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HTTP better than FTP ??

Hello Experts,

In what ways is HTTP better than FTP ? If possible kindly explain with examples / cases.

Many thanks.
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mshankarak
Asked:
mshankarak
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4 Solutions
 
askurat1Commented:
What do you mean? They are two different things.
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mshankarakAuthor Commented:
I meant as a transport protocol serving user needs how does HTTP fare against FTP and vice versa. how do they meet user needs and what makes one of them better than the other ?
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AlexPaceCommented:
Is this your homework?
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mshankarakAuthor Commented:
No. This ain't my homework but as I was studying Transport protocols I felt the need to get a better understanding of these from people actually working on these protocols than just blindly relying on Wikipedia or Google.
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askurat1Commented:
I'm not really sure they are comparable. They are used for two different things so I don't think one can be better then another.
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askurat1Commented:
FTP is used to upload files from a workstation to a FTP server or download files from a FTP server to a workstation.
HTTP is  used to transfer files from a Web server onto a browser in order to view a Web page that is on the Internet.
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mshankarakAuthor Commented:
Could you kindly state any other differences in how these protocols function ?
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askurat1Commented:
Google is your friend.
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AlexPaceCommented:
FTP has easier protocol-level commands composed of simple verbs that are easier to grok than HTTP Requests and Responses but that doesn't really matter because almost nobody works directly on the protocol level, instead we use clients that abstract the low-level interaction into easier chunks.

You could build a "web browser" that used FTP as a back end for simple HTTP GET Requests but you'd need to write an extension to do POSTs.
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mshankarakAuthor Commented:
Could you tell me how HTTP being an in-band protocol and FTP being an out-of-band protocol affect their functioning ?
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AlexPaceCommented:
FTP uses a separate data channel for each transmission.  This is easier in the sense that, as a client developer, you don't have to parts the protocol verbs from the actual data stream.  On the other hand it adds difficulty for the network security team because it doubles the number of open ports... even worse is the fact that typically the speicific port to be used on a data channel is negotiated on the fly during the session.  A typical FTP session that includes one directory listing and 3 file downloads may use a different data channel port for all four of those transactions.

Are you looking at solving a specific problem and trying to choose the best approach?  Just discussing the protocol at a high level like this is perhaps less likely to give you a working solution than if you just describe the situation and ask us what we would do and why...
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AlexPaceCommented:
parts = parse

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AlexPaceCommented:
Wait are you talking out of band with respect to the protocol itself or about TCP ... I assumed you were talking about the former.
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mshankarakAuthor Commented:
Your insight from a network security professional's point of view was helpful but I was referring with respect to TCP.
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mshankarakAuthor Commented:
Sorry about that I meant I was referring wrt to FTP and HTTP protocol only.
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