As the use of computers is on the rise, the understanding of networks and how they interact with computers becomes a necessity for its end users. One of the pieces that allow the interaction of computers and networks is the protocol. According to Merriam-Webster dictionary, a protocol is essentially a set of rules that define how computers communicate with other computers over a network (Merriam-Webster). There are many protocols that presently exist (e.g. HyperText Transfer Protocol, Internet Protocol), but one of the most useful protocols to users who have the desire of sharing files with one another may just be the File Transfer Protocol, or FTP. This paper is designed to explain the history behind the FTP, its purpose, how it is used, and why it is useful to this group of users.
The History of FTP
FTP was first developed back in the early 1970s for indirectly accessing computers on a network (TCP/IP Guide). To access a computer over a network indirectly means to acquire files or data from a remotely hosted computer and placing them onto a local file system, or to place files from a locally hosted file system onto a remotely hosted computer. The initial version of FTP was first published in Request for Comments (RFC), a series of memos designed for explaining methods or research that applies to computer networking (Wikipedia). While this protocol has undergone a few revisions over the decades since its original development, its main purpose remains the same.
How FTP Works
There are four primary components in order to make FTP work: the FTP client, the FTP server, the control connection and a data connection between the two (DeskShare). This way, the operating systems and file system types do not need t...
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About. “How to Set up Dreamweaver to Transfer Files.” Accessed June 17, 2011. http://webdesign.about.com/od/dreamweaverhowtos/ig/Set-Up-FTP-in-Dreamweaver/.
DeskShare. “Understanding How FTP Works.”Accessed June 17, 2011. http://www.deskshare.com/Resources/articles/ftp-how-to.aspx.
Merriam-Webster Dictionary. “Protocol.” Accessed June 17, 2011. http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/protocol.
Open-Site. “Request for Comment (RFC) 114 A File Transfer Protocol.” Last updated October 1, 2007. http://open-site.org/Computers/Internet/Technology/Specifications/Request_For_Comments/RFC_114.
The TCP/IP Guide. “FTP Overview, History and Standards.” Last updated September 20, 2005. http://www.tcpipguide.com/free/t_FTPOverviewHistoryandStandards.htm.
Wikipedia. “Request for Comments.” Last updated May 1, 2011. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Request_for_Comments.
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