What Is An FTP Server? Here Is Everything You Must Know About An FTP Server

FTP stands for file transfer protocol. It is a standard communication protocol used for transferring files from a server to a computer network. Many businesses use an FTP server to keep their data safe. And companies that are looking for data security, an FTP server is a great option. Before you proceed to use an FTP server for your business, you must know how they work and what benefits your business gets using an FTP server.

What Is An FTP Server?

You might have come across the term FTP more often, but you are probably unsureĀ what is an FTP server. FTP or file transfer protocol is a way to connect two parties in the safest way possible to transfer files. Nevertheless, the connection can happen between more than two computers. Simply put, FTP is a way to securely transfer files between parties.

The Difference Between HTTP And FTP

Hypertext transfer protocol and file transfer protocol, both application layer protocols, allow you to transfer data in the form of files and folders between two systems. But how are they different?

HTTP is a protocol on which the whole www runs. It is the backbone of the World Wide Web, and this is the format through which web browsers such as Firefox and Chrome communicate. HTTP runs on port 80 and uses transmission control protocol for underlying transportation.

On the other hand, FTP is a standard network protocol used for transferring sensitive files between a client and the server connected to a computer network. FTP is established upon two separate TCP connections: data connection and control connection.

If you want to transfer necessary data that includes username and password, FTP is the most secure option. Additionally, FTP is more efficient than HTTP and can transfer large files. HTTP, on the other hand, is better for more miniature file transmission such as web pages.

How does An FTP Server Works?

If you have downloaded the new version of your desktop applications, you have definitely used FTP without even knowing about it. We download many files via FTP as it resides inside a browser. FTP makes it easy and convenient for downloading files. But FTP does not provide the flexibility of uploading files. So, we can use FTP to download files only.

FTP is a set of protocols that different computers use to communicate over the internet. More simply, FTP is used to move files between two or more computers as FTP allows web pages to show up on the internet. FTP also allows the web pages to transfer data to the server to make them accessible to others.

FTP uses two ports, 20 and 21, to transfer data. Port 21 is a data port for transferring files between the client and the server. Port 21 is a standard port to transmit control flow and accept commands related to FTP by the client. When any client sends a service request to the server in the computer network, the server receives and responds to the client’s request. The server then provides the client with the required files transfer service.

There are two types of data connection establishments: active mode and passive mode.

Active mode is when the user connects from random ports on the FTP to port 21 of the server. The server then sends a command to the port telling what port of the client it should connect to. The server then connects to the designated port of the client from port 20. Once the connection is established, the file transfer takes place.

Passive mode is the situation where the client cannot accept any connection when blocked by a firewall. This is the most common type of mode nowadays. The user can connect from a random port on the FTP client to port 21 of the server. The server then sends the client a command telling what port of the server it should connect to. The client connects to the port designated by the server to establish a connection and to transfer data.

What Are The Advantages Of Using FTP?

It Allows Multitasking:

One of the biggest advantages of using an FTP server is the ability to multitask. While you can upload your tasks on the server, you can download some files you plan to start working on while using an FTP server. FTP also allows you to transfer multiple files and multiple directories at one time. Thus, for multitaskers, using FTP is advantageous.

Transfer Even When The Connection Is Lost:

The file transfer protocol allows you to transfer files even when the connection is lost. If the client loses connection accidentally or reboots the system, there is no interruption in the file transfer. The client can continue the file transfer from where they left off.

You Gain Flexibility:

There is multiple FTP client software through which you can schedule a file transfer without interrupting or altering your work patterns.

Auto Backup:

Automatic backup is one of the most essential features of the file transfer protocol. It helps businesses protect their data under any case. Companies such as medical practices or others where data is involved don’t need to worry about losing their data as FTP automatically backup those data.


Security is another benefit of using FTP servers. The level of security FTP offers cannot be outranked by HTTP. FTP gives you an added assurance that your sensitive files are encrypted in transit. During the transmission of sensitive data, you might be concerned about the interception of your transfer. Fortunately, a managed FTP server provides you the security necessary to keep your data safe.

Sharing Larger Files:

If you have tried sending a file to a recipient via email, you might have received that your file is too large to send. But if your organization is dealing with more extensive data, you can face the interruption more often. To avoid such a scenario, you can use an FTP server to enable you to send larger files at once.

Improved Performance:

A file-sharing process must be uniform; otherwise, you can hurt your business. Through FTP, it’s possible to share multiple files simultaneously, and in fact, you can send large amounts of data at once. Additionally, you can continue your work while the transfer takes place. With an FTP server, you can have improved performance as your workflow is not interrupted. An FTP server also allows you to store all the data in one place, and you can reduce the amount of time you spend looking for a specific piece of data.

We hope this information was beneficial to make the best decision for your data.