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What is the difference between FTP and HTTP?

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Quick Answer

HTTP and FTP are both network protocols for file transfer. HTTP is short for Hyper Text Transfer Protocol, and FTP is short for File Transfer Protocol. Both use TCP (Transmission Control Protocol) to transfer files.

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Full Answer

The difference between the two is that HTTP is a protocol used by the World Wide Web that allows the transfer of files from a web server to a user’s web browser for viewing web pages on the Internet, while the FTP protocol is used to transfer files from a computer to and from an FTP server. FTP facilitates the transfer of files from one computer to another.

HTTP transfers only web page content to the browser so as to view it. The transferred file is not saved in the memory space. FTP, on the other hand, transfers the whole file to the another computer, and the file is saved in memory. HTTP does not require a password and user name to access the server to transfer files, whereas the FTP protocol requires authentication.

HTTP is faster and more efficient for transferring smaller files, while FTP is faster and more efficient in transferring larger files. HTTP is able to use a single connection to transfer multiple files, while FTP requires a new connection to be created with each file transfer.

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