What is FTP (File Transfer Protocol)?
FTP stands for File Transfer Protocol, which is basically a network protocol used to transfer files from one host to another host over a TCP-based network, such as the Internet.
FTP is built on a client-server architecture and uses separate control and data connections between the client and the server. FTP users may authenticate themselves using a clear-text sign-in protocol, normally in the form of a username and password, but can connect anonymously if the server is configured to allow it. For secure transmission that hides (encrypts) the username and password, and encrypts the content, FTP is often secured with SSL/TLS (“FTPS”). SSH File Transfer Protocol (“SFTP”) is sometimes also used instead.
The first FTP client applications were command-line applications developed before operating systems had graphical user interfaces, and are still shipped with most Windows, Unix, and Linux operating systems. Dozens of FTP clients and automation utilities have since been developed for desktops, servers, mobile devices, and hardware, and FTP has been incorporated into hundreds of productivity applications, such as Web page editors.
To initiate transfer of files with FTP, a program is used called the ‘Client’, which establishes a connection to the remote computer which runs the FTP ‘server’ software. Once the remote connection is established, the client is free to choose any file to send or receive the copy of files. To establish a successful connection to a FTP server, the client requires a username and password that has been set by the administrator of the server.