The World Wide Web (WWW) is a network of online content that is formatted in HTML and accessed via HTTP. The term refers to all the interlinked HTML pages that can be accessed over the Internet. The World Wide Web was originally designed in 1991 by Tim Berners-Lee while he was a contractor at CERN.
The World Wide Web is most often referred to simply as “the Web.”
The World Wide Web is what most people think of as the Internet. It is all the Web pages, pictures, videos and other online content that can be accessed via a Web browser. The Internet, in contrast, is the underlying network connection that allows us to send email and access the World Wide Web. The early Web was a collection of text-based sites hosted by organizations that were technically gifted enough to set up a Web server and learn HTML. It has continued to evolve since the original design, and it now includes interactive (social) media and user-generated content that requires little to no technical skills.
We owe the free Web to Berners-Lee and CERN’s decision to give away one of the greatest inventions of the century.
File Transfer Protocol (FTP) is a standard Internet protocol for transmitting files between computers on the Internet over TCP/IP connections. FTP is a client-server protocol where a client will ask for a file, and a local or remote server will provide it.
The end-users machine is typically called the local host machine, which is connected via the internet to the remote host—which is the second machine running the FTP software.
Anonymous FTP is a type of FTP that allows users to access files and other data without needing an ID or password. Some websites will allow visitors to use a guest ID or password- anonymous FTP allows this.
Although a lot of file transfer is now handled using HTTP, FTP is still commonly used to transfer files “behind the scenes” for other applications — e.g., hidden behind the user interfaces of banking, a service that helps build a website, such as Wix or SquareSpace, or other services. It is also used, via Web browsers, to download new applications.
How FTP works
FTP is a client-server protocol that relies on two communications channels between client and server: a command channel for controlling the conversation and a data channel for transmitting file content. Clients initiate conversations with servers by requesting to download a file. Using FTP, a client can upload, download, delete, rename, move and copy files on a server. A user typically needs to log on to the FTP server, although some servers make some or all of their content available without login, known as anonymous FTP.
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.
How to FTP
Files can be transferred between two computers using FTP software. The user’s computer is called the local host machine and is connected to the Internet. The second machine, called the remote host, is also running FTP software and connected to the Internet.
- The local host machine connects to the remote host’s IP address.
- The user would enter a username/password (or use anonymous).
- FTP software may have a GUI, allowing users to drag and drop files between the remote and local host. If not, a series of FTP commandsare used to log in to the remote host and transfer files between the machines.