File Transfer Protocol (FTP) is a computing network protocol which enables transfer of computer files from one host to another host over a TCP-based network. FTP is based on a client-server architecture and uses separate control and data connections between the client and the server. The users of FTP may authenticate themselves using a clear-text sign-in protocol, normally in the form of a username and password, but can connect anonymously if the server is configured to allow it.
For secure transmission that protects the username and password, and encrypts the content, FTP is often secured with SSL/TLS (FTPS). SSH File Transfer Protocol (SFTP) is sometimes also used instead, but is technologically different. The first FTP client applications were command-line applications developed before operating systems had graphical user interfaces, and are still shipped with most Windows, Unix, and Linux operating systems. Many FTP clients and automation utilities have since been developed for desktops, servers, mobile devices, and hardware, and FTP has been incorporated into productivity applications, such as web page editors.
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