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Network File Transfer (NFT)

Definition - What does Network File Transfer (NFT) mean?

A network file transfer (NFT) is the process of receiving or sending files or data over a local or global network (such as the Internet) using the network's native transfer protocol. There are many methods and protocols used for transferring files over a network, such as HTTP and FTP on the Internet and Ethernet for small networks such as local area networks. If a node is receiving the file, it is called downloading, whereas if it is sending the file to another node or server, then it is uploading.

Techopedia explains Network File Transfer (NFT)

A network file transfer is initiated in two different ways: a pull-based transfer is when the receiver initiates the download or transfer, whereas a push-based transfer is when the sender initiates the transfer. The speed of the transfer is dictated mostly by the capacity of the network and, to a lesser extent, by the capabilities of the protocols used.

A network file transfer can occur over the network either transparently, such as when a node communicates with a different node without the user actively being notified of the transfer, or explicitly, such as when a user requests a specific website through HTTP or downloads a file through FTP. It is the protocol used for the transfer that describes the convention on how the transfer is to be made between two end points, such as how to send the stream of bits that make up the file as well as other relevant metadata such as the filename, size, timestamp and any headers required for the transfer to start or complete successfully.

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