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Understanding FTP and functions and how the FTP works fully discussed
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Understanding FTP and functions and how the FTP works fully discussed

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Data exchange is an important thing in the computer world. With the exchange of data, one computer can connect with other computers.

As for example when you download a file on the Internet, have you ever thought how can we download the file? Then when you upload a file, how can it all happen? It's all because of the role of FTP.

FTP is a solution for two computers that want to transfer the data with the help of the intensity connection. FTP is very useful even for two computers that have different operating systems. FTP is also useful for transferring data between two computers that distance apart. The following will be discussed about the understanding of FTP and the functions and how FTP works:

Understanding FTP
File Transfer Protocol or FTP is an Internet protocol used for the business of sending data in computer networks, such as uploading and downloading files done by FTP client and FTP server.

The FTP service can be set to FTP public, where everyone can easily access the data on the FTP server. In addition to being set to FTP public, this FTP service can also be set up so that not everyone can access the data on the server, so only registered users have permission to access the data.

FTP works using one of the reliable protocols for data communication between the client and the server, i.e. the TCP protocol (which uses port number 21). This Port 21 is used to transmit commands. Since Port 21 is meant specifically for sending commands, then this port is often also called by the command port name. With this protocol, between client and server can conduct communication session before sending data. There are several requirements to use FTP, namely:


  1. On a user's computer already installed FTP Client, such as FileZilla.
  2. The user has enough information about the FTP server that wants to connect with the computer. The information includes:

  • The FTP Server address, which is shaped similar to the domain address of a website. The FTP Server address usually starts with the word FTP, for example: ftp.namadomain.com or ftp://ftp.namadomain.com. In some cases, the FTP Server address is also given in the form of IP address, such as: 61.185.225.87.
  • Username and password. Some FTP servers do allow the client to access the data anonymously, but some require input username and password that must be known by the client.
The difference between an FTP client and an FTP server?
FTP server is a server in charge of delivering services/exchanging data to the FTP client with the requisite FTP client must request first to FTP server. An FTP server can work with both active and passive connections. On the active connection, if the client opens a port, the server is automatically connected actively. If you are actively connected to the FTP server, then you need to set the firewall to accept the connection to a port to be opened by the FTP client. Active FTP servers typically use 20 ports as their data ports.

While the FTP client is a computer/device that asks for the data swinger service to the FTP server. After connected to the FTP server, the FTP client can do the download, upload and other processes according to the permissions that have been granted by the FTP server earlier. Most FPT clients choose to use passive connections by default, because Server admins consider it safer. By using passive connection, then all connections starting from outside will be directly exposed to the block. With passive mode, the FTP Client asks the server to establish the connection.

Some examples of FTP clients include coreFTP (Windows), FileZilla (Windows), cuteFTP (Windows), and CyberDuck (MAC). Actually, the FTP Client is simply an application or tool that can be used to access FTP. There are other tools that can be used also to access FTP, including:
  • Web browsers: Although they are not recommended, they can use FTP on most web browsers.
  • HTML Editor: For example Adobe Dreamweaver can connect with FTP so computer users can do the website editing on the Web server directly.
  • File Explorer: You can also access FTP via File Explorer (or Windows Explorer) by first typing in the FTP address of the server.
FTP function
FTP has many beneficial functions or benefits for its users, for example:

  1. We can easily exchange files between computers, even if they have a large size.
  2. For website owners, with FTP, they can do a backup of their website easily.
  3. We can do indirect or implicit remote computer.
  4. FTP provides reliable and efficient data transfers, as each user does not need complicated stages to acquire a file or transfer a file.
  5. FTP facilitates each user to transfer data in two directions. That is, if FTP is used in a company, then every leader of the company is able to send files to employees and vice versa, using the same server.
  6. Data migration Progress will not disappear even if the connection is disconnected.
  7. Transer data/files can be done easily and organized.
In addition to having great benefits in data exchange, FTP also has some disadvantages, for example:
  1. The FTP system is old enough, if someone does not have an IT background or gaptek (people who are not familiar with the IT world), it will be a little difficult to use it.
  2. If the user is not very familiar with FTP, it is very easy to delete the entire data with one click.
  3. Could not change ownership of a file.
  4. Not so secure as data transfer media due to the absence of encryption, unless using alternatives such as SFTP.
  5. If you want to have your own FTP server, you need to have your own server computer or rent a server at a cost that is not cheap.
How FTP Works
The only method used by FTP is the standard authentication method, where a username and password are required to access the data on the FTP server.

Registered users (have usernames and passwords) have full access to multiple directories along with the files contained therein so that registered users can create, copy, move or even delete Those directories.
For how it works, in general the FTP client must first request a connection to the FTP server, if it is already connected to the FTP server then the FTP client can perform data exchange such as upload and download data. FTP can work in active mode and passive mode, which determines how data connections are formed. In both modes, the client creates a TCP control from Port N to the FTP server port 21.
  • In the active mode, the client begins to listen to the data connection coming from the server on port M. Then the client sends the FTP command port M to inform the server, which port to be listened to. Serverk initiating the data channel to the client from Port 20/port FTP server.
  • In situations when the client is behind a firewall and is unable to accept a coming TCP connection, it can be used passive mode. In such mode, the client uses the connection control to send the PASV command to the server, then receives the server IP address, server address, and server port number.
Are there alternatives to various files?
In addition to FTP, there are other apps that are used to share or transfer data, such as Dropbox, Google Drive or can also use OneDrive. Between FTP and all three applications have their own advantages and disadvantages, such as:
  • Network traffic: FTP or SFTP encryptions the network traffic using SSL/TLS/SSH, while those three applications can only encrypt using SSL/TLS.
  • File existence: On FTP, a file may not be removed using a lost computer or other electronic device. While these three applications, files can be deleted from the lost device by using remote Delete.
  • Two-step verification: for FTP, third-party software needs to perform 2-step verification, while on all three applications there is a two-step verification feature and you can use it at any time without needing to install third-party software.
  • Server: If on an FTP server must be secured and maintained by an IT expert, on all three applications, the user does not need to dizzy security and maintenance of the server (all are set by the application in question).
That is the understanding of FTP and functions and how FTP works fully discussed. So FTP is a protocol that is used for the purposes of transfer/swinger data between computers (client and server), where with FTP, we can upload and download files easily.

FTP has its own advantages and disadvantages when it comes to exchanging data. However, to date there are still many people who use FTP because it is considered more reliable and efficient.

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