How to Troubleshoot FTP Connection

March 13, 2015

FTP stands for “File Transfer Protocol” and is a method used to send & retrieve files from your server. If you find yourself trying to connect to your server through FTP but are having issues, don’t sweat it. Follow these simple steps to troubleshoot your FTP connection.

* While many of these steps apply to any host / server with FTP, they were specifically written with our SnapFast hosting in mind. We have regular FTP disabled on our servers and enforce using only secure sFTP or FTP-SSL.

Verify Server IP Address

Sometimes you might think you’re connecting to your server when in fact you might be trying to connect to an older server. We frequently see this happen when you switch servers and maybe didn’t properly update all your DNS entries.

  1. Find the IP address of the server you want to use with FTP. There are many different ways to do this:
    • Login to your server’s control panel like cPanel and look for the IP address there
    • Use a DNS check tool to find the ip address of your server. For example, you would lookup the DNS A record for “mydomain.com” and find the ip address.
  2. Try to PING the IP address. Doing a “ping” is very simple. Essentially it’s just where your computer tries to say “hello” to your server and see if it responds back. If there is no ping response, it might indicate that there is some issue between your computer and the server such as a firewall. Now that you have the actual server IP from step #1 above, follow this article on how to do a ping and be sure you get a response back.
    • Ping Works: move on to the next step
    • Ping Doesn’t Work: contact your hosting provider or your internet service provider (ISP)
  3. Verify FTP username / password. Sounds simple enough but this is often the issue!
    • If your FTP account has an @ symbol in the username like user@mywebsite.com then you need to login to your control panel to test the password. Login to cPanel and go to FTP Accounts. From there you can reset the user’s password.
    • If your FTP account does not have an @ symbol in the username then it’s probably the main account login and will typically be the first 8 characters of your domain name, something like mywebsit. In this case the password you use to login to your cPanel is the same password you would use for FTP. So, simply go to www.mywebsite.com/cpanel and try to login. If you get in successfully, you have the correct password. If not, contact support to get your password reset.