Best Way to Search Files on a FTP Server
File Transfer Protocol (FTP) is a popular Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) that allows users to transfer files between hosts and or servers. It’s extremely fast, reliable, and straightforward. Anyone with a PC can quickly setup free FTP software to use. To use FTP, you need at least 2 PC’s – one acting as a host and the other as a server and they must be connected to a LAN.
A major downfall to FTP is the ability to search for files on an FTP site. A big FTP site may have 10,000’s of thousands of files and going through to find what you need can be a pain. Typically, bigger FTP sites shouldn’t be FTP sites. This is why websites were created that host large databased that can be easily searched by end users J
If you’re lucky, some FTP server software do allow search commands from certain FTP clients – like glFTPd. However, this search function would only be made available on high powered FTP servers with plenty of memory and CPU. It’s also custom configured on the backend of the FTP server and not enabled by default.
Some FTP clients, such as FlashFXP, allow you to do offline searches. An offline search will breadcrumb each directory you browse to on a particular FTP site (you can also tell the client to go through every directory on a site). Once you disconnect from the FTP site, your FTP client will remember every directory and file you were in as it pulled down this data. You can search all these files offline in this way.
If you have local access to the FTP server, you can perform an Operating System level search on the files.
In summary, there is no easy way around searching and FTP server site. We would love to hear ways other users have discovered to search FTP server sites.