Idle connection errors.................

Hello all, im new to the ftp scene, and need help with the idle connection messages i keep getting.
Im trying to download a file from my friend but i keep getting idle connection messages and can't open anything:( I have no firewall running(i checked even my task manager), nor do i have an antivirus program on at the moment. All the info is correct and i have the correct password also. Any ideas on this? Everyone says smartftp is the best but so far its very fustrating to understand. I checked the forums and tutorials and don't see where it shows you how to get around this.