​FTP vs HTTP – differences

Have you ever thought about the differences between FTP vs HTTP, and why do we use HTTP for the World Wide Web? Now you will have your answer. 

​What is FTP?

FTP stands for File Transfer Protocol, and it is a protocol that allows file transfer between two different hosts (devices) using the TCP/IP protocol. It is using the client-server model, where one of the hosts is called a remote host (server) and needs FTP software to be a server, and the other is called a local host (client) with FTP client’s software. Both of them need to be connected and configure to use the FTP protocol for communication.

​FTP is used for:

  • Downloading some files over the Internet.
  • Downloading or uploading files on a web hosting.
  • Other types of communication.

​What is HTTP?

HTTP stands for Hypertext Transfer Protocol, and it is a protocol that we use on the Internet (World Wide Web) for loading pages through hyperlinks. It also uses the same client-server model as the FTP, where a client sends a request and the server answer with the requested content or action. The most common HTTP requests are GET, to get a particular resource, and POST, which indicates to post the text or file.

​HTTP is used for:

  • Navigating the Internet.
  • Downloading or posting on the Internet.
  • Communication between client and server.
  • Communication between servers.

​FTP vs HTTP comparison

Let’s get into the details, how similar and how different FTP vs HTTP are. You will be surprised how much in common the two network protocols have.

  • Both FTP and HTTP are network protocols.
  • Both FTP and HTTP have their secure versions that use data encryption – FTPS and HTTPS.
  • Both FTP and HTTP are still used on the Internet.
  • Both FTP and HTTP can be used for file transfer on the Internet.
  • Both FTP and HTTP use the TCP protocol but different ports.
  • Common ports for FTP are port 20 and port 21, while HTTP uses port 80 and port 8080.
  • FTP is for file transfer from a remote host after a connection is established, and HTTP is for web browsing after a connection is established.
  • FTP is usually slower than HTTP because HTTP can download a file in chunks and speed up the transfer. Also, the FTP needs to re-establish the connection between each file if there are multiple files, and that will cost extra time.
  • FTP can be used via a program, user interface, or a command-line interface, while HTTP is used through a web browser application.
  • FTP requires authentication (user name and password), while HTTP does not require authentication.
  • HTTP supports sending and receiving multiple files, while FTP does not support multiple files simultaneously.
  • HTTP provides metadata, and FTP does not.
  • FTP uses two connections at a time, while HTTP uses only one.
  • HTTP uses persistent connection (keep the connection going) for a longer time and multiple files, while the FTP needs to start and finish a new connection per each file.
  • Both FTP and HTTP support IPv6.


Both FTP and HTTP have a lot of similarities. They are still in use, and they have their secured versions. But, the biggest difference between them is their purpose. FTP is very limited and servers only for file transfer, while HTTP and its work make it irreplaceable for web browsing.

Understanding Internet Protocol Version 4 (IPv4)

IP address – What is it?

The IP (Internet Protocol) address helps with identifying most of the elements inside a network. Each device, laptop, computer, smartphone, etc., requires an IP address to successfully connect to a private network. Also, when we are talking about connecting to the Internet, we have the same case. The user is receiving a public IP address provided by an Internet service provider (ISP). For the purpose of operating accurately, servers also have a public IP address.

Thanks to IP addresses, the Internet is able to recognize different participants, devices, which every communication contains. The IP address also gives its location in the network. That makes the machines available to exchange data and communicate.

IPv4 explained.

IPv4 is short for Internet Protocol version 4. It is represented with a numerical string composed of four groups. Each group contains a number between 0 and 254, and they are separated by dots. It is a 32-bit address. For example, IPv4 looks like:

This version of the IP address is a connectionless protocol. That is the reason why it doesn’t need a prior adjustment between the two endpoints for the connection to operate successfully. To make it simple, devices are able to send data to a recipient and don’t have to check if it is available first. 

IPv4 determines addresses, packets’ format, and routes data. On the networks, a lot of data is communicated every second. If those data are too big to be carried to their destination, IPv4 is capable of detecting that. So with the help of Transmission Control Protocol (TCP), the data is divided into smaller pieces and is easier to transport. Also, on every data packet is going to be written the IP address of their destination, and their route is also set. So until they reach their target, they are going to travel through nodes, routers, etc. 

If devices want to connect to a network and be able to use its resources, they need IPv4 addresses. That way, with the implementation of IPv4, they can be successfully located and identified on a network.

No matter IPv4 was first described in 1981, it is still a very commonly used IP version. The newer version and future replacement is the IPv6. It is already in use, and it is operating accurately. However, achieving the whole transition from IPv4 to IPv6 requires more time.  


IPv4 addresses are simpler, and their structure includes fewer numbers. On the other hand, the new version of IPv6 has a more complicated format. This matters when we are talking about manual tasks. With IPv4, the possibility for human mistakes is way more reduced.   

The compatibility of IPv4 is much more extensive. Both the older and newer systems support this version of Internet Protocol without any problems. On the other side, version 6 of the IP address is supported only by most modern devices.

The topology is a lot easier and simpler to be applied on networks.