File Transfer Protocol (or FTP), is the standard client-server network protocol used for transferring files between computers (or computers and servers) via a network. It’s actually one of the oldest protocols in use today, dating all the way back to 1971.
The FTP process relies on two communication channels to get things done:
- A command channel, used to control the conversation between computers (or the computer and the server, and
- A data channel, which is used to control the transmission of files, or content.
At LegRoom, we utilise an FTP client called Transmit when uploading, downloading, modifying or deleting files via the internet – this might be when performing updates to a site, sending a new site live, or taking backups.
An important thing to note is that by default, FTP is not a secure transfer method.
Being almost fifty years old, it was created well before we knew about the capabilities of malware, and before we had an understanding of just how big the cybersecurity field would become.
Because of this, depending on the server, we will often switch between using an encrypted version of FTP, known as FTPS, or using a SSH, known as a Secure Shell Protocol.
Remember, kids: safety first!