Active vs. Passive File Transfer protocols are two different ways of transferring files between a client and a server. When it comes to open source and free software to transfer your large files quickly and efficiently, a file transfer protocol is always on the top. However, the passive file transfer protocol PFTP is preferred more than the active one. Let’s see what creates the difference.

Active File Transfer Protocol

File transfer protocol is the process of transferring data via the FTP server to your computer’s FTP client. Here is active file transfer in a nutshell.

  • Any random port from the FTP client is supposed to be connected to port 21 on the FTP server that activates the PORT command. It decides which client-side port a server should connect to. This pathway will be used for data channeling that differs from the port used for command channels.
  • Now, the server from port 20 connects to the client’s port specified for data channeling. Once the data channel is established, files can be transferred between the client and server.

The major drawback of active FTP is that a firewall is easily created between server and client, hindering the gateway of sending and receiving messages. Furthermore, there are high chances of ransomware attacks because the message is not encrypted for safety purposes.

Passive File Transfer Protocol

PFTP is a simple protocol that uses a client-server model. The client initiates a connection with the server, and the server then responds with a list of available files. The client can then select a file to download.

In PASV FTP, the command is again given by a client; however, instead of applying for the PORT command, the client requests the passive command. The server replies to the command by specifying the port number, allowing data transfer. The following steps will help you to understand the process more clearly.

  • Any random port from the client’s computer is connected to port 21 on the server and requests a passive command. The server manifests what port it has opened for data channeling.
  • Now the client again connects from any random port to the port specified by the server in response. Once the connection is established, you are free to transfer data conveniently.

When it comes to beating a firewall, passive FTP is a total game-changer. Another great advantage of PASV FTP is that your message gets encrypted with safety barriers that reduce the chances of hacking while allowing you to transfer files safely and conveniently.

Understanding how these ports work can be difficult. Allow to be the knight in shining armor and help you transfer large files without getting into this mess of AFTP vs PFTP. With you can send your files free of cost without facing any hassle.

Good luck and happy sharing 🙂