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FTP is 50 Years Old

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An FTP logo.

Fifty years after its release, the File Transfer Protocol is still going strong.

Credit: Computer Hope

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.

Over the years, the FTP protocol got refined with 16 different revisions adding support with TCP/IP, a secure extension also known as FTPS which is leveraging the same tech as HTTPS and more recent addition like IPv6 support.

Fifty years after its inception, FTP is still going very strong with millions of FTP servers still being exposed on the Internet, which is fairly amazing considering the bad press it gets from so many people and companies like Dropbox writing on how bad FTP is conflating the protocol to a full-fledge product. Not to mention the closest thing they got to the FTP protocol is their far less shiny, proprietary API that is only usable if Dropbox is kind enough to grant you a key.

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