What Is FTP? File Transfer Protocol explained

In this technological world, data has solitary importance in every business to protect it from cyber threats and ensure that it reaches the authoritative individual. The concept of file transfer protocol evolved, which is the first technology developed to solve the problem of data sharing.

The FTP enables data transfer from one computer to another through the internet. It involves two systems – one is the end-user computer, also known as the local host, and another is the remote host, a server.

Both the systems are connected to the network. The transmission requires the FTP installation of the software—the cloud stores all the information accessible by the users.

So, it enables the smooth communication and exchange of information between two devices.

FTP Connections

  • Control connections – It enables the transfer of command or response instantly. It uses the control connection that remains active through the exchange process.
  • Data connections – the data connection is not active throughout the process. It is available only at the time of transfer of data. For example, the data connection opens at the start of the transfer process and closes when the transfer process is over.

How are the files transferred through FTP?

  • The first requirement is the configuration of the FTTP network, and then the user can choose the right storage location from where the people can share the information.
  • The FTP requires the network so that the end-user can start the exchange of information.
  • Finally, the user can download, transfer, copy, delete, rename, or upload any file using the FTP.

FTP Modes

For the transfer of data, the FTP requires two modes.

  • Active Mode – The client requests the command channel to start the transfer session. Then the server begins creating the data connection that enables the client to data transmission.
  • Passive Mode – In the passive mode, the client can initiate the data connection; they do not need to send the request to the server.

The passive mode can work at the fireball and other gateways like network address translation.

Compared to the active mode, the passive way is more secure and reliable. It helps establish the direct connection between the FTP client and the FTP server. It also helps in eliminating the inbound links.

Objectives of FTP

  • It is helpful in the case of remote work.
  • People can transfer the file with ease and complete security.
  • It is an efficient way to communicate.
  • It helps establish the two connections between hosts eliminating the problem of different file conventions.

Types of FTP

There are four different types of FTP, and people can choose the best among them based on their requirements.

FTP Secure (FTPS)

These types of FTP are used by a business that needs more security for data transmission. It is commonly known as the FTP secure socket layer and uses the extra layer of Transport Layer Security (TLS) to protect the data.

Anonymous FTP

Most people use it to download the file as it does not restrict the download process by asking for the username and password. It is the most commonly used FTP that works well at all ports.

FTP over explicit

It is another way of secure file transmission. It works on port 21, enabling the transfer of an FTP connection into an encrypted connection.

Password protected FTP

It works well on port 21. Though it is not a secure or encrypted form to transfer the data, these types of FTP ask for the username and password for the transfer session.

Secure FTP

It works on port 22. It is not the FTP, but it has a similar function to FTP that enables the smooth administration and exchange of information. It is the subset of a secure shell.

Advantages of FTP

  • It is the fastest mode of file transmission hence saving the user’s time.
  • The user can use the FTP according to their requirement. In case of enhanced data security, the user can go for the secure socket layer or use the ordinary one.
  • It enables a two-way exchange of information. For example, the manager can send the forms to all the employees. The employees can fill out the form and send it back to the same server.
  • It assists inefficient data transmission.

Disadvantages of FTP

  • It has compatibility issues, as it is not compatible with every system.
  • There is a limitation to the file size. Generally, one can transfer the file size of up to 2 GB.

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