MacMost Now 228: FTP With Cyberduck

Learn how to use basic FTP to upload and download files with the open source Mac FTP program Cyberduck.
Video Transcript / Captions
Closed captioning for this video is available on YouTube: MacMost Now 228: FTP With Cyberduck.

Video Name: MacMost Now 228: FTP With Cyberduck
Hi, this is Gary with MacMost Now. On today's episode let's learn how to use FTP with Cyberduck.
So, FTP stands for File Transfer Protocol. And if you use your Mac for business, chances are you have to use FTP every once in awhile. You can use it to upload files to a server or download files from a server. So you can use it to say upload files to a client, if you're an artist, or you can download files from a server--presentations, artwork, whatever.
There's a lot of different programs that you can use to FTP on your Mac. Some of them cost a little bit of money. There's one that is really popular called Cyberduck, that's free and open source. Let's take a look at that.
So you can get Cyberduck by going to and downloading it from there. Once you've installed it, it will look something like this. Basically you get a window here, and there is a big "Open Connection" button in the upper left.
When you click the Open Connection button, you can go ahead and enter in the information you need to connect to the server. You usually get this from the server's owner. So for instance, you can type in the server name--like Sometimes it will be a domain name like that. Other times, it will be a series of numbers. Then you can type in your user name, also given to you by the owner of the server, and the password.
Now you also have to choose the type of FTP you're using. The default is standard FTP; but there's also FTPS using SSL, and there's SFTP. Both are more secure than standard FTP. There's a variety of other options. You find out which one you're using from whatever server you're using.
So once you have successfully logged into the server, you'll see that the window looks like this. It lists the files that are in the directory that you been sent to in FTP. Now, you can navigate up and down the directory structure using the controls here at the top. There's forward and back like you would see in a browser. You can also click the popup menu to go ahead and browse up as well.
You can see the files here. Now, to get a file transferred up to the FTP server, it's…well, it's a Mac. So you just click and drag. So here is a window with some files in it. I'll go ahead and drag this text file up there. It'll show me the transfer data there. Close that, and I can see now it is up at the server. To transfer it back down, I can go ahead and click on a file there and drag it out to the finder the same way.
So really, once you've used Cyberduck to connect to a server, it's all just about drag and drop. There is some functionality in the menu items for creating new folders and things like that. Sometimes you will have the ability to do that on a FTP server. Sometimes you won't.
Now some protocol when going and using FTP is usually you compress groups of files using say zip format. You can do that by putting a bunch of files in a folder, control clicking or right clicking on that folder, and using the compress option in Mac OS 10. You also want to go and make sure you email the person that you've just FTPed the files to because there is no automatic way for them to know that you've completed the upload.
If you're having trouble connecting to an FTP server or transferring files, it's useful to talk to the person that controls the FTP server and make sure that you've got all of your fields filled in correctly and any special options set for that particular FTP server.
FTP is also a great way to transfer files to a server that you control. So say that you've bought hosting services from a company and you've been using something like Dreamweaver or iWeb to host your website, but you just want to upload a bunch of different files there--maybe for storage or for backup. You can use Cyberduck to log into that same account using FTP information you get from that host and transfer files up and transfer files back.

Comments: 2 Responses to “MacMost Now 228: FTP With Cyberduck”

    7 years ago

    I am on a macbook pro and need to connect to a school server. Using the exact same info for the server I could not connect with Fetch or Cyberduck. My connect attempt would just time out. I then downloaded Filezilla and connected with no problem. What could create this situation?

      7 years ago

      It is most likely a setting. There are many options — the type of FTP, passive, port numbers, all sorts of things.

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