Jul 04, 2014

What’s the difference between FTP and HTTP? Is one superior for transferring files?

How do FTP and HTTP differ in the manner in which they transfer files? Does one offer any significant advantage over the other?


FTP-A member of the TCP/IP suite of protocols, used to copy files between two computers on the Internet. Both computers must support their respective FTP roles: one must be an FTP client and the other an FTP server.

HTTP-The protocol used to transfer information on the World Wide Web

This article covers the differences between the two:


As far as file transfer speeds, FTP can be a bit faster for large files, while HTTP can be faster for multiple smaller files. HTTP is easier to work with, and it was developed specifically to address some of the inefficiencies of FTP. For example, HTTP can use a single connection to transfer multiple files, while FTP a new connection has to be created with each data transfer. Here is a link that compares the two more thoroughly. FTP may still have some uses, but generally it has been supplanted by HTTP.

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