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FTP stands for File Transfer Protocol. It is a protocol used to transfer files between
an FTP host/server and an FTP client computer on the Internet. FTP is most commonly
used to download files from the World Wide Web. It is an alternative choice to HTTP
protocol for downloading and uploading files to FTP servers.

The Internet is composed of file transfers. Every minute of every day, Internet users
download files from websites and webmasters upload files, generating content for their
websites. The most common method for transferring files is the File Transfer Protocol
FTP stands for File Transfer Protocol. A protocol is a system of rules that networked
computers use to communicate with one another. FTP is a client-server protocol that
may be used to transfer files between computers on the internet. The client asks for the
files and the server provides them.
You can work with FTP using a simple command-line interface, such as the DOS
console in Windows and Terminal in Linux and macOS. If you don’t want to use those,
though, there are graphical user interface solutions, such as Filezilla or winscp Pro.
Browsers also allow you to download files via FTP (check out our recommendations for
the most secure browsers

Figure(1) open FTP session using console

Figure(2) Filezile

You can exchange any kind of file, including music, videos and documents. If it’s a single
file, you might even get it faster than you would with HTTP, unless the server is far away.
If tuned properly, FTP may be better for large files.

You can also create directories, remove them and list files with FTP, but you may need
to authenticate with a username and password first. Anonymous FTP servers don’t
require keys and are usually used for open source software that is freely distributed.

FTP falls into the standard client/server model. To use FTP, there needs to exist both
an FTP client program and an FTP server program. The FTP server will store or house
the files accessed during file transfer, and the FTP client will connect to the FTP server
and send files to, or retrieve files from, the server.

Client-Server Conversation Structure

FTP uses a basic command/reply mechanism. The FTP client will connect to the FTP
server, usually on port 21, the port traditionally reserved for FTP traffic. The client will
begin a synchronized conversation by sending a command to the server, which the server
will respond to, signaling readiness for the next command.
FTP sessions work in passive or active modes. In active mode, after a client initiates a
session via a command channel request, the server initiates a data connection back to
the client and begins transferring data. In passive mode, the server instead uses the
command channel to send the client the information it needs to open a data channel.
Because passive mode has the client initiating all connections, it works well across
firewalls and Network Address Translation (NAT) gateways.

Figure(3) Active and passive Mode

FTP Server Configuration

Installing FTP on Windows Server 2012 (R2):

1. Open the Server Manager from the task bar.

2. From the Server Manager Dashboard click Add Roles and Features.
3. From the Installation Type section select Role-based or feature-based
installation and click Next.
4. The current server will be selected by default. Click Next to move to the Server Roles
selection tab.
5. From the Server Roles tab expand the Web Server (IIS) dropdown and place a
check in the box for FTP Server. Click Next to move to the Features selection tab.

Figure(4) Add Roles and Features Wizard

Creating an FTP site with basic authentication:

This section details how to create a new FTP site. following steps to create the FTP

1- Click on the Start > Administrative Tools > Internet Information Services (IIS)
2- In the Actions pane on the right side, click Add FTP .

Figure(5):Internet information service(IIS) Add FTP site

3- On the Site Information page, enter a name for the FTP site, and browse and
select a path on the local system to use as the Content (or root) directory. In this
example, we will use the site name of “MSC-networks” and provide the root path
of “C:\networks”

Figure(6): Site Information page

4- On the Binding and SSL Settings page, enter or modify the details for your
particular needs. In our example, we kept the default values for IP Address and
Port, “All Unassigned” and “21” respectively. We did not select Enable Virtual Host
Names and selected No SSL.

Figure(7):Binding and SSL Settings

Results and Discussion

I want to do some steps to showhow the FTP protocol work by using wireshark to
capture the sequence of operation between my computer and FTP server.

- The first step using windows command to arrive (ftp web
server for download text file named (FTP-networks.pdf) from the web server to
my computer.

Figure(8): FTP session on cmd

- We can access file on FTP server by using browser agent to download or upload
the files and another objects

Figure(9): browser access files

- The Second step using wireshark program to capture the packets

Figure(9):wireshark application window

Note: wireshark must be start before using comments to arrive the ftp
( web server
- The third step after the text file downloaded from ftp ( web
server you must stop the wireshark to be start analyses the packets sent and


1- We print in the filter of the wireshark (ftp) the ip address of the server is and the client is

Figure(9): FTP capture

2- As show from packet(482) client send request with user name and at a packet
number (484) server sent response to send password and client send password
at packet (558) . see figure 10.

Figure(10):FTP authentication

3- At packet no.(836) client request from the server (LIST) observed that the three
steps for TCP return again to establish connection between client and server to
establish data connection see figure(11).

Figure(11):Data Conection

FTP is a very useful software application that can have large benefit to web site or to
collaborative computing in which files need to be shared between business partners.

- CCNA 200-125 routing and switching intoduction to ftp
- MCSA windows server 2012 complete study guide
- Wireshark application