example “ftp.yourdomain.com” and if it doesn't resolve to the concerned IP or server, you would have trouble connecting the same.

So make sure that the particular Host name that you are using resolves to the concerned IP. You may also try using the server's default hostname and try connecting the same. Most of the time, the issue gets resolved.

3)The IP gets blocked due to failed login attempts

When you tried to log in to your FTP account and failed more than once, your public IP may get blocked as the server might be using some security software such as Imunify to protect your account from attacks.

In such cases, if the block was temporary, you should be able to log in after some time but if it's permanent, then you will have to contact your hosting provider and ask them to remove the block.

4)Too many simultaneous connections

Every hosting provider limits the number of simultaneous connection that you can make to the server. Once the threshold is reached, further connections will be refused until the number of the live connections drops.

You can check the same from your cPanel -> FTP connections and if you find that there are many live connections, you can remotely disconnect the users from the server.

5) Connection refused error

To transfer files, FTP uses active and passive modes with active mode generally selected by default. Depending on the configuration, you may get “connection refused” errors while using the active mode while you connect to your FTP account.

Try switching the mode from “active” to “passive” and try connecting it again which should solve the issue. The passive FTP connections are more firewall friendly and can succeed in some situations.

To change from active to passive mode, Open Site Manager and in the Select Entry column, select the server by clicking the site name associated with it and click the Transfer Settings tab. You can click the “passive” option and you are all done.

We have learned on how to create an FTP account and we used the FTP account details to connect to an FTP client such as FileZilla and also discussed common issues that you would face while connecting the same and troubleshooting those issues if it ever occurred.

Click here to know more about FTP