The File Transfer Protocol service(known as FTP in short) allows an Internet user to move a file from one computer to another on the Internet.A file may contain any type of digital information-text document,image, martwork, movie,sound,software,etc.Hence ,anything that can be stored on a computer can be moved with FTP service.Moving a file from a remote computer to ones own computer is known as downloading the file,and moving a file from ones own computer to a remote computer is known as uploading the file.
By using the FTP service,a file transfer takes place in the following manner:
- A user executes the ftp command on his./her local computer,specifying the address of the remote computer as a parameter.
- An FTP process running on the user’s computer(called FTP client process) establishes a connection with an FTP process running on the remote computer(called FTP server process).
- The user is then prompted for login name and password to ensure that user is allowed to access the remote computer.
- After successful login, the desired file(s) are downloaded or uploaded by using get(for downloading) and put (for uploading) commands.The user can also list directories,or move between directories of the remote computer,before deciding the files( to ) to be transferred.
Notice from the discussion presented above that a user could transfer files to/from a remote computer.only if he/she has access rights for the remote computer.With this restriction,it is almost impossible to provide access rights to the vast number of the users of the Internet to a computer that contains sharable information. The concept of anonymous FTP site is used to overcome this probe.An anonymous FTP site is a computer,which allows a user to log in with a user-name of anonymous and password that is the user’s e-mail address.The user can then download files from the computer,which have been stored on it for sharing.Such sites are called publicly accessible sits because they can be accessed by any user on the Internet.
Of course,FTP service is also used for more secure file transfer operation.In such cased,a user needs a valid user-name and password to access a particular computer.This is common;for example,for organizations that wish to let only certain people access their computer.
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