GlobalSCAPE Knowledge Base

Why use HTTP for file transfers

Karla Marsh


  • EFT Server (all versions)
  • CuteFTP (all versions)


The use of HTTP or FTP for file transfers depends on your business objectives and client requirements.

  • FTP is used to transfer files between a workstation and an FTP server. Most FTP servers require the user to have an account and log on to the FTP server to transfer files. With FTP, files can be transferred in both directions between server and workstation.
  • HTTP is used to transfer files from a Web server into a browser window to view a Web page that is on the Internet. With HTTP, files are transported only from the server onto the workstation's browser. The files are transferred but not downloaded, therefore not copied into the memory of the workstation.

Browsers can be used to transfer files via FTP; however, browsers do not inherently support secure file transfers via FTP mode. When you type ftp:// and log in to an FTP Server in your browser, you are transmitting your password and data in clear text, which is not secure. If you want advanced capabilities not found in a browser, then you need EFT.

EFT Web Transfer Client is a browser-based file transfer client that allows users to transfer files to and from EFT over HTTP or HTTPS using a Web browser. The Web client deploys automatically if you have a license for the client; the user must have an account defined in EFT Server to connect.

  • Are you able to mandate that your customers or partners purchase and install a standalone client in order to transact with your business?
  • Are your customers or partners technically proficient?
  • Is your organization going to offer training to new partners?
  • Is your customer or partner connection recurring?

If you answered "No" to these questions, a transparent, easy-to-use, web-deployed client such as the Web Transfer Client would meet your requirements.


Last Modified: Last Month
Last Modified By: kmarsh
Type: INFO
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