Knowledge Base

How to access your account using FTP

This article describes how to connect to your A2 Hosting account using an FTP client.

What is FTP?

File Transfer Protocol (FTP) is a protocol that enables you to transfer files between your A2 Hosting account and another computer. FTP establishes a connection between a server (in this case, your account on an A2 Hosting server) and a client (your local computer). To make your website files accessible to the public, you use an FTP client to upload them to your A2 Hosting account on the server. You can also download files from your A2 Hosting account to your local computer.

The original FTP protocol does not encrypt data sent between the server and the client. A more secure way to transfer files over the internet is to use SFTP (Secure Shell File Transfer Protocol). When you use SFTP, all the data you send and receive is encrypted. Although you can use a regular unencrypted FTP connection to upload and download files, we strongly recommend you use SFTP whenever possible.

For security reasons, anonymous FTP is disabled on all A2 Hosting shared servers.

Using an FTP client

There are numerous FTP clients available, and many of them support SFTP as well. A2 Hosting recommends FileZilla, a free program that you can download here. It supports FTP and SFTP, and runs on Microsoft Windows, Apple Mac OS X, and Linux. In this article, we show how to use FileZilla to connect to your account and transfer files.

If you want to use a different FTP client, you will need the following information to connect to your account:

  • Your web site's domain name.
  • Your A2 Hosting account username.
  • Your A2 Hosting account password.
  • For SFTP connections, use port 7822 instead of the default port 22.
Connect to your account

To connect to your account using FileZilla, follow these steps:

  1. Start FileZilla.
  2. On the File menu, click Site Manager. The Site Manager dialog appears.
  3. Click New Site, type a name for the site, and then press Enter.
  4. In the Host text box, type your site's domain name.
  5. If you want to connect using SFTP, type 7822 in the Port text box. Otherwise, leave the Port text box blank.
    The default port for SFTP is 22. However, A2 Hosting uses a different port for security reasons.
  6. In the Protocol list box, select the protocol you want to use:
    • If you want to use SFTP, select SFTP - SSH File Transfer Protocol.
    • If you want to use regular FTP, select FTP - File Transfer Protocol, and then in the Encryption list box, select Only use plain FTP (insecure).
      A2 Hosting strongly recommends that you use SFTP whenever possible. Regular FTP sends usernames and passwords in unencrypted plaintext, and is not secure.
  7. In the Logon Type list box, select Normal.
  8. In the User text box, type your A2 Hosting account (cPanel) username or the FTP username that you created in cPanel.

    Make sure you only type the username. Do not include your domain name. For example, type username, do not type [email protected].
  9. In the Password text box, type your A2 Hosting account (cPanel) password or the FTP password that you created in cPanel.
  10. Optionally, you can specify a default directory for FileZilla to open on the remote server after it connects. For example, many people prefer to have an FTP client access the public_html directory by default. To do this, follow these steps:

    • Click the Advanced tab.
    • In the Default remote directory text box, type the full path to the directory that you want FileZilla to open. For example, to open the public_html directory, type /home/username/public_html, where username represents your A2 Hosting account (cPanel) username.
  11. Click Connect. After a few seconds, the connection is established.
Transfer files

After FileZilla establishes a connection between your local computer and the A2 Hosting server, you can transfer files. FileZilla has a Local site pane that displays files on your local computer, and a Remote site pane that displays files in your account on the A2 Hosting server.

To transfer files using FileZilla, follow these steps:

  1. You can navigate through folders in the Local site and Remote site panes just as you would in Windows Explorer or the Mac OS X Finder. To open a folder, double-click it.
  2. To upload a file to the server, drag the file from the Local site pane to the Remote site pane. After the file transfer is complete, the file appears in the Remote site pane.
    To upload a file, you can also double-click it in the Local site pane.
  3. To download a file to the local computer, drag the file from the Remote site pane to the Local site pane. After the file transfer is complete, the file appears in the Local site pane.
    To download a file, you can also double-click it in the Remote site pane.
  4. You can also transfer entire folders at once:
    • To upload a folder to the server, drag the folder from the Local site pane to the Remote site pane.
    • To download a folder to the local computer, drag the folder from the Remote site pane to the Local site pane.

FTP logging

All FTP activity is monitored and recorded in our server FTP log files. If you need information from the log files, open a support ticket at https://my.a2hosting.com. Alternatively, if you use a managed VPS or dedicated server, you can check the FTP logs located at /var/log/messages.

More Information

To view the online documentation for FileZilla, please visit http://wiki.filezilla-project.org/Documentation.