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The History of FTP

The early Internet was used by computer scientists, engineers, physicists, and librarians. There was nothing "user-friendly" about it. There were no personal computers in those days, and anyone who used it had to learn to use a complicated set of commands that were specific to each system. It became clear that in order to transfer files from one system to another, a set of standard commands (a protocol) was needed.

The FTP protocol, enabling file transfers between remote systems, was first published as a "Request for Comments" (a collection of technical and organizational notes about the Internet) on April 16, 1971. Since it's inception, FTP has been the standard protocol used to transfer files between remote computers. The developers of the File Transfer Protocol (FTP) had to balance the need for a rich set of functionality with the desire for a protocol that was simple and easy to implement. RFC 959, File Transfer Protocol (FTP), was published in October of 1985. Making revisions to FTP, including the addition of several new commands, it is now the base specification for FTP. Since that time, a number of other standards have been published that define other extensions, such as better security measures. This set of standards is still what is used today.

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