HTTP vs FTP
HTTP (Hyper Text Transfer Protocol) and FTP (File Transfer Protocol) are both network protocols that facilitate to transfer files over the network from one place to another remote place. HTTP is the protocol that is used by the World Wide Web, and it allows transferring files from a web server to the client’s web browser for viewing the web pages available on the internet. FTP is a protocol that is used to upload files from one computer to a FTP server, or to download files from a FTP server to one of the computers in the network. Both of these protocols use TCP (Transmission Control Protocol) to transfer files.
What is HTTP?
HTTP is considered as a Request-Response protocol, and it functions on the application layer according to the OSI (Open Systems Interconnection) model. It describes how the HTTP messages are formatted and transferred, and how the server and the browser perform according to the HTTP commands. HTTP transfers file only from the web server to the client’s web browser, in order to view the requested web pages; so, HTTP is considered as a one-way system. Further, HTTP transfers file on to the web browser only for viewing the content, so it is not saved to the memory of the client’s machine. It is a stateless protocol, because each and every HTTP command acts independently from other commands used previously.
What is FTP?
FTP is a protocol that is used to upload and download files between FTP server and a client machine in the network using TCP. It works on the application layer as described in the OSI model. When transferring a file from one device to another using FTP, the whole file is transferred, and it is saved to the memory of the device. Further, FTP protocol allows, not only, to download files from server to the client machine, but also to upload files from a client computer to the server; so, FTP is considered as a two-way system.
This protocol is widely used by website developers in order to upload files to websites from personal computer, and to download files from websites to personal computers.
FTP typically uses two ports, opened for the FTP server and FTP client, and so it helps to transfer large sizes of file using this protocol.
What is the difference between HTTP and FTP?
– Both HTTP and FTP are file transfer protocols based on TCP, and they are published in RFC (Request for Comments).
– HTTP is used to transfer the content of a web page from web server to a client’s web browser, while FTP is used to both upload and download files between FTP server and FTP client. So, HTTP is referred as a one-way system and FTP is grouped under two-way system.
– When using an URL including http, it means that the user is connecting to a web server, and when using an URL containing ftp, it says that the user is working with a file server.
– HTTP transfer only the web page content to the web browser in order to view it, and the transferred file is not copied to the memory, but FTP transfers the entire file to the other device, and also it is saved in the memory space.
– FTP generally requires a user login to the server in order to exchange files, but HTTP does not need authentication for that.
– FTP is more efficient in transferring larger files, whereas HTTP is more efficient for transferring smaller files such as web pages.