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Difference between FTP and HTTP

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  • Last Updated : 22 Nov, 2021
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HyperText Transfer Protocol (HTTP) and File Transfer Protocol(FTP) are the protocols used for file transfer between client and server. There is a lot of difference between FTP and HTTP. In this article, we will learn what are the differences between HTTP and FTP.

1. File Transfer Protocol (FTP) :
It stands for File Transfer Protocol. It is an internet standard that allows the process of file downloading and uploading on different computers from the internet. FTP site consists of different types of files(text, graphics, videos, images, etc). It was developed when security was not a big issue. It is older and is being replaced with new protocols. FTP supports two separate Transmission Control Protocols the first one is a control connection or command port (port 21 ) to authenticate the user and the second one is a data connection or data port(port 20) to transfer the files. It requires a specific username and password for access.

2. HyperText Transfer Protocol (HTTP) :
It stands for HyperText Transfer Protocol. It is the backbone of WWW. It is an internet standard that allows the process of transfer of web pages over the internet. It also defines how the web browser will respond to any web request. The web address of all the web pages contains a protocol, domain name, and path to the web page. Most of the web address contains http:// in their URL to show the HTTP protocol. HTTP works similar to the combined functions of FTP and SMTP. It also uses Transmission Control Protocol.

Difference between FTP and HTTP :

1.It stands for HyperText Transfer Protocol.It stands for File Transfer Protocol
2.It is the set of rules that how web pages are transferred on different computers over the internet.It is the set of rules that permit the downloading and uploading the files on the computer over the internet.
3.It only supports the data connection.It supports both data connection and control connection
4.It uses Transmission Control Protocol and runs on TCP port 80.It uses Transmission Control Protocol and runs on TCP port 20 and TCP port 21.
5.The URL using the HTTP protocol will start with HTTP.The URL using the FTP will start with FTP.
6.It does not require authentication.It requires authentication.
7.It is efficient in transferring small files.It is efficient in transferring large files.
8. The files transferred to the computer over the internet are not saved to the memory.The files transferred to the computer over the internet are saved to the memory.
9. HTTP is used to provide the web pages to the web browser from the webserver FTP is used to upload or download files between client and server.
10.It is a stateless protocol.It is not a stateless protocol and it maintains states.
11.It supports an In-band type of band transfer.It supports an Out-of-band type of band transfer.
12.It can use both types of Persistent and Non-persistent TCP connection.It uses a Persistent TCP connection for the Control connection and a Non-persistent TCP Connection for Data Connection.
13.Its RFCs are 2616, 7230 and 7231.Its RFCs are 959, 765, 1732.
14.It uses one way communication system.It uses two way communication system.
15.HTTP is faster.FTP is slower as compared to HTTP.


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