HTTP and FTP both are the file transfer protocols that are used to transfer data between client and server. HTTP functions similar to the combined functioning FTP and SMTP. FTP is a protocol that sorts the problem when a communicating client and server have a different configuration. The basic point that distinguishes HTTP and FTP is that HTTP on request provides a web page from a web server to web browser. On another side, FTP is used to upload or download file between client and server. Let us discuss some other differences between HTTP and FTP with the help of comparison chart shown below.
Content: HTTP Vs FTP
|Basis for Comparison||HTTP||FTP|
|Basic||HTTP is used to access websites.||FTP transfers file from one one host to another.|
|Connection||HTTP establishes data connection only.||FTP establishes two connection one for data and one for the control connection.|
|TCP ports||HTTP uses TCP's port number 80.||FTP uses TCP's port number 20 and 21.|
|URL||If you are using HTTP, http will appear in URL.||If you are using FTP, ftp will appear in URL.|
|Efficient||HTTP is efficient in transferring smaller files like web pages.||FTP is efficient in transferring larger files.|
|Authentication||HTTP does not require authentication.||FTP requires a password.|
|Data||The content transferred to a device using HTTP is not saved to the memory of that device.||The file transferred to the host device using FTP is saved in the memory of that host device.|
Definition of HTTP
HTTP is a Hyper Text Transfer Protocol. It helps in accessing data from the World Wide Web. HTTP works similar to the combine functions of FTP and SMTP. Similar to the functioning of FTP because like FTP, it transfers file using service of TCP. But it uses only one TCP connection i.e. data connection, no separate Control Connection is used in HTTP. HTTP uses services of TCP on port no 80.
HTTP is similar to SMTP because the data transferred between client and server appear like SMTP messages. But HTTP messages are not destined to the humans for reading , they are interpreted and read by the web server and web browser. Unlike SMTP messages, HTTP messages are delivered immediately instead of storing and then forwarding.
The commands from the client side are sent in a request message to the web server. The web server sends the requested content in a response message. The HTTP does not provide any security, to enable security it is run over the Secure Socket layer.
Definition of FTP
FTP is a File Transfer Protocol. It is used to copy a file from one host to another. While copying a file from one host to another the problems that may occur are, the communicating host may have different file name conventions, may have different directory structures, different way to represent data. FTP overcomes all these problems. FTP is used when two hosts with different configurations want to exchange data between them.
FTP uses the services of TCP to transfer the file between client and server. FTP establishes two connections one for data transfer on TCP’s port number 20 and one for control information (commands and responses) on TCP’s port number 21. Separate connection for data and command makes FTP more efficient.
Control connection has ver simple rules for communication, but data connection has complex rules due to the variety of the data that is transferred. FTP was designed when security was not a big issue. Though FTP requires a password which is sent in a plain text that could be intercepted. So one can add Secured Socket Layer between FTP application layer and TCP layer to provide security.
Key Differences Between HTTP and FTP
- The basic difference between HTTP and FTP is that HTTP is used to access different websites on the internet. On the other hand, the FTP is used to transfer files from one host to the another.
- HTTP establishes data connection only whereas, the FTP establishes data as well as control connection.
- HTTP uses the TCP’s port number 80 whereas, FTP uses TCP’s port number 20 and 21.
- In case you are using HTTP, http appears in the URL of the website and if you are using FTP, ftp appears in your URL.
- HTTP is efficient to transfer smaller files like web pages whereas, FTP is efficient to transfer large files.
- HTTP does not require authentication whereas, FTP uses the password for authentication.
- Web pages or data content transferred to a device using HTTP are not saved in the memory of that device whereas, the data delivered to a device using FTP is saved in the memory of that device.
FTP is older and is being replaced with new protocols whereas, the HTTP will be there in near future.