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How to set up SmartFTP

How to set up SmartFTP

This article shows how Nexcess clients can set up SmartFTP to transfer files to and from their hosting account. 

Before proceeding

  • You need the FTP account login credentials and server information, which was provided within your Nexcess Welcome Email
  • SmartFTP is a third-party commercial product and must be purchased, to purchase it, go to the SmartFTP website. Nexcess does not endorse their services, nor does Nexcess make any promises about its performance.


  1. Launch SmartFTP.
  2. Click the File menu, and then select New Connection.
  3. In the New Connection panel, type the information for your FTP account. Remember to refer to your Nexcess Welcome Email as necessary.
    1. Host: Your FTP server host name that was provided in the Welcome Email.
    2. Username: The user name for your FTP account.
    3. Password: The password for your FTP account.
    4. In the Name field under Add to Favorites, type a name for this FTP connection and click OK.
  4. If connection is successful, the window displays the contents of your hosting account on the left and the contents of your local file directory on the right (Figure 1). If connection the connection fails, refer to Troubleshooting below.

    SmartFTP:  FTP Connection Established
    Figure 1. Sample SmartFTP directories.


If you are not able to establish a connection, verify the following:

  • If your Nexcess web hosting account is new, your domain may not have been switched over to our service yet. Instead of using your domain name in the Host: field, type the temporary FTP hostname provided  in your Nexcess Welcome Email in the Your Temporary Domain section.
  • Your connection may have firewall or proxy issues that can be resolved if the transfer setting is set to Passive mode. To enable passive mode:
    1. Click the Favorites menu, then select Favorite Properties. 
    2. Click FTP > Connection.
    3. From the Mode drop-down list, select Passive Mode (PASV) (Figure 2).

      SmartFTP: Change Transfer Mode to 'Passive'
      Figure 2. Mode drop-down list; Passive Mode selection.

External Resources

For more detailed instructions on how to use SmartFTP, refer to the SmartFTP website.


For 24-hour assistance any day of the year, contact our Support Team by email or through the Client Portal.

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