FTP vs HTTP: Understanding Differences

FTP and HTTP both would be the file transfer protocols which are utilized to transfer information between server and client. Let us discuss several differences of FTP vs HTTP with the aid of the comparison table.

HTTP functions are very similar to SMTP and the functioning FTP. FTP is a protocol that forms the problem when a server and a client have a different configuration.

The critical thing which distinguishes HTTP and FTP is that HTTP on petition provides a web page from a web server to a web browser. On the other side, FTP is used to upload or download a document between server and client.

FTP vs HTTP: Comparison Table





FTP instructions file from one host to another.

HTTP is utilized to access websites.

TCP ports

FTP manages TCP's port number 20 and 21.

HTTP manages TCP's port number 80.


FTP expects a password.

HTTP does not expect authentication.


FTP is useful in transferring larger files.

HTTP is useful in transferring smaller files like web pages.


Maintains state.


Type of Transfer

Transfer instantly between computers.

Transfer records between the Web client and Web server.


When you are managing FTP, FTP will appear in URL.

When you are managing HTTP, HTTP will appear in URL.


Two-way communication system.

One-way communication system.


Adopted by fewer people.

Most widely used.

Download speed

FTP is slower than HTTP.

HTTP is faster than FTP.

Port number

20 and 21.

80 and 8080.

FTP vs HTTP: Key Differences​​​​​

1. The vital difference between HTTP and FTP is that HTTP is used to access different sites online. On the other hand, the FTP is utilized to transfer files from one server.

2. In case you're using HTTP, HTTP appears in the URL of the site, and if you're using FTP, FTP appears on your URL.

3. HTTP establishes data link only whereas but FTP establishes data in addition to control connection.

4. HTTP doesn't need authentication, whereas, FTP uses the password for authentication.

5. HTTP is useful to transfer smaller documents like webpages, whereas, FTP is useful to transfer data that is extensive.

6. Web pages or information content assigned to a device using HTTP not save from the memory of the device. But the information sent to a device using FTP save in the memory of the device.

What is HTTP?

HTTP is a Hypertext Transfer Protocol. It maintains in accessing information from the Internet, HTTP works like the functions of SMTP and FTP. Like the performance of FTP, it transfers a document using service of TCP. But it uses just one TCP connection, i.e., data link; no individual Control Connection use in HTTP.

Hypertext Transfer Protocol is comparable to SMTP since the information transferred between client and server seem like SMTP messages. But HTTP messages aren't destined to the people for reading. The web server and web browser interprets and reads them. Unlike SMTP messages, HTTP messages are sent rather than forwarding and keeping.

The controls from the client-side delivered in a request message into the webserver. The web server sends the requested content at a response message. The HTTP doesn't provide any security. To allow security it operates over the Secure Socket layer.

How does HTTP works?

As a protocol, HTTP provides users a way by distributing hypertext messages between servers and clients to interact. HTTP clients generally use Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) connections to communicate with servers.

HTTP uses various tasks to be performed by request methods:

  • GET requests a specific source in its entirety.
  • HEAD requests a specific resource with no body content.
  • POST adds articles, messages, or information to another page under an existing web resource.
  • PUT directly modifies a current web source or creates a new URL if need be.
  • DELETE eliminates a specified source.
  • TRACE shows users any modifications or additions made to an internet resource.
  • OPTIONS show user’s which HTTP methods are available for a particular URL.
  • CONNECT transforms the requested link to a transparent TCP/IP tunnel.
  • PATCH partially modifies an internet resource All HTTP servers use the GET and HEAD methods. Although not all support the remainder of these request procedures.

What is FTP server?

FTP is a File Transfer Protocol. It's used to copy a file to another. While copying a file from one host to another, the host that is communication might have different file name conventions. Or may have different directory structures. But FTP overcomes these issues. When two hosts with unique configurations wish to exchange data between them FTP use.

FTP uses TCP's services to transfer the document between server and client. File Transfer Protocol establishes two connections one for data transfer on TCP's port number 20. Another one for control data (commands and responses) on TCP's port number 21. Connection for management and data makes FTP efficient.

The data link has rules because of the selection. Although the control connection has rules for communicating. The FTP design through FTP requires a password that sent in a text which could 23. When security wasn't a huge issue. So, one can add Secured Socket Layer between FTP application layer and TCP layer to offer protection.

How does FTP works?

One of two actions is occurring when files are moved through FTP -- downloading or uploading. Uploading involves transferring files. TCP/IP is the language which the Internet uses to execute commands.

You should keep security issues if you used the File Transfer Protocol to download documents. 

One way would be to experience an FTP client. FTP clients may make it safer for your computer to download/upload documents and help you avoid viruses, malware and spyware. While others are free, some FTP clients are costly. Using an FTP client isn't a necessary step for transferring folders. But it might make downloading and uploading files more comfortable to do.

Different uses of FTP server 

1. FTP (File Transfer Protocol) site is a website where users can upload or download specific files.

2. File Transfer Protocol server is a dedicated computer that offers FTP service. This invites hackers and requires safety hardware or software such as utilizing usernames, passwords, and file access control.

3. The File Transfer Protocol Explorer is an FTP customer based on Windows 95 file manager (Windows 95 Explorer).

4. FTP client is a computer use which reaches an FTP server. While doing this, users should check for viruses on all files and should block incoming FTP connection attempts using manner.


The world wide web has included the HTTP standard, and there's not anyway. FTP isn't a bad protocol, but HTTP can do. Along with the version, HTTPS is new. FTP is beginning to suffer from some firewalls due to the port it is using (some firewalls allow only the ports for HTTP and HTTPS). FTP will vanish, and it's ok to let it go.

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