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File transfer protocol – How it works and the software available

by Canto  |  December 7, 2020

2 min. read
An animated FTP logo.

File Transfer Protocol (FTP) is a server that sends files across networks. Here we break down what FTP is, additional software that’s available and how FTP works behind the scenes to ensure your data is correctly transferred.

What is file transfer protocol (FTP)

As a noun, an FTP is a server connected to a TCP/IP. In short, an FTP sends files across the internet. All reputable web-browsers have basic FTP capabilities that allow computers to work together remotely.

As a verb, an FTP is an act of sending and receiving files to and from a user. Common forms of FTP include uploads and downloads of pictures to social media, email attachments and documents shared on a chat app. All of this comes with capacity limits but requires no additional software for basic FTP usage.

FTP is a space online that follows an established set of rules that act as protocols when sending information across the web. Browsers and interfaces enable an FTP server to deliver files. Any operating system will come with FTP functionality in order for you to receive files.

FTP logo

How file transfer protocol works

Whenever two or more devices share files the FTP makes sure they end up in the right place. When you move files across the internet there are protocols in place to ensure delivery. FTP works offscreen and enables people to browse online from page to page. These days you can build HTML and create websites without buying additional FTP software. When someone tries to access or request a file, a local or remote server will act as a host and transfer the data.

Enhanced security with FTP software

Security is something to be considered with secure file transfers. We are all well versed in stories of cyber server hacks. But now there is FTP software available for businesses to help fight against hacks and increase file capacity. FTP software improves storage and allows files like entire directories to be sent as a whole. It is also preferred by organizations because it is a private form of file transfer.

FTP Software Benefits:

  • Entire file-share capabilities
  • Automatic backup of data
  • Connection failure restores to point of file of transfer

FTP logo

When choosing FTP software, data security should be a consideration. Evaluation of risk comes with understanding what each FTP software offers, and how sensitive your organization’s data is. Research the options available and find your FTP fit.