Question 991109-1: Before the WWW was invented, Internet users used FTP to download documents from other sites. Today, HTTP is often used instead. What are the advantages with using HTTP instead of FTP for downloading files from public archives?.



Suggested reply:

FTP requires a series of interactions to establish a connection, which is costly, especially if you only intend to download one or a few files. In particular, FTP for public files requires a simulated login (so-called anonymous login).

FTP uses two channels, one for commands and one for data, this also makes communication establishment more costly, and makes it complex to handle two simultaneous sessions to download different documents.

HTTP has a more versatile mode of specifying file type with the Content-Type header.

HTTP allows conditional downloads and supports proxies and caching beter than FTP.

HTTP version 1.1 has support for multiple downloads in one connection combined with pipelining.


2 No session establishment
2 Only one channel
1 No simulated anonymous login
2 Content-Type
1 Pipelining
1 Proxie, caching
6 Max score

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