FTP Soldiers On

FTP is 50 years old

The 16th of April 1971 is not only the date when the Rolling Stone first released Brown Sugar, it is also marked with the publication of RFC 114 marking the birthday of FTP.

Back in those days, the Vietnam war is at the forefront of the news, TCP/IP didn’t exist yet, Jimi Hendrix died 6 months ago, telnet was the new cool kid and some of the most influential rock n roll artists were about to release masterpieces while FTP was using a network protocol called NCP.

The fact that the File Transfer Protocol predates the creation of TCP/IP, the networking layer that powers the Internet and most home and business networks, is pretty mind-boggling!

FTP is one of those things that gets looked down on as outdated and undesirable, and I can understand some of that as someone who had to grapple with cobbled-together FTP servers over the years. But if it’s set up well — and secured well — then It Just Works.

In contrast, more recent file transfer technologies are often subject to the whims of their respective vendors, meaning you’re trading convenience for reliance on their goodwill, not to mention their ability to find and fix security issues.

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