How to Download via FTP

The short answer is that the best way to download is to use FTP software. A majority seem to be using Windows.  

Filezilla is free and will work well, there are other alternatives. A plus for Filezilla is that it works on Mac and Linux. The key is the Site Manager. File menu, Site Manager, New site. On encryption, select Only use plain FTP (insecure).

The reason for this article, is that Google Chrome (and eventually other browsers) have dropped support for ftp. Most people using Chrome are having problems using it to download files with the ftp protocol. While it is possible to alter the settings on Chrome to re-activate the ftp capability, we don’t know in the future what Chrome will do. Eventually Chrome may remove the capability of ftp altogether.

What happens if you don’t alter the flags, and try to use Chrome? You will get a blank white screen, and never get a userid prompt. It will seem as though the ftp site is down. Then you will send us an email saying “your site is down”.

We highly recommend that you take the time to install an FTP application such as Filezilla (without TLS). There are others you can try.

The last we checked, Chrome and Firefox do not support any longer.

For Filezilla, please note that our web site does not allow for FTP over TLS. After connecting (port 21), you must check the checkbox to allow to connect without using TLS.

Filezilla – Step By Step

After installing Filezilla and running it you need to open Site Manager. This is under the File menu or you can use the Ctrl+S shortcut. Do NOT use the QuickConnect.

The site manager window will pop up. Click on the “New site” button. In the example, it is called “Level2Options”.
On the right side, fill out the Host information (example
(important setting) Encryption: Only use plain FTP (insecure)
Port: 21. “Ask for password”. User: (enter your userid).
Click Connect.

Filezilla will ask for your password.

If all goes well, a large window will open. On the left is your local directory structure.
On the right is the ftp site.
In the example a folder called C:MyOptionData has been created to hold the download files.
On the right side is the remote site. A list of folder and files should be visible.
You may need to click on a folder to get to the subfolder on the remote site (example Level2 folder)
Right click on one of the files on the right, and click “Download”.
The files you selected should then be copied to your chose local folder on the left

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