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FTP – How File Transfer Protocol Transmit files

Updated on August 17, 2009


How files are transferred to the internet using File Transfer Protocol

FTP allows you to transfer or share files over the network with only remote system that supports the file. It includes a client and server portion. The server ftp listen to a session initiation request from client ftp, file may be transfer in either direction as discussed below

File transfer protocol employees two separate TCP connection to accomplish a file transfer on the internet. A control connection is used to pass control information in the form of commands and replies back and forth between the ftp processes running in each system. A data transfer connection is used for the actual transmission of data file and acknowledgement

The ftp process in the system that is making the file transfer request is called the ftp client. The ftp process in the system receiving the request is the ftp server. File transfer process involves in executing a file request is as follows

  1. User – a user invokes the ftp server and passes the ftp client, the name of the server to receive the request. The ftp client opens a TCP connection with the ftp server on the designated system using the standard destination port number associated with ftp. ftp connection is referred to as the control connection
  2. The ftp client sends commands to the ftp server with the account name and password of the users. The ftp server allows the receiving system  to perform any necessary authentication of the users access right and send replies back to the ftp client indicating whether authentication was successful
  3. The ftp client sends commands indicating the file name, data type, file type and transmission mode to be used for the transfer and whether the ftp client will send a file to the ftp server or receive a copy of a file from the ftp server. the ftp server sends replies indicating whether or not the file transfer option are acceptable
  4. The ftp server opens another TCP connection with the ftp client to use for data transfer using a destination port number previously send to it by the ftp client
  5. The sending ftp process packages data as agreed upon in the options and sends it to the receiving ftp process using data transfer connection. Standard TCP flow control, error checking and transmission procedure are used to ensure that the files is transferred correctly and completely
  6. When the entire file has been transferred the sending ftp process closes the data transfer connection. The control connection can then be used to begin another data transfer operation or it also can be closed


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    • profile image

      anupama 6 years ago

      hi my name is anupama seal i wanyt to study computer more okay bythis ismy commet


      anupama seal

    • themastudios profile image

      themastudios 7 years ago from Melbourne, FL

      good hub, to help people understand FTP and what it does, check out mine on Setting up and Using FTP

    • oderog profile image

      oderog 8 years ago from Nairobi

      designmama29 - Thanks to hear you talk about FTP, and the

      how companies are different when comes ftp hosting folders

    • designmama29 profile image

      designmama29 8 years ago

      Nice article! Just to add to the topic, people should know that all FTP hosting companies are not the same, yes they may have the ftp server but do they allow private ftp folders for each client and have good support? has been hosting ftp servers for more than 10 years, worth a look.

      again thanks for the informative hub