Difference Wiki

HTTP vs. FTP: What's the Difference?

Edited by Huma Saeed || By Sawaira Riaz || Published on February 1, 2024
HTTP is a protocol for transferring web pages, while FTP is a protocol for transferring files between computers.

Key Differences

HTTP (Hypertext Transfer Protocol) is the foundation of data communication for the World Wide Web, primarily used to transfer documents like HTML files. FTP (File Transfer Protocol), on the other hand, is a standard network protocol used for transferring files from one host to another over a TCP-based network, such as the internet.
Sawaira Riaz
Feb 01, 2024
HTTP is stateless, meaning it doesn't require a continuous connection; once the data is transferred, the connection is closed. FTP requires two connections during a session: a command connection for controlling the session and a data connection for transferring files, making it more suited for managing and transferring large files.
Sawaira Riaz
Feb 01, 2024
Security is a consideration where HTTP and FTP differ significantly. HTTP can be secured using HTTPS, which encrypts the data for secure transmission. FTP can use FTPS or SFTP for secure data transfer, but these are separate protocols from standard FTP, requiring additional setup.
Sawaira Riaz
Feb 01, 2024
In terms of usability, HTTP is often used through web browsers for viewing websites, whereas FTP is typically accessed using dedicated FTP clients or command-line tools. This difference highlights their distinct roles in internet communication - HTTP for web browsing and FTP for file management.
Sawaira Riaz
Feb 01, 2024
FTP allows for more control over file management tasks like uploading, downloading, renaming, and deleting files on a server. HTTP, however, is generally used for viewing and downloading resources from the web but doesn't inherently support file management tasks like FTP does.
Harlon Moss
Feb 01, 2024
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Comparison Chart

Primary Use

Transferring web pages.
Transferring files between computers.
Sawaira Riaz
Feb 01, 2024

Connection Type

Stateless, single connection.
Stateful, uses two connections.
Sawaira Riaz
Feb 01, 2024

Security

Can be secured with HTTPS.
Uses FTPS or SFTP for secure transfers.
Sawaira Riaz
Feb 01, 2024

Accessibility

Accessed through web browsers.
Accessed via FTP clients or command line.
Sawaira Riaz
Feb 01, 2024

Functionality

Designed for viewing web resources.
Suited for comprehensive file management.
Sawaira Riaz
Feb 01, 2024
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HTTP and FTP Definitions

HTTP

HTTP operates over TCP/IP and is stateless.
Each HTTP request is independent, making the protocol stateless.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 23, 2024

FTP

It enables transferring files between hosts on a network.
Using FTP, you can download files from a remote server to your computer.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 23, 2024

HTTP

It forms the foundation of data communication for the web.
HTTP requests are what browsers use to load web pages.
Huma Saeed
Jan 23, 2024

FTP

FTP is a network protocol for file transfer.
FTP allows users to upload files to a server remotely.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 23, 2024

HTTP

It can be secured using HTTPS, adding encryption.
Secure sites use HTTPS, an encrypted version of HTTP.
Aimie Carlson
Jan 23, 2024

FTP

FTP uses separate control and data connections.
FTP maintains a command connection for instructions and a separate connection for file transfers.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 23, 2024

HTTP

HTTP is a protocol for transmitting web content.
Visiting http://www.example.com retrieves the homepage of the website.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 23, 2024

FTP

Can be secured using FTPS or SFTP.
FTPS adds a layer of security to the FTP protocol for encrypted file transfer.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 23, 2024

HTTP

Primarily used for accessing websites.
HTTP is the protocol used when accessing HTML pages on the Internet.
Harlon Moss
Jan 23, 2024

FTP

Used for managing and manipulating files on a server.
With FTP, you can rename, delete, or move files on a web server.
Harlon Moss
Jan 23, 2024

HTTP

A protocol used to request and transmit files, especially webpages and webpage components, over the internet or other computer network.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 22, 2024

FTP

A communications protocol governing the transfer of files from one computer to another over a network.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 22, 2024

HTTP

A protocol (utilizing TCP) to transfer hypertext requests and information between servers and browsers
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 22, 2024

FTP

To transfer (a file) using FTP.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 22, 2024

FTP

To transfer a file using FTP.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 22, 2024

FTP

An acronym for file transfer protocol, a standardized protocol used to allow transmission of files between computers; as, send me the file by ftp. It consists of a set of coded signals which are transmitted between computers, and which inform the receiving computer of the nature of a packet of information to be transmitted, and inform the transmitting computer when a packet has been successfully received.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 22, 2024

FTP

To send from one computer to another by means of the standard file transfer protocol (ftp); as, he ftp'd me the file yesterday.
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 22, 2024

FTP

Protocol that allows users to copy files between their local system and any system they can reach on the network
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 22, 2024

FTP

Use the File Transfer Protocol to transfer data from one computer to another;
You can FTP these data
Sawaira Riaz
Jan 22, 2024

FAQs

What does HTTP stand for?

Hypertext Transfer Protocol.
Sawaira Riaz
Feb 01, 2024

Can FTP handle file uploads?

Yes, FTP is commonly used for uploading files to servers.
Harlon Moss
Feb 01, 2024

What is HTTPS?

Secure version of HTTP with encryption.
Janet White
Feb 01, 2024

What is FTP used for?

For transferring files between computers on a network.
Huma Saeed
Feb 01, 2024

What's the difference between FTPS and SFTP?

FTPS is FTP with SSL encryption, while SFTP is based on SSH.
Sawaira Riaz
Feb 01, 2024

Do browsers use HTTP?

Yes, web browsers use HTTP to access websites.
Sawaira Riaz
Feb 01, 2024

Is FTP accessible via a web browser?

Some browsers support basic FTP functionality.
Sawaira Riaz
Feb 01, 2024

Are FTP connections always secure?

No, standard FTP is not encrypted, unlike its secure variants FTPS and SFTP.
Janet White
Feb 01, 2024

Is HTTP secure?

It can be secured using HTTPS, which encrypts data.
Sawaira Riaz
Feb 01, 2024

Can HTTP be used for file transfers?

It's possible but not as efficient as FTP for large file transfers.
Sawaira Riaz
Feb 01, 2024

Is FTP faster than HTTP?

FTP can be faster for large file transfers.
Sawaira Riaz
Feb 01, 2024

What are the main functions of FTP?

Transferring, renaming, deleting, and managing files on a server.
Sawaira Riaz
Feb 01, 2024

Does HTTP need a continuous connection?

No, HTTP is stateless and closes the connection after each transfer.
Aimie Carlson
Feb 01, 2024

How do FTP clients work?

They connect to FTP servers to upload, download, or manage files.
Sawaira Riaz
Feb 01, 2024

Can HTTP upload files?

Yes, though it's less common and not as robust as FTP.
Harlon Moss
Feb 01, 2024

Is HTTPS the same as SSL?

HTTPS uses SSL/TLS for encryption but they are not the same thing.
Janet White
Feb 01, 2024

How does HTTP handle data transmission?

Via a stateless protocol where each request is independent.
Sawaira Riaz
Feb 01, 2024

Can FTP be used for web browsing?

No, it's designed for file transfers, not browsing web pages.
Sawaira Riaz
Feb 01, 2024

How does HTTP differ from HTML?

HTTP is a protocol for transferring data, while HTML is a language for creating web pages.
Aimie Carlson
Feb 01, 2024

Is FTP suitable for quick, small file transfers?

While possible, FTP is more complex and better suited for larger transfers.
Janet White
Feb 01, 2024
About Author
Written by
Sawaira Riaz
Sawaira is a dedicated content editor at difference.wiki, where she meticulously refines articles to ensure clarity and accuracy. With a keen eye for detail, she upholds the site's commitment to delivering insightful and precise content.
Edited by
Huma Saeed
Huma is a renowned researcher acclaimed for her innovative work in Difference Wiki. Her dedication has led to key breakthroughs, establishing her prominence in academia. Her contributions continually inspire and guide her field.

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