FTP Information

ESSA provides FTP file transfer capabilities as a fast and preferred way to transport large files (>2 Mbytes as a rule of thumb) via the internet. For clients whose email systems prohibit certain file types (typically exe or zip files), the FTP site also allows a method to pass these files back and forth. We recommend the free FTP client FileZilla ( http://filezilla-project.org ) as a very flexible and intuitive client.

1. Anonymous Access

There are two modes of access: anonymous and secure. Anonymous access allows *anyone* on the internet to upload files to the /incoming directory of our FTP site:


Once placed in the /incoming directory, files cannot be removed/viewed/deleted by anonymous users. Uploads to this directory are permitted from Internet Explorer 6 (IE6), IE7, IE8, FileZilla, WS_FTP32 and probably other FTP clients; but anonymous users cannot view the contents of the directory. So those who upload anonymously will have to take it on faith (it will be confirmed by the FTP client) that their file has been successfully transferred. To allow uploads, the Firefox browser requires the FireFTP add-on available from https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/fireftp/.

With the exception of the /incoming and /Internal directories (described below), anonymous users can retrieve files from *any other directory* on our site.

2. Secure access

Secure access allows those who know the user ID and password to view, upload, download, create and remove files and directories from anywhere on our site.

3. Custom private FTP sites

If you need to set up a private FTP site with restricted access or visibility, please contact drobinson@essa.com for further assistance.

4. File and directory lifetime

Unless told otherwise, files are removed from the regular site after two weeks; the same goes for empty directories and subdirectories.  In practice, this means that files/directories persist for 2-4 weeks. There is currently no housekeeping for private FTP sites.

5. Further help

Always make sure your FTP client is set up to do BINARY mode transfers and not ASCII mode transfers. The symptom of this illness is transfers that start and then stall.

Placing files onto the FTP site (e.g. in the /incoming folder) is sometimes difficult when a firewall is in use. You will almost certainly need to set your FTP client to use passive mode transfers. Those who use a browser for file transfers will also likely need to set up their browser for passive mode transfers (In IE 6, this is under Tools, Internet Options, Advanced. Look for “Use Passive FTP”), The symptom of this illness is transfers that never seem to get started.

If you are operating across a firewall, you may need to see your system administrator to configure your workstation FTP client, particularly if your network has restricted internet access. The IP address for our site is

If you are unable to access our site for anonymous or secure access, or need additional help configuring an FTP client, please contact drobinson@essa.com for further assistance.