FTP is now a 40-year-old protocol

Posted by Radu Tyrsina

One of the most important protocols on the Internet is marking 40 years since its debut in April 1971, when it was referred to simply as RFC 114.


Yes, FTP has managed to withstand the onslaught of newer, competing technologies such as P2P. 

Of course, FTP today is not exactly the same as it was when MIT student, Abhey Bushan, wrote the original FTP specs. 



 FTP is now a 40-year-old protocolRather, the protocol has undergone a number of changes in tandem with industry demands, including the shift away from a command line interface.

For example, current web browsers support basic FTP and can be used to easily retrieve files via an FTP server.

FTP has also maintained its relevance by forming a vital link in many cloud-based computing services and applications. 



Compared to P2P, FTP variants are easier to secure, something that makes the protocol quite useful for online banking platform and other technologies which require the transmission of sensitive traffic.

Of course, there are security concerns over data sent via FTP - especially the transmission of clear text log in credentials and provision for anonymous log ins (though this function can be disabled on the server).

As such the standard has evolved, and now boasts secure FTP (FTP over SSH), explicit FTPS and implicit FTPS.  Nevertheless, basic FTP still continues to be used for the routine transfer of files.

[Via Bit Tech

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