If you are a programmer or webmaster, you have probably heard a lot about FTP, but you may have never sought to find its meaning and application. FTP or File Transfer Protocol is a protocol developed in 1971 on the Internet. This protocol is one of the most widely used and oldest Internet protocols. In this article, we want to see what is FTP protocol and what are its applications in the web world? So if you are interested in this topic, stay with us until the end of this article.
What is the FTP protocol?
The FTP protocol came in 1971 by Abhay Bhushan as RFC114. As the name implies, FTP is responsible for transferring files from one computer to another. This protocol was created to provide a standard way to transfer files over a small network of computers. The network included several military and academic centers and a small number of individuals. At the beginning of this protocol, the network consisted of a small number of computers and users. For this reason, security issues were not as important in the early versions of the FTP protocol.
But gradually, with the expansion of the computer network and the sudden increase in its users, the need to consider security issues was felt. Therefore, in order to fill this security gap, RFC 2228 and RFC 2428 updates were provided for this protocol. FTP is a standard protocol based on TCP / IP. Communication in this protocol is usually established through ports 20 and 21. Port 21 is used to communicate between the server and the client and port 20 is used to exchange and send files over the network.
What do you mean by FTP Client and FTP Server?
Using the FTP protocol to transfer files to another system requires two main prerequisites. These prerequisites include:
- FTP Client: To use FTP to transfer files, you must use special FTP software. These applications are graphical. Of course, there are other ways to use this protocol besides using these software, which we will introduce in the following.
- FTP Server: In order to use this protocol, we need to install software called FTP Server on the server or system that we intend to use as a server. This software is responsible for communicating with the client and processing the commands sent from it to the server.
Ways to use FTP
There are generally three ways to use FTP:
1.Using graphic software
This is the most common way to use FTP. In this way, the user can easily connect to the FTP server by installing software such as FileZilla, CuteFTP on their system. Using these software, the user can easily download or upload his files by dragging and dropping operations. The advantage of this method is no need for technical knowledge. Because the software environment is very similar to the default environment of the Windows operating system.
2.Use of web browsers
Internet browsers such as Chrome and Mozilla Firefox can be used to connect to FTP servers. In this method, it is enough to enter the FTP address of a site in the browser, then enter the username and password. Browsers are only able to display files and the contents of the space, but are not able to upload or upload files. Therefore, using this method is suitable for searching or reading the file. Also, this method has lower speed and security than the first method.
3.Using the command line
In this method, you can use the operating system command line to connect to the FTP server. However, this method is usually less used due to the lack of a user-friendly graphical interface.
What are the uses of FTP protocol?
FTP is for transferring files between accounts of one computer, between two different computers, etc. in a network. Webmasters typically use FTP to deliver content to sites. Because usually when they want to upload a file from a system to the host, FTP is the best option for this. FTP can also be used to share files. For example, when they want to give other users access to a file via a link. Applications of this protocol in general include:
- Provide a report of the files in the system
- Delete, rename and move files
- Search directories
- Create or delete a directory on the desired system
- Ability to download files from the desired system
- Ability to upload files to the desired system
Security in FTP protocol
As mentioned, when the FTP protocol was introduced, the network of computers was very small and limited. For this reason, at that time, there was no talk of cyber security and observance of security tips in communication. This indicates that communications are not encrypted in the FTP protocol.
Accordingly, if someone has access to the FTP connection route, they can easily check the operations performed. It may even easily compromise site information by altering or deleting files. For this reason, most users today use FTPS. FTPS encrypts information and communications to prevent hackers, saboteurs, or any other unauthorized user from accessing server files.
The FTP protocol is responsible for transferring files from one computer to another. This protocol was created to provide a standard way to transfer files over a small network of computers. This protocol is used to transfer files between accounts of one computer, between two different computers, etc. in a network.