The use of FTP servers is a common occurrence for companies that want to store their data securely. If you are looking for the suitable option for this goal, a hosted FTP server will be the best solution. Let’s learn more about what FTP servers are, the specific purpose of their use, how they work and how they can benefit you and your business.
What is FTP
An FTP server is a server that uses the File Transfer Protocol to exchange files over the Internet or a local computer network. In simple terms, an FTP server is a kind of computer designed for storing files. It is part of a local or worldwide network and is accessed remotely by visitors who can download and upload files according to certain rules.
FTP is an old protocol, dating back to 1971. Since then (despite the fact that its essence remains the same) it has changed significantly – there was a separate connection for data transfer, there were numerous control commands, which were not there before.
To access a server or remote computer via the FTP protocol, special programs called FTP clients are used. There are a great many FTP clients. Besides, FTP support is built into many file managers and even directly into operating systems.
What It Is for?
It differs from other protocols in that if an error occurs during the transfer process, the process stops and a message is displayed to the user. If there are no errors, it means that the user got exactly the file he/ she needed, intact and without missing elements.
Via FTP-protocol you can download anything. These may be movies, music, documents, programs, drivers, pictures, etc. Many hardware manufacturers are now posting device drivers on FTP servers for anyone to download.
In the corporate environment, FTP is used to organize the local storage of internal documents and files for work. For example, video lectures or archive scans of documents can be stored there. FTP also allows you to upload the files to a server for anyone to download and use them.
Programmers sometimes use these servers for file sharing, exchanging and code backups, although many prefer GIT for this purpose.
Principle of Work
Before you start working with the protocol, the client device opens a session. The server “remembers” the state of the session during all further work.
There are two modes in which the protocol can work:
- Active. The client device initiates a control connection and sends its own IP address to the server. In addition, the client sends the server the port number on which it will receive data. The FTP server, upon receiving this information, opens a connection with the parameters specified by the client node. The session opens and the file transfer begins.
- Passive. It is used when the client is protected by a firewall. In this situation, it cannot accept an incoming connection from the FTP server. The problem is solved by sending a PASV control command to the server. The server receives it and sends the client its own IP address and port number. In turn, the client, having received this information, itself generates a connection to the server, after which it opens a session and starts transferring files.
- The principle of operation is clear to everyone and is no different for the user than transferring files within one’s own hard drive.
- It allows you to transfer multiple files and folders.
- If the connection is lost, it is possible to resume the transfer.
- The size of the transferred file is not limited. Browsers only allow transfers up to 2 GB.
- Many FTP clients, such as FileZilla, have the ability to schedule the transfer.
- Transferring data is faster than using the HTTP protocol.
- Items to be downloaded or uploaded are added to a “queue”. The FTP client can add items to the “queue”.
- FTP does not encrypt traffic, so usernames, passwords, and other data can easily be read by intercepting data packages because they are sent in clear text during transmission. FTP is vulnerable to package sniffing and other attacks.
Now as we have figured out what FTP server is, we can ask ourselves, is it worth using it? The answer is unequivocal – yes. Perhaps safety suffers, but not reliability. So, if you have the desire, you can easily and profitably rent FTP server space for any of your needs.