FTP stands for File
Transfer Protocol. FTP client software allows you to transfer
files between your hard drive and a remote server. For
instance, you could put your personal home page up on
the Web by transferring files from your hard drive to
a Web server, or you can download programs from your favorite
shareware site — fast.
Ever wonder what "http"
stands for in all of the Web sites you access with your
Web browser? Hypertext Transfer Protocol is how your browser
transfers files from remote web servers to graphically
display web content on your monitor. Although HTTP does
a good job of downloading HTML files and the small bitmaps
displayed within them, it was never designed to transfer
large files. However, with FTP, you can download large
files and resume transfer after interruptions, where you
left off, saving time (read that "money") and
FTP users find transferring
files via e-mail attachments grossly inefficient or impractical
when dealing with large documents. For uploading such
files, FTP is the only open standard answer (e.g., for
efficiently posting new HTML pages onto a Web site or
sharing graphics-laden files).
numbers of power users, telecommuters, and corporate Internet
managers are unleashing the protocol's potential by using
FTP clients — file transfer software applications
designed for users — to minimize time spent online.
In fact, for anyone that even touches the Internet, "FTP
client" should be spoken in the same breath as "e-mail"
and "browser" when describing efficient desktop
needs. You need all three.