We explain what an FTP is and what this protocol is for. Also, what is an FTP client and how does an FTP server work.
What is an FTP?
In computing , it is known as FTP ( File Acronym for File Transfer Protocol , that is, File Transfer Protocol ) to a protocol for transferring information between systems connected to a TCP network (acronym for Transmission Control Protocol , or either, Transmission Control Protocol) that is based on the client-server architecture.
In other words, it is a communication protocol or method that allows you to upload and download files to or from one computer (server) to another (client), regardless of the operating system you both use. For this, a TCP / IP network layer model is implemented, together with a password or secret key, to establish the remote connection.
Connections through an FTP are designed to be fast , thus maximizing the rate of information transfer, but not really secure, since information is handled (even passwords ) as simple text. Therefore, SCP and SFTP programs are usually used to encrypt the content of these connections and prevent access to information from third parties.
This type of technology began to be used in 1971 (known as RFC 114), before the invention of the TCP / IP protocol, and its current version is published in 1985 (RFC 959). Usually these types of connections are established using ports 20 and 21 of the system.
What is an FTP for?
FTPs are extremely useful for transferring large amounts of data at a good speed. That is, to send files from one computer to another without the need for removable media (such as compact discs, memory drives, etc.), but directly through the Network . This facilitates the displacement of data, especially if it is an important volume of data, which would require more cumbersome technology.
Nowadays, FTP is used to share editorial, visual or audiovisual work information , areas in which voluminous files are usually handled and usually worked remotely. Also in the mobilization of data through medium-sized networks, such as WAN or MAN, these protocols are often used, for example, to upload information to the Internet.
An FTP client is a computer program that, installed on a user’s computer , allows you to access a server using FTP protocols to upload or download data from it . That is, a software that allows the establishment of FTP (or SFTP, more secure) connections, once a password and a specific address of the system to which we want to connect is supplied.
FTP clients usually come pre-installed on operating systems such as Windows , but more advanced programs can also be chosen to switch between different connection modes.
An FTP server is a program designed to run on a computer connected to the Internet and that fulfills the function of data provider in a network . This program manages connections and allows the flow of information to and from the different clients that exist.
They are not usually implemented in personal computers , but in the repositories of the information of large companies or local networks.
The difference between an FTP client and an FTP Server is that the same server can serve numerous clients , since it is the central node of the information transfer.