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File transfer protocol

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The File Transfer Protocol (FTP) is a protocol that is able to transfer files between machines with widely different operating systems.

It is an 8-bit 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:

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 plaintext
  2. It is hard to filter FTP traffic using a firewall, since the data connection is made to an apparently arbitary 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 programs.

Many sites that run FTP servers enable so-called "anonymous ftp". Users do not need an account[?] on the server. They are asked to send their email addresses as their passwords, but there is no verification.

FTP and Web Browsers

Nowadays, web browsers can manage the FTP protocol. For this, itīs used the ftp://ftpserveraddress link (i.e. ftp://ftp.fortunecity.com ).

Username and password can be added too to the FTP address (ftp://login:password@ftpserveraddress).

You can create a desktop shortcut for a more easy access to the FTP servers.

See also



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