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The File Transfer Protocol, standardized in RFC959 by the IETF. See also Archie the search engine.

The purpose of the protocol is to be able to transfer files between machines with widely different operating systems.

It is an 8-bit protocol, capable of handling any type of file without further processing such as MIME or UUEncode. However, FTP has extremely high latency, the time between beginning the request and starting to recieve the required data can be quite long, a lengthy login procedure is required.