Anonymous FTP (file transfer protocol) is a type of FTP connection that does not require the user to login to the server. For security reasons, this is generally a bad idea, as it gives unknown users access, even if it is limited, to your system. In some situations, however, the benefits may outweigh the risks.
If you must have anonymous FTP, cPanel makes it easy to get it up and running. To do so, follow these steps:
- Login to cPanel and scroll down to the section labeled “Files”
- Click “Anonymous FTP”
- To allow users read-only access, check the first box labeled “Allow anonymous access to ftp.yourdomain.tld”
- If you also want users to be able to anonymously upload files (a really bad idea), check the second box labeled “Allow anonymous uploads to ftp.yourdomain.tld/incoming”
- Click “Save Settings” to finish
- Optionally, add a welcome message for anonymous users and click “save message”
After you have given anonymous access, any files you put into your /pub directory will be available for user downloads. This is useful if you host a mirror for free software or provide other free download servers for your users.
Users will be able to download files from within their web browsers, from FTP clients, or from desktop file managers that support the FTP protocol. Windows Explorer, Mac OS X Finder, and most Linux file managers (Nautilus, Dolphin, Thunar, etc) all have FTP support.
Because of the potential for security problems, you should only use anonymous FTP if you absolutely need it. If you do not, you should check your settings to make sure it is disabled, as some hosts may enable it by default.