Downloading files from an implicit FTP



Hoping you guys can help!

As part of data security we’re sent daily data files on a sharefile website. The sharefile site mentions the files can be downloaded via FTP and they also included the below information.

Security: Implicit SSL/TLS (Port 990) - Required

I did have a look on google and SO but couldn’t find an answer to my question.
I’ve been able to download files off sites before but I have no idea how to do this.

Any help on this would be greatly appreciated.




Are you trying to read them into R? If so, what have you tried?


HI @Shan have you tried the curl package. I haven’t tried myself but looking at the vignette under the Customizing Requests section I think the approach would be

  • create a handle with the new_handle() function
  • set the various security , ftp options using handle_setopt() and handle_setheaders()
  • pass the header to curl_download()


Hey Mara,

Sorry I should have clarified! I usually use the RCurl library to download files from basic ftp sites but I’ve never done it from an implicit FTP.

I usually use the below as a start:

url <- "ftp://yourServer"
userpwd <- "yourUser:yourPass"
filenames <- getURL(url, userpwd = userpwd,
             ftp.use.epsv = FALSE,dirlistonly = TRUE) 



Maybe try adding the port number explicitly:

url <- "ftp://yourServer:990"


Hey Adam,

Thanks for that, just tried to give it a go and got the below

Error in function (type, msg, asError = TRUE)  : response reading failed

I’ll have look through your other suggestion and see if I can make it work.


Apologies all, I still couldn’t get it to work. Can anyone give any advice on this?