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Passive/Active FTP

Posted on 2009-04-08
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Last Modified: 2013-12-02
Different FTP clients have different results when connecting to my FTP server.  DOS and WS_FTP always connect successfully.  IE, Firefox and Windows Explorer don't.

1)  What is the reason for my issue above?
2)  How can I tell if I'm in active or passive mode with these clients (DOS, IE, Firefox, Windows Explorer)?
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Question by:Whah
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by:mikey1h
ID: 24102744
usually, web browsers try to log in with Anonymous access.  If this is disabled on your server, they wont be able to connect.    you can either enable anonymous access on the server, or disable login anonymously in the browsers settings
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by:omarfarid
ID: 24103718
do you have a firewall in front of your server? Do you allow ports 20 and 21 TCP in that firewall?
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Accepted Solution

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TheChemic earned 500 total points
ID: 24112523
You're getting this problem because web browsers use FTP Passive mode by default.  FTP clients use Active mode by default and then fall back to passive mode if active mode fails.  At first glance I would say that passive mode is not working.  Why not?  This could be due to numerous factors.  The most likely scenario is that you're behind a router and you have not properly configured passive mode in the FTP server and forwarded the appropriate passive port range in your router.

If this is not the case, please provide more detailed information about your network configuration.

If your FTP server (and router, if you have one) is properly configured to use passive mode then you wont have problems with any type of connection.

Q: How can I tell if I'm in active or passive mode with these clients (DOS, IE, Firefox, Windows Explorer)?
A: Review your FTP server logs.  You will see where the server tells the client to enter passive mode because active mode failed.

If you are behind a router then you will need to enable, and properly configure passive mode in your FTP server setup.
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