Difference Wiki

FTP Server vs. FTP Client: What's the Difference?

Edited by Aimie Carlson || By Harlon Moss || Published on December 21, 2023
An FTP server is a networked computer that stores files for FTP transfers, while an FTP client is software used to access and transfer files to the FTP server.

Key Differences

An FTP server is a dedicated computer or software system that provides a secure location for storing files, making them accessible over a network. Conversely, an FTP client is a program or tool used by individuals or systems to connect to an FTP server for file transfers.
The FTP server is responsible for managing file storage, user authentication, and file access permissions. On the other hand, an FTP client enables users to upload, download, and manage files on the FTP server.
FTP servers are typically configured by network administrators, ensuring security and efficient file management. In contrast, FTP clients are set up by end-users, tailored to their specific needs for interacting with various FTP servers.
The FTP server functions as the host in the client-server relationship, maintaining a continuous online presence for file access. The FTP client, however, acts as the requester, initiating connections to FTP servers as needed.
FTP servers handle multiple simultaneous connections from various clients, while FTP clients focus on establishing a single connection to an FTP server for individual file transfer sessions.

Comparison Chart

Role in Network

Hosts files for transfer
Accesses and transfers files

Main Function

Manages storage, authentication, access
Connects to server to upload/download files


Set up by administrators
Set up by end-users


Maintains continuous online presence
Initiates connections as needed

Connection Handling

Handles multiple client connections
Establishes connection with a server

FTP Server and FTP Client Definitions

FTP Server

A system managing file storage and access for FTP.
The FTP server's robust security protocols protect sensitive data.

FTP Client

A program for file transfer to and from FTP servers.
The FTP client simplifies downloading files from the company server.

FTP Server

A server configured for handling FTP requests.
Our FTP server ensures efficient file management and accessibility.

FTP Client

A tool for managing files on an FTP server.
With the FTP client, organizing and editing server files is straightforward.

FTP Server

A host for files to be accessed and transferred via FTP.
The new FTP server can handle multiple simultaneous user connections.

FTP Client

An application facilitating FTP file uploads and downloads.
He configured the FTP client to automate regular backups to the server.

FTP Server

An online system providing FTP file storage services.
The FTP server was upgraded to increase storage capacity and speed.

FTP Client

An end-user interface for accessing FTP services.
The new FTP client offers enhanced security features for data transfer.

FTP Server

A network server that hosts files for FTP access.
The company's FTP server stores all its shared project files.

FTP Client

Software for connecting to and using FTP servers.
I used an FTP client to upload the latest files to our server.


Can an FTP server handle multiple clients?

Yes, it's designed to manage multiple connections.

What is an FTP client?

Software used to access and transfer files to/from an FTP server.

Can FTP clients connect to multiple servers?

Yes, they can connect to different servers at different times.

Are FTP servers always online?

They are generally maintained online for continuous access.

Is an FTP client integrated into operating systems?

Some operating systems have built-in FTP clients, others require separate software.

Is user authentication required for an FTP server?

Typically, yes, for secure file access and management.

Do FTP servers provide file versioning?

This depends on the server's software and configuration.

Do FTP clients need the internet to function?

Yes, they require internet access to connect to FTP servers.

What is an FTP server?

A computer or software system hosting files for FTP transfers.

Can FTP clients resume interrupted downloads?

Many modern FTP clients support resuming interrupted transfers.

What's a key benefit of using an FTP client?

It offers a convenient way to manage file transfers to/from servers.

How secure is an FTP server?

Security depends on its configuration, but secure options are available.

Can I set up my own FTP server?

Yes, with the right software and network setup.

Can FTP clients work on mobile devices?

Yes, there are FTP client apps for mobile devices.

How do FTP servers handle large files?

They are typically capable of handling large file transfers efficiently.

Do FTP clients support encrypted file transfers?

Many modern clients support secure, encrypted transfers.

What is the main advantage of an FTP server?

It provides centralized and organized file storage and access.

Are there free FTP clients available?

Yes, there are many free FTP clients available.

Do FTP servers require maintenance?

Regular maintenance is needed for security and performance.

Is an FTP client easy to use?

Yes, most are user-friendly with intuitive interfaces.
About Author
Written by
Harlon Moss
Harlon is a seasoned quality moderator and accomplished content writer for Difference Wiki. An alumnus of the prestigious University of California, he earned his degree in Computer Science. Leveraging his academic background, Harlon brings a meticulous and informed perspective to his work, ensuring content accuracy and excellence.
Edited by
Aimie Carlson
Aimie Carlson, holding a master's degree in English literature, is a fervent English language enthusiast. She lends her writing talents to Difference Wiki, a prominent website that specializes in comparisons, offering readers insightful analyses that both captivate and inform.

Trending Comparisons

Popular Comparisons

New Comparisons