FTP – what does it mean?
FTP, or File Transfer Protocol, is a standard communications protocol for transferring data between devices across a network. A TCP/IP (Internet) connection is also available between the two. FTP is a network protocol that connects a user to a server and allows users to download files, pages, or applications that are available on other services. File Transfer Protocol is usually using by the user when they need to download data to their personal device.
It’s worth noting that File Transfer Protocol does not use encryption. Instead, it exclusively uses cleartext users and passwords for authentication purposes. Unfortunately, this leaves information delivered via FTP vulnerable to simple impersonation and other forms of attacks. There is, however, SFTP (Secure File Transfer Protocol), which can allow secure file transfer.
Benefits of using it
FTP is absolutely advantageous. Here are some of its benefits:
- You can use File Transfer Protocol to transport huge files.
- Also, you can submit multiple folders containing files simultaneously to expedite the transfer process.
- You can re-establish an interrupted File Transfer Protocol connection.
- And in addition, the transfers of schedules are possible.
- You can collect data from linked devices — The number of IoT devices is growing, and all of them, including laptops, PCs, and tablets, are connected to the Internet. Without the need for human interaction, you may obtain all of the data and transfer it via a wireless network. The data transfers on a regular basis when automated FTP transfers are set up.
- Business of e-commerce – Online shopping is convenient and offers numerous advantages. However, a lot is going on behind the scenes. Secure File Transfer Protocol (SFTP) aids e-commerce businesses by transmitting data to various critical business systems, such as analytics. The company will be able to continue moving forward in this manner.
- A content distribution network (CDN) – is a system that allows you to share your content with others. Large media content organizations, as well as various radio and television shows, require reliable data delivery. This ensures that presentations are broadcast on time. FTP’s ability to transport large amounts of data is advantageous to them.
FTP vs HTTP
HTTP stands for Hypertext Transfer Protocol, and it is a protocol for loading documents via hyperlinks on the Internet (World Wide Web). It also follows the same client-server concept as FTP, in which a client sends a request, and the server responds with the content or action requested. The most common HTTP requests are GET (for getting a specific resource) and POST (for posting text or a file).
Let’s look at the differences and similarities between FTP and HTTP. You might be quite surprising at how much the two network protocols have in common.
- FTP and HTTP are both types of network protocols.
- FTPS and HTTPS are secure versions of FTP and HTTP that use data encryption.
- Both FTP and HTTP are still in use on the Internet and can be used to transmit files.
- The TCP protocol is used by both FTP and HTTP but on different ports.
- After establishing a connection, the purpose of File Transfer Protocol is to transmit files from a remote host, while HTTP is used to browse the web after establishing a connection.
- Because HTTP can download a file in pieces and speed up the transfer, FTP usually is slower than HTTP. In addition, if there are several files, the FTP must re-establish the connection between each one, which takes time.
You now understand what FTP is and what it does. It is a well-known file-exchange protocol. Of course, it isn’t perfect, but there are ways to improve its security and use it.