File Transfer Protocol, or FTP, is a protocol used to upload files from a workstation to a FTP server or download files from a FTP server to a workstation. It is the way that files get transferred from one device to another in order for the files to be available on the Internet. When ftp appears in a URL it means that the user is connecting to a file server and not a Web server and that some form of file transfer is going to take place. Most FTP servers require the user to log on to the server in order to transfer files.
In contrast, Hyper Text Transfer Protocol, or HTTP, is a protocol used to transfer files from a Web server onto a browser in order to view a Web page that is on the Internet. Unlike FTP, where entire files are transferred from one device to another and copied into memory, HTTP only transfers the contents of a web page into a browser for viewing. FTP is a two-way system as files are transferred back and forth between server and workstation. HTTP is a one-way system as files are transported only from the server onto the workstation’s browser. When http appears in a URL it means that the user is connecting to a Web server and not a file server. The files are transferred but not downloaded, therefore not copied into the memory of the receiving device.