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FTP File Format

File transfer protocol (Internet Generic)

FTP is a file extension for a File Transfer Protocol configuration information file format. 

Like the Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP), which is for displaying Web pages and related files, and the Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP), which is for e-mail, FTP is an application protocol that uses the Internet's TCP/IP protocols to transfer files.

FTP files are commonly used to transfer web page files from their creator to the computer that acts as their server or to download programs from a host server to the user’s computer.

You can use FTP through a simple command line interface (CLI) or with a commercial program that offers a graphical user interface (GUI). FTP also allows you to update (delete, rename, move, and copy) files after you log on to an FTP server. Publicly available files are easily accessed using anonymous FTP.


Learn more about FTP files:

See’s answer to the question of “Which operating system can best secure an FTP site?”

Get your FTP questions answered or browse FAQs at IT Knowledge Exchange.

This was last updated in July 2010
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