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Fetch Icon Fetch Help > Terms You Should Know

This is a short list of terms commonly used in Fetch that you should be familiar with. For a comprehensive list of all terms that you may not be familiar with, see the Glossary help topic.

account - When you have permission to access an FTP or SFTP server by entering a username and password, you are said to have an account on that server. A home folder to store your files is often associated with an account.

anonymous FTP - The process of connecting to a server that does not require any identification or password. The username used is either blank or "anonymous" and the password is optional. When you are connected to an anonymous FTP server, you are said to be a guest of the server. Several repositories of Macintosh software are available to all by anonymous FTP.

binary file - A file that may contain any data in any format; not a text file. Files in MacBinary format or AppleSingle format are binary files, as are GIF and JPEG image files, MP3 and WAV audio files, and QuickTime and MPEG video files.

client - FTP and SFTP, like many other Internet services, are divided into two parts — the server computer, which hosts the files and makes them available on the Internet, and the client computer, which accesses the files on or sends files to the server. Fetch is an FTP and SFTP client — it can read or send files to servers, but it cannot make files residing on your Macintosh available to everyone. When you use Fetch, your Macintosh is acting as the client computer.

connection - When you start to exchange data over the network with another computer, you have established a connection to that server. In Fetch, when a transfer window opens, you have opened a connection. The connection stays open while you look at files on the server or transfer files. When you close a transfer window in Fetch, you have closed your connection — you are no longer communicating with the server in any way. Some servers may automatically close a connection if it has been inactive for some time.

connection type - The method used to connect to a server. Fetch supports regular FTP connections, and secure connections using SFTP, FTP with TLS/SSL, and Kerberos (GSSAPI and KClient). See the connection types help topic for more information.

current folder - The remote folder you are currently viewing in a transfer window. Most Fetch actions, such as putting files or creating new folders, will take place in the current folder unless otherwise specified. Sometimes referred to as the "working folder" or "working directory."

directory - A collection of files and folders, equivalent to Macintosh folders. While some operating systems (such as UNIX) refer to folders as directories, in Fetch, directories are always referred to as folders or remote folders.

download - The process of moving a file from some other computer to your own. In Fetch, also referred to as get. When you are getting a file with Fetch, you are downloading it.

download folder - The folder on your Macintosh where Fetch will put your files when you double-click a remote file to download it, or use the Get command. Specified in the Download Preferences pane.

download mode - When Fetch gets a file, it must request the file as either a text file or as a binary file — that is, the file is to be downloaded in either text mode or binary mode. If a binary file (such as a JPEG file) is downloaded in text mode, it will become corrupted and unusable, so it is important to use the right mode. Fetch has an Automatic download mode that works well for most situations so that you don't have to decide each time. See the download modes help topic for further information.

encryption - The act of scrambling data so that only the receiver can read it, protecting the privacy of the data while it is being transferred over the Internet. SFTP connections always encrypt your data, while FTP with TLS/SSL or Kerberos connections can optionally encrypt the data.

extension - A suffix after a period at the end of a filename that identifies what kind of file it is. For example, the extension of "readme.txt" is ".txt", indicating it is a text file; the extension in "dog.jpg" is ".jpg", indicating a JPEG file, and so on. Some files on your Macintosh or on servers may not have extensions, in which case you may have to guess what kind of file they are.

Fetch address - An address that refers to files on an FTP or SFTP server in Fetch. A Fetch address is a kind of URL. An example of a Fetch address is "ftp://arthur:@ftp.example.com/www/photos.html". You can use Fetch addresses to tell Fetch which file or folder to access, and Fetch addresses can be associated with web addresses using WebView. See the WebView and URLs help topics for more information.

file list - The main part of the transfer window showing the files and folders of the current folder. It looks and works much like the Mac OS Finder's list view.

folder - A collection of files and subfolders. Referred to as a directory on some systems. Subfolders are folders within a folder; the enclosing folder is known as the parent folder. Most systems have a notion of the current folder, the folder whose files your are viewing at that time. Not all systems have folders, and some systems do not permit subfolders.

FTP - FTP stands for "File Transfer Protocol", and is a set of ground rules (a "protocol") that allows two computers to exchange files over a network. Fetch is an FTP client program. See the FTP help topic for more information.

FTP with TLS/SSL - A set of ground rules (a "protocol") that allows two computers to exchange files securely over a network. When you connect to a server using FTP with TLS/SSL, encryption is used to protect your password and optionally the data transferred between your Macintosh and the server. FTP with TLS/SSL uses the same protocol as FTP, but is wrapped in an encryption layer, and should not be confused with SFTP, which is a completely separate protocol from FTP. Fetch supports two kinds of FTP with TLS/SSL: AUTH TLS, also known as FTPES or Explicit SSL; and SSL connect, also known as Implicit SSL. For more information, see the FTP with TLS/SSL help topic.

FTPS - A common synonym for FTP with TLS/SSL. Not to be confused with SFTP.

get - The process of moving a file from some other computer to your own. Also referred to as download. When you are getting a file with Fetch, you are downloading it.

guest - A user of an anonymous FTP server. When you are connected to an anonymous FTP server, you are a guest of that server.

home folder - Your default folder on a server. If you do not specify an initial folder or path for a new connection in Fetch, a server will take you to the home folder for your username. For instance, on a web server, the home folder is often the folder where your webpages are stored. The home folder is usually not the same as the root folder on the server, but you may not have permission to see the parent or any enclosing folders of the home folder. Sometimes referred to as the remote home folder.

host - The remote computer you are connected to. Also referred to as the server — see the server entry below.

hosting service, hosting company - The company, organization, or institution that maintains a particular server that you use and grants you access to the server. Compare with Internet service provider, which is the company that provides you access to the Internet in general. While many Internet service providers also provide servers (such as web servers for your webpages), you may also access servers that are not maintained by your Internet service provider. For instance, you may use your cable Internet connection (the cable company is your Internet service provider) to transfer files to a server at your office (your company is the hosting service for that server). Fetch Softworks is not a hosting company or Internet service provider.

hostname - The name used to identify a computer on the Internet, for example "ftp.fetchsoftworks.com". This is usually how you refer to a server when connecting to it with Fetch. Hostnames form the first part of most URLs.

Internet - A collection of networks linking schools, universities, companies, and individuals around the world. FTP and SFTP are standard file transfer protocols of the Internet.

Internet provider, Internet service provider (ISP) - The company, organization, or institution that provides you with access to the Internet. Compare with hosting service, which is the company that maintains and gives you access to a particular server. See the hosting service entry above for more information. Fetch Softworks is not an Internet service provider or hosting service.

media file - An image, sound, movie, animation, PDF, or any other sort of file that can be displayed by Apple's QuickTime software.

parent, parent folder - The folder that encloses another folder. If folder "Pictures" is inside folder "My Files", "My Files" is the parent of "Pictures".

path - A description of a file or folder's location that includes the folders the item is in, for example, "/www/pictures/dog.jpg" is the path to the file "dog.jpg" that is in the folder "pictures" that in turn is in the folder "www". Differs from a URL in that it does not completely specify an item's location on the Internet, only on the current server. A path can be either a full path (one that is specified in relation to the root folder) or a relative path (one that is specified in relation to the current folder). A path is sometimes called a pathname.

put - The process of moving a file from your computer to another one. Also referred to as upload. When you put a file with Fetch, you are uploading it.

root folder - The topmost folder on a server; the folder that is the parent of all folders on a server. Usually represented in folder listings as "/" (a slash). The root folder may be different from the topmost folder you have access to — for example, on a web server, you may not have access to the parent folders of your website's folder, even though there are folders enclosing it. The root folder is sometimes just called "root" or even "/" (slash).

server - The remote computer you are connected to and transferring files from or to. The server runs a program that accepts your connections; your Macintosh is the client. Most servers are computers dedicated to hosting and serving files, but a personal computer can also act as a server. Sometimes a server is referred to as the host .

session - The time spent and actions taken between opening a connection to a server and closing the connection is an FTP (or SFTP) session, or just session for short. Each transfer window represents a session.

SFTP - A set of ground rules (a "protocol") that allows two computers to exchange files securely over a network. When you connect to a server using SFTP, SSH encryption is used to protect your password and the data transferred between your Macintosh and the server. Fetch supports connecting to servers with SFTP. For more information, see the SFTP help topic. SFTP stands for "SSH File Transfer Protocol," although it is also sometimes referred to as "Secure File Transfer Protocol."

shortcut - A quick way to access a file or folder available over the Internet via FTP or SFTP, similar to bookmarks or favorites in web browsers. See the shortcuts help topic for more information.

TCP/IP - A protocol suite developed for the United States Department of Defense, and used by many types of computers (notably, all the computers on the Internet). FTP and SFTP, the protocols used by Fetch, are part of the TCP/IP family of protocols. Fetch uses TCP/IP services provided in Mac OS X. TCP/IP stands for "Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol."

text file - A file containing lines of letters, numbers, and punctuation. Most word processors can create text files and some editors (such as BBEdit) only create text files. A non-text file is a binary file.

transfer window - The central window in Fetch for viewing or modifying files on a server, and for transferring files between your Macintosh and a server. A transfer window appears once you have successfully opened a connection to a server. For more information, see the transfer window help topic.

URL (Uniform Resource Locator) - A global name for a resource available on the Internet. An example of a URL is "ftp://ftp.fetchsoftworks.com/example/Fetch_5.7.dmg". In this case, the resource is a file, available for FTP on host "ftp.fetchsoftworks.com", with the path "example/Fetch_5.7.dmg". You can use URLs to tell Fetch which file or folder to access. URLs were developed as part of the World Wide Web (WWW) system on the Internet. See the URLs help topic for more information.

upload - The process of moving a file from your computer to another one. In Fetch, also referred to as put. When you put a file with Fetch, you are uploading it.

upload format - The format, or encoding, that Fetch will use when you put or upload a file to a server. Fetch must decide whether to store files as text files or binary files, and how to encode Macintosh files that contain special information in order to preserve that information (using the BinHex, MacBinary, AppleSingle, StuffIt X or Zip formats). Fetch has an Automatic upload format which determines the best upload format to use for each file. See the upload formats help topic for more information.

web address - An address you use to refer to files or webpages in a web browser. When you type an address into a web browser, you are using a web address. An example of a web address is "http://www.example.com/arthur/photos.html". A web address is a kind of URL. Web addresses can be associated with Fetch addresses using WebView. See the WebView and URLs help topics for more information.