Difference Between HTTP and FTP

HTTP Vs. FTP: Know the Difference Between HTTP and FTP

Both of these are protocols that help in the process of file transfer between a server and a client. They both serve a similar purpose but have entirely different functionalities. In this article, we will discuss the difference between HTTP and FTP. Let us first learn about each of these in detail.

What is FTP?

The term FTP is a short form for File Transfer Protocol. FTP is a type of internet standard that basically allows different devices (computers) to upload as well as download data files on the internet. The FTP sites consist of various types of files (images, video, texts, graphics, etc.). The FTP files came into existence when data security was not the primary concern. FTP is now pretty old, and various news protocols have now replaced it.

The FTP provides support for two types of Transmission Control Protocols (TCP)- the first one is the data port or data connection (port 20) for transferring files. The second one here is the command port or control connection (port 21) for the authentication of the user.

What is HTTP?

The term HTTP is a short form for HyperText Transfer Protocol. HTTP is basically the backbone of the world wide web (WWW). It is basically an internet standard that assists in the process of transferring various web pages all over the internet. HTTP helps in defining how a web browser responds to all of its web requests.

All the web addresses of the web pages consist of a domain name and protocol along with their path to the main web page. A majority of the web addresses consist of http:// in their respective URLs that show the HTTP protocol.

The working of HTTP is basically like the combined functions of SMTP and FTP. Also, HTTP makes use of the TCP.

Difference Between FTP and HTTP

Here is a list of the differences between FTP and HTTP.

Parameters FTP HTTP
Full-Form The term FTP is a short form for File Transfer Protocol. The term HTTP is a short form for HyperText Transfer Protocol.
Meaning FTP refers to the set of rules that basically allows the process of uploading and downloading files from a computer to the internet. HTTP refers to a set of rules that determines the process of transfer of various web pages over various computers present on the internet.
Support It provides support for the control connection as well as the data connection. It provides support for the connection of data.
Use of TCP It makes use of the TCP. The FTP runs on port 20 and port 21 of TCP. It also makes use of the TCP. The HTTP runs on port 80 of TCP.
Nature of URLs The URLs that use the FTP protocol begin with FTP. The URLs that use the HTTP protocol begin with HTTP.
Requirement of Authentication It always requires authentication. The HTTP requires no authentication.
Efficiency of File Transfer It can easily transfer large files with chunks of data. It is capable of efficiently transferring various small files.
Utilization of Computer Memory The computers that receive the transferred files via the internet save them in their memory. The files that a computer/ device receives over the internet do not get saved in its memory.
Maintenance of States This protocol is not stateless. Thus, it maintains the state. This protocol is stateless in nature.
Type of Band Transfer HTTP provides support for an out-band type of transfer. FTP provides support for an in-band type of transfer.
Uses We use FTP for downloading as well as uploading files between a server and a client over the internet. We use HTTP for providing various web pages from the web browser to the web server.
Type of TCP Connection FTP makes use of a persistent connection of TCP for its control connection and a non-persistent one for its data connection. HTTP can easily make use of both- persistent as well as the non-persistent type of TCP connection.

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