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Difference between HTTP and FTP

December 29, 2022

The main difference between HTTP and FTP is, HTTP (Hypertext Transfer Protocol) is the protocol that your browser uses to access websites. FTP (File Transfer Protocol) is the protocol used for transferring files between a computer and a server.

image showing the HTTP vs FTP

In this article, we will discuss the HTTP and FTP. And also the difference between both of them, which will be very helpful for you to find the difference between both of them.

HTTP (Hypertext Transfer Protocol)

The term HTTP is an abbreviation for Hypertext Transfer Protocol – the protocol that essentially runs the internet. HTTP works in a similar way to FTP and SMTP, in that it uses TCP to transfer data. However, it only uses one TCP connection rather than two like FTP. This connection is known as the data connection, and it runs on port 80.

HTTP is also used by companies, organizations, and governments to store documents. This software is responsible for the hypertext markup language (HTML). It is responsible for the formatting of text and how it is displayed on the web.

FTP (File Transfer Protocol)

FTP (File Transfer Protocol) is an internet standard that allows different devices (computers) to upload and download data files on the internet. FTP is a bit slower than newer and more modern protocols that are faster and more efficient for transferring files and web page data.

FTP uses two different Transmission Control Protocols, the first one being a control connection or command port (port 21) to authenticate the user, and the second being a data connection or data port (port 20) to transfer the files. In order to access FTP, you must have a specific username and password.


The key differences between HTTP and FTP are given below:

The Full form of HTTP is Hypertext Transfer Protocol.The Full form of FTP is File Transfer Protocol.
HTTP can make use of both persistent and non-persistent TCP connections.FTP uses a persistent TCP connection for its control channel and a non-persistent one for its data channel.
HTTP is able to efficiently transfer smaller files, like web pages.FTP can manage larger files more effectively.
The computers that receive the transferred files via the internet save them in their memory, which allows for quicker access to the information at a later time.The files that a computer/ device receives over the internet are not automatically saved in its memory.
HTTP uses port number 80 on the TCP protocol.FTP uses port numbers 20 and 21 on TCP.
The URL using the HTTP protocol will always start with “http”.URLs that use the FTP protocol will always start with “FTP.”
This software provides support for connecting data.This software provides support for both the control connection and the data connection.