There are many protocols that exist today but only a couple have been written to support transferring of data. After all, the internet and its activities do not merely revolve around web pages and HTTP. File Transfer Protocol or the FTP protocol is a network protocol which is utilized in order to transfer files from a particular host to another using a TCP-based network. This includes the internet among others.
FTP has survived well over the past years despite the continuous growth of technology. Actually, this particular protocol was regulated back in early 70s. At that specific time, most networks were not yet protected by stern firewalls which appeared decades later.
FTP was created for a setting where servers and clients interact with one another without a lot of restrictions. Aside from that, this was designed to function over contact channels in which the data packets traveled straight to their destination. Now, the main job of the FTP is to support the uploading of web pages as well as other documents coming from a private machine to a web hosting server that can be completely accessed.
This protocol comes in handy whenever you need to build a website. Using an FTP client program, you will be able to seamlessly move files from a certain computer to another. When it comes to designing and creating a site, you will surely have to generate pages for it on your computer to finally have a working website. You can either make use of a web page editor or some kind of a text editor. You will be required to move these pages into the server in which your website will be hosted. To do this, you will need FTP.
How FTP Works
FTP clients can be downloaded and there are many types of that you can find on the Internet. Find something that suits your needs as well as your budget. Some are available for a fee while others are free but the latter may not have all the features you need for file transfers. After your FTP client is set up on your computer and you already have an account with a web hosting provider which supports FTP, you can now begin.
To start, open the FTP client where you will see various boxes that will have to be filled out. Provide your profile name, which is the name you wish to give to your site. You will also have to write down other pieces of information like the Address or the Host name, which is the server name where your homepage will be hosted on. Your hosting provider will give this detail to you and it generally looks like this: ftp.mypage.com.
Once you complete the form, you will know that you are all set when you see that there are files on the right side of your computer screen which are files on the hosting server. On the left side, it displays the files that are on that particular computer. Search for the file/s that you wish to transfer. Navigate on the right side as well in which it should have the current folder where you would like the files on the left to go.
Aside from transferring files with FTP clients, you also get to rename, view, delete, or move the documents around. To create a new folder, click on MkDir. After file transfers, do not forget to log in to your hosting provider and take a good look on your site. Surely, a few adjustments are necessary but now you definitely have a functional website of your own.
Client-Server Conversation via FTP
There is a type of communication going on between the client and the server. It starts with the client connecting to the server using port 21. Then, the server will send the welcome message. Provide the username as well as the password. You are now logged in to the current working directory. The client will recognize the incoming messages and once completed, the transaction is a success. You can choose to quit the process there or you can send files from your computer to another.
During the file transfer session, the client or the server will be able to make out the name of the file being transported. Then, when the status of the document is okay, either the server or the client will open the data connection. When this happens, the data will be transferred between the server and the client. The party that sends the data can close the connection through EOF or end of file signals. FTP server or client will recognize that the transfer of file is a success.
As you know, FTP is used so that the users can exchange files from remote servers to their personal computers. This is done through specialized tools named FTP clients. These tools connect with a distant machine and perform the data transfers with ease. The connections are carried out through FTP ports, which can either be the default Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) or the administrator-set custom ports.
In order to execute a port connection on FTP through a client, there is a need for a process that comprises of two stages using two varied ports. The user will enter the server name and provide the login credentials of the FTP client. Right then, the connection is launched and the control port of the server which by default is 21 for sending commands will be opened. After that, a second connection will be made by the client to the server which is followed by a reply from the FTP port for sending data which is by default 20. Now, the real file transfer starts.
The longevity of file transfer protocol (FTP) guarantees that it has a strong foothold due to the fact that this particular protocol is widely accepted even in the fast growing internet community. Nearly all Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and broadband suppliers offer FTP features so that their customers will be able to upload their designed web pages to their site. Even today, an FTP server is a much preferred repository of hardware vendors when it comes to storing drivers and patches for pieces of business software.