Tech moves fast! Stay ahead of the curve with Techopedia!
Join nearly 200,000 subscribers who receive actionable tech insights from Techopedia.
File Transfer Protocol (FTP) is a client/server protocol used for transferring files to or exchanging files with a host computer. It may be authenticated with user names and passwords. Anonymous FTP allows users to access files, programs and other data from the Internet without the need for a user ID or password. Web sites are sometimes designed to allow users to use 'anonymous' or 'guest' as a user ID and an email address for a password. Publicly available flies are often found in a directory called pub and can be easily FTPed to a user’s computer. FTP is also the Internet standard for moving or transferring files from one computer to another using TCP or IP networks.
File Transfer Protocol is also known as RFC 959.
The original FTP specification was written by Abhay Bhushan and published as RFC 114 on April 16, 1971. This was later replaced by RFC 765 (June 1980). The current specification is RFC 959 (October 1985). RFC stands for request for comments.
The first FTP client applications used the DOS command prompt with standardized commands and syntax. Since then, many graphical user interface (GUI) clients have been developed within operating systems, making it easier for the user to upload and download files.
There are various uses for and types of FTP: