The File transfer protocol reference article from the English Wikipedia on 24-Jul-2004
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File transfer protocol

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Internet protocol suite
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The File Transfer Protocol (FTP) is a part of the Internet protocol suite that is able to transfer computer files between machines with widely different operating systems.

It is an 8-bit client-server protocol, capable of handling any type of file without further processing such as MIME or UUEncode. However, FTP has extremely high latency; that is, the time between beginning the request and starting to receive the required data can be quite long, and a sometimes-lengthy login procedure is required.

FTP is standardized in RFC 0959 by the IETF as:

Which obsoleted the earlier RFC 765. The FTP protocol goes back to RFC 114 originally.

FTP commonly runs on port 21.

The objectives of FTP are:

  1. To promote sharing of files (computer programs and/or data).
  2. To encourage indirect or implicit (via programs) use of remote computers
  3. To shield a user from variations in file storage systems among hosts
  4. To transfer data reliably and efficiently.

Disadvantages are:

  1. Passwords and file contents are sent in clear text, allowing eavesdropping which may be unwanted
  2. It is hard to filter FTP traffic using a firewall, since the data connection is made to an apparently arbitrary port
  3. It is possible to tell a server to send to an arbitrary port of a third computer

FTP, though usable directly by a user at a terminal, is designed mainly for use by FTP client programs.

Many sites that run FTP servers enable so-called "anonymous ftp". Users do not need an account on the server. By default, the account name for the anonymous access is 'anonymous'. This account does not need a password, but users are commonly asked to send their email addresses as their passwords for authentification, but there is no verification.

Table of contents
1 FTP and web browsers
2 See also
3 External links

FTP and web browsers

Nowadays, web browsers can manage the FTP protocol, via a URL in the form ftp://<ftpserveraddress>  (e.g., [1]).

A username and password may also be added:  ftp://<login>:<password>@<ftpserveraddress>.

In GUIs such as Microsoft Windows, one can create a so-called desktop shortcut for more easy access to FTP servers.

See also

External links

FileZilla 2.2.1b FTP client on Windows 2000Enlarge

FileZilla 2.2.1b FTP client on Windows 2000