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Upload Your Files the Right Way

Jul 4, 2008
One of the methods to access an FTP site is to place a directory of files in one's computer and allow his clients to access them by implementing the use of certain User IDs and passwords. Internet browsers have built-in FTP clients, which they use to download data. In performing this function, you would just have to come into the FTP address in the browser. FTP may use a DNS (Domain Naming Service) to control unidentified access to the database.

You just enter your FTP address into the IE address field just like a regular website address. Just make sure that you enter ftp:// as a prefix into the address so that you will not be connected to a website.

FTP runs exclusively through TCP. The servers of FTP by default listen to port 21 for incoming connections from the clients of FTP. From FTP client, a connection to this port forms the control stream on which the commands are passed from the FTP client to the FTP server, and on certain occasions from the FTP server to the FTP client. It uses out-of-band control. This means that it uses a separate connection for data and control. Therefore, a different connection is required for the actual file transfer to take place, which is called the data stream. The process of setting up the data stream is different depending on the transfer mode.

Internet is not just a luxury, but already a necessity nowadays. The most important function of the internet is to share knowledge around the world - either free or not - which can be propagated through the use of messages, links, or e-mails. The process of transferring this information can be very monotonous, and so FTP came into the picture. It means File Transfer Protocol which is basically the process of transferring data over the internet.

The difference between FTP and HTTP is this: in HTTP one requires a web browser whereas FTP needs a server. Generally, businesses use FTP to permit their clients to upload web pages to their servers.

If you need to implement file transfer capability and you are a software developer, you will need to search for the components to do the job. You have built-in support for FTPS in a .NET Framework. However, functionality of this class does not include any support for SFTP or SSH.

In VCL, you will have a selection of free libraries and components which provide FTP functionality. You can get FTPS for free when you add OpenSSL to them. You can use one of the commercially available libraries for FTPS and SSL support if you do not want to deal with OpenSSL DLLs.

In choosing the right FTP, the answer would depend on your goals and requirements. Generally speaking, SFTP is superior to FTPS. It would be a good idea to implement both protocols; however, they are different in terms of their concepts and supported commands.

If you have a server that have FTP support but does not have SFTP/SSH clients or it needs to be accessed from personal devices such as PDAs, smartphones, etc), it is a good idea to use FTPS. However, if you are building a custom security solution, the better option is SFTP. As for the side of the clients, the requirements depend on the server that you plan to connect to.
About the Author
Jon Caldwell is a professional content manager. Much of his articles can be found at http://everythingftp.com
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