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FireFTP Free FTP Client for Mozilla Firefox Options

- Show welcome message
When you connect to an FTP server, there will be a welcoming message saying "Hey, what's up? Welcome to our server - look, don't touch, yadda, yadda" or something along those lines :) This preference just turns off the dialog that pops-up when you connect. I personally just turn it off because I find it annoying :)

- Show error messages
If an error occurs, a dialog will pop-up telling you so. If you uncheck this box, a dialog will not appear notifying you of the error. However, it will still appear in the Log. It's recommended to keep this checked.

- Remember passwords
It's just what it says, really - if you uncheck this box, passwords won't be saved.

- Cache directory listings
Unchecking this box will refresh a directory every time you visit it (on the remote side). Checking it will cache the list of directories so navigating the remote file list will be faster. However, sometimes this means that your file list could get outdated. If so, you should hit "Refresh" in FireFTP (not Firefox!) to update the directory listing. It's recommended to keep this checked.

- Auto-refresh
Having auto-refresh checked means it will refresh the directory to reflect the new changes that have been made after you've completed a file transfer. If it is unchecked then you will need to manually refresh the directory to see the changes you have made. It is recommended to keep this checked. The advantage of turning it off sometimes is that it is faster working with FireFTP if you are doing multiple transfers.

- Show hidden files
It's just what it says, really - if you check this box, hidden files will magically appear.

- Display number of bytes for file sizes
It's just what it says, really - if you check this box, in the "Size" columns, the number will be in Bytes, and not in Kilobytes.

- Start FireFTP in a new window/tab
It's just what it says, really - you can have FireFTP open in a tab or a new window. The choice is yours and is a matter of, uh, preference.

- Configure FTP links in Firefox to automatically use FireFTP
When you click on an FTP link in Firefox, usually what happens is a file is downloaded using the default Download Manager. This is fine for most cases. Personally, even as creator of FireFTP, it's still how I download my FTP files (I use FireFTP mostly for managing website content). So, for most people it's just fine to stick with the default Firefox behavior - it really is fine and works well. However, sometimes people like the feel of using an FTP client when downloading FTP files so you can check this box and the next time you click on an FTP link, FireFTP will take over and handle the download for you. The associated checkbox with this is "Use Passive Mode for these connections" - I talk about Passive Mode in this FAQ in a previous question and you can read my answer there.

An FTP link is setup like this by the way: ftp://username:password@host/path/to/something.txt
Examples include:

So in order to not log in anonymously when clicking a link from Firefox the link would need to include your username and password information.

- Double-click/pressing enter
You can change here what you would like the default action to be when you double-click or press Enter on a file.

- Show log in main window
You can uncheck this to hide the log, the dialog between FireFTP and the server, from view.

- Show only errors in log
It's just what it says, really - you can check this to only show text in the log when things go wrong.

- Show debug information
You can have the log show some extra information that would be useful to me, as a programmer in debugging FireFTP. If you think you've found a bug in FireFTP, be sure to check this box so that I can assess the problem more easily.

- Proxy
Most people will not have to deal with setting this but if you are using a proxy you can configure it here. FireFTP does not use the Firefox proxy settings because of the multiple ways one can connect to an FTP hosting through Proxy (HTTP, SOCKS, etc.) You can read more about proxies here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Proxy_server

- Limit ports
When in active mode, this is a place where you can specify a certain range of ports to use. It is recommended to keep this disabled except for advanced users.

- Max. simultaneous transfers
You can have up to 10 separate simultaneous connections to an FTP server. If the server and your bandwidth allow it, you can increase the value of this to make downloading files significantly faster. As a common courtesy, however, you should avoid bogging down the server you are connecting to by overloading it too much with just your requests. (hence the maximum of 10 - show your server some love!)

- Network timeout
When FireFTP sends a command for a server to do something and the server doesn't respond, FireFTP will wait this many seconds before try reconnecting to the server and trying again.

- Keep connection alive while idle
If you're busy doing other things, while using FireFTP, servers have a tendency to "boot" you off after three minutes or so due to inactivity. You can check this box to keep you "active" on the server even if you're not doing anything with FireFTP. This doesn't guarantee that you won't be booted off, but it usually increases the time to about 30 minutes before you are booted. By the way, if you are booted, FireFTP will automatically try to reconnect for you (depending if you have the Preference enabled).

- If disconnect, try to reconnect/Retry Delay/Retry Attempts
If something happens to your FTP connection, FireFTP will try to get it back for you. It will wait the amount of seconds in "Retry Delay" before trying again and it will try the number of times that is in "Retry Attempts" before giving up.

- Automatic Mode/Binary Mode/ASCII mode/ASCII File Types
When transferring text files there are differences between Windows and Linux machines in the way the files are formatted (read about it here). So, you can use ASCII mode to transfer a file "safely" and ask the FTP server to convert it the proper format. Alternatively, you can turn on Automatic Mode and using the ASCII file types list, specify which file extensions would trigger a "safe" ASCII mode transfer. For most purposes, Binary Mode is just fine. Binary Mode must be used when dealing files like: images, applications, .zip files, .doc files, and just about everything that it isn't purely text. About the only time you ever need to turn on ASCII mode is for CGI scripts.

- Disable timer in overwrite dialog
It's just what it says, really - if you check this box, there will be no timer that automatically chooses for you when asking to overwrite. The timer is useful to keep because if you are transferring many files and you leave your computer for a while while it's transferring then it will automatically pick "Resume" for a partially downloaded/uploaded file and it will pick "Skip" for files that already exist. However, some people like the timer feature, some don't.

- Don't display overwrite dialog, simply overwrite
This is useful, let's say, for web developers - I know my local copy of my file is going to be newer than the copy that's on the server so I don't want to be bothered being asked "Do I want to overwrite the file?" every time - just freakin' do it. But then again, I live dangerously, so :) For most users, it is recommended to leave this unchecked.

- Use compression
If enabled, FireFTP will use compression (MODE Z) to make transfers and retrieval of directory listings faster. This can make for a substantial speed up in file transfers if you're on a slow network (especially text files). (The FTP server must be configured to allow the MODE Z command for this option to work.)

- Keep timestamps in sync
If enabled, FireFTP will attempt to keep the dates and times on the files you upload and download the same. (The FTP server must be configured to allow the MDTM command for this option to work.)

- Check integrity of file transfers (XMD5, XSHA1)
If enabled, FireFTP will do a hash check after a file transfer. This is used to verify that every bit of the file has transfered correctly. Although rare, sometimes a file can be corrupted when downloaded or uploaded, and a bit can change or could be lost. A hash of a file gives you a short string of characters that uniquely identifies a file. If the FTP server's hash of the file and FireFTP's hash match then splendid, all is well - if they don't match, then your file is corrupted and you should transfer it again. (The FTP server must be configured to allow the XMD5 or XSHA1 command for this option to work.)