Windows XP / Networking

File Transfer Protocol

The File Transfer Protocol was designed to promote sharing files, such as computer programs or data, by connecting machines reliably and efficiently, without getting tangled up in whether or not the host machine was the same brand or used the same operating system as the client. As a result, remote access of computers became more commonplace. In fact, even though simple FTP terminal programs are available, web browsers can often perform such transfers simply and transparently. This appears to be in line with the original intent of the standard.

However, the FTP protocol is subject to abuse. In the first place, it transmits in the clear without encryption shielding. Just sit and listen to a network connection, and in time, files by the boatload will come streaming by for the copying. FTP is also very subject to anonymous access. This is highly desirable in many environments, where to regulate access requires issuing passwords to every applicant, creating a tremendous administrative burden. It also means, however, that while you are in the process of gathering usage information from your FTP server.

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