What Is A File Transfer Protocol (FTP)?

Written by Indicative Team


File Transfer Protocol (FTP) Defined 

File Transfer Protocol (FTP) is a standard client-server Internet protocol for transmitting files between computers on the Internet over TCP/IP connections.

FTP relies on the communication channels between a client and a server. This protocol begins with clients initiating a conversation with a server through the request to download a file. FTP then allows a client to upload, download, delete, rename, move and copy files onto a required server.

FTP sessions work in passive or active modes. In active mode, after a client initiates a session via a command channel request, the server initiates a data connection back to the client and begins transferring data.

In passive mode, the server instead uses the command channel to send the client the information it needs to open a data channel.

Benefits of a File Transfer Protocol include:

  • Allowing users to transfer multiple files as well as directories
  • The ability to resume a transfer if the connection is lost
  • The ability to add items to a “queue” to be uploaded/downloaded
  • Faster transfers then HTTP

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