FTP - Problems and Solutions

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File Transfer Protocol - FTP

File Transfer Protocol (aka FTP) is a protocol for transferring files across the internet faster and more reliable than any other means. It is not restricted to other limitations as other internet protocols.


Yes, we support FTPS (FTP over SSL) on all Windows 2008 servers and above.

Use port 21 for 'Explicit SSL' (I.E. The FTP client connects over a standard connection and requests SSL encryption before sending credentials).
Use port 990 for 'Implicit SSL' (I.E. The FTP client begins the connection with SSL encryption).
Passive FTP is required for all FTPS connections.

NOTE: For existing customers, if you are on a Windows 2003 server and you need FTPs (Secure FTP), you can request to be moved to a Windows 2008 server by submitting a support ticket at: https://support.hostek.com/

Configuring FTP Over SSL on VPS

To configure a certificate for FTP over SSL on a Windows VPS, follow these steps:

  1. Order an SSL by following these instructions: https://wiki.hostek.com/SSL_Certificates#Ordering_an_SSL_Certificate
  2. Open IIS (Internet Information Services 7.5 on Server 2008, Internet Information Services 8.0 on Server 2012)
  3. Expand Sites
  4. Double-Click on the site named FTP
  5. Double Click FTP SSL Settings
  6. Check "Allow SSL Connections"
  7. At the top, click on the drop down and select the certificate that was ordered and installed
  8. Click Apply

You can now connect using SSL with that certificate.

FTP Clients

An FTP client is a software application that allows you to upload and download files from a local host (your computer) to and from a remote host (i.e., web servers) using the File Transfer Protocol (FTP).

FTP Programs and Setup

Most FTP programs only require three credentials to access the remote site (server). The User and Password information are can be found in the original email sent when the site was set up (Can be changed in the site's control panel).

Host: ftp.yourdomain.com or the server's IP address, i.e.
User: yourdomain.com (Can be different)
Pass: **************

NOTE: It is best to set FTP to 'Passive' Mode in the FTP settings. Usually set by default.

FTP Program Video Tutorials


Configuring your website in CuteFTP

Managing files in CuteFTP

Uploading Files using CuteFTP


Configuring your website in FileZilla

Managing files in FileZilla

Uploading Files using FileZilla


Configuring your website in FlashFXP

Managing files in FlashFXP

Uploading Files using FlashFXP


Configuring your website in LeapFTP

Managing files in LeapFTP

Uploading Files using LeapFTP


Configuring your website in SmartFTP

Managing files in SmartFTP

Uploading Files using SmartFTP

FTP Voyager

Configuring your website in FTP Voyager

Managing files in FTP Voyager

Uploading Files using FTP Voyager


Configuring your website in WinSCP NOTE Tutorial says use Port 22, but please use Port 21.

Managing files in WinSCP

Uploading Files using WinSCP

How to view hidden files using WS_FTP

In each connection's "Session Properties", click the Startup tab.

In the "Remote file mask" box, type -al.

While connected, type -al in the white box just under the "MkDir" button in the Remote Site panel. Then click "Refresh" to see the files.

Also, look in the settings for toggles to turn the display of hidden files on and off.

FTP using Windows Explorer or Web Browser

  1. Open My Computer or Windows Explorer. In the address bar put in your domain starting with "ftp://" and include your username and password, for example: "ftp://yourusername:yourpassword@yourhostlocation.com".
  2. Hit the enter key one time.
  3. (If you don't see your files or folders)
    Under "File" on the menu choose "login as" and type in your username and password and select "Log On".

You can use the same type of FTP address shown in Step 1 to connect to your FTP site in a Web browser such as FireFox or Chrome.

FTP Frequently Asked Questions

FTP Upload/Download - Are there limits?

You have unlimited FTP access 24-hours a day to our servers. You can create and maintain your web pages on your computer and upload files to your web server space at any time.

Anonymous FTP Access - is it allowed?

We do not allow anonymous FTP access. There are major security issues related to anonymous FTP. You can add additional FTP accounts via your hosting control panel.

What do I use as my FTP Host

When connecting via FTP, you can use your site's IP address as the FTP Host. If the domain name is already pointing to that IP address, you can use either the IP address or the domain name as the FTP host, i.e. ftp.yourdomain.com

How can I get an additional FTP account/user?

Additional FTP users can be easily creating within your WCP or cPanel.

  • WCP
  1. Log into the WCP
  2. Click on FTP Accounts.
  3. Click 'Add FTP User' to add a new user.

Problems and Solutions to FTP Issues

Maximum FTP Username length on Windows Server

Windows server has a limit of 20 characters for the maximum FTP username length. Therefore, our control panel only allows for a 20 character username length.

Why do I get error "blocking call cancelled" with FTP?

This can happen when you are behind a firewall or are running a personal firewall like Black Ice Defender or ZoneAlarm.

To fix this, go into your FTP program settings and find the setting for "Passive Mode" or "PASV Mode". If it is turned on, turn it off. If it is off, turn it on.

Filezilla Error: "could not retrieve directory

When connecting via FTP using Filezilla you receive an error saying "Could not retrieve directory listing".


  1. Try disabling the "Keep Alive" feature.
  2. Try disabling pasive mode.

How to Disable FTP Timeouts in Filezilla

If Filezilla times out its connection when you are transferring files, try disabling the Timeout setting.

To do this, click on "Edit" then choose settings. It will bring up a window like this:

Change the Timeout to zero as shown, click OK, and you're ready.

Filezilla is a free, cross-platform FTP client available for download at filezilla-project.org.

FTP - Virtual Private Servers

Cannot connect to FileZilla Server (VPS)

Intalling FileZilla FTP Server on your VPS will require you to stop the Microsoft FTP service in the Windows Services.

To Disable the Microsoft FTP Service:

  • Click the Start Button
  • Go to Administrative Tools
  • Click Services
  • Find and right click on Microsoft FTP Service
  • In the General Tab, change Startup Type to "Disabled"
  • Click APPLY