File Transfer Protocol

A File Transfer Protocol (FTP) is a standard network protocol used for transmitting files between computers on the internet. Any two computers that are on the same network (and that can be on the Internet) can transfer files using the File Transfer Protocol. There's an application in there, known as "ftp," that directs the actual protocol (FTP) to transfer files. Here's how it works: 

  • A person runs an FTP client application on one computer.
  • Another computer runs an FTP server program. That might be as an "ftpd" on a UNIX/Linux computer.
  • It could also be an FTP service on other platforms.

Here is what file transfer protocol can do:

  • Transfer files between computers.
  • Create directories.
  • Remove directories.
  • List files.

Benefits that FTP brings

You can count on FTP to deliver files cleanly. Attaching large files in an email can fail at times—as you've probably experienced—or it can freeze up a computer for long stretches of time.

Because FTP uses the TCP (networking) protocol, it operates through a reliable connection as a transfer "session" between the client (host) and server (remote) computers.

In addition to allowing you to send large files that would crash as an email attachment, FTP typically lets you see, with certainty, that a file is on the server, and it lets you know if and when the transferred file reached its destination.

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