Protocols are used to communicate over the Internet. Each time you send an e-mail, visit a website, or download a file, you are using a protocol. Protocols are agreed upon formats by which two computers (or other devices such as hand-held devices) agree to talk to each other.
When people communicate, we typically agree upon a language that we will speak (English, German, French). Within that language, we may agree upon specific meanings of words, acronyms, or nicknames. When both people understand the language and sub-meanings within that language, they can communicate.
Devices, such as computers, agree in much the same way. They agree to a language and protocol such as FTP, HTTP, WebDAV, or many others. Once they are speaking the same language, they can communicate by displaying a Web page, sending and receiving e-mail, or transferring files.
Protocols are often used for specific purposes. Here is a list of Internet based protocols, the abbreviations by which they are often referred and their most common uses.
- FTP – File Transfer Protocol – as the name suggests, FTP is used to transfer files. If you are creating a website, or uploading pictures, you are probably using FTP.
- SFTP – Secure File Transfer Protocol – another protocol used for transferring files. Though not as popular as FTP, SFTP provides additional security and some increases in performance.
- SSL – Secure Sockets Layer – this protocol is used in conjunction with another protocol to encrypt the information that is being transferred between two computers. SSL creates a secure “tunnel”, and another protocol, such as FTP, will send its transmissions inside of that secure tunnel.
- TLS - Transport Layer Security - the successor to SSL v3.0. Originally named SSL v3.1, but later renamed to TLS due to the vast improvements that were made between v3.0 and v3.1.
- FTPS - FTP over SSL - used to identify an FTP session running within the context of a securely established SSL connection.
- HTTP – HyperText Transfer Protocol – this protocol is commonly used for displaying Web pages. When you enter a URL into your browser, an HTTP “request” is made to the Web server where that URL is located. The Web server sends a copy of that Web page to your browser using HTTP.
- WebDAV – Web-based Distributed Authoring & Versioning – this is a special protocol that was developed to enable users to collaborate on documents over the Internet. Derived from HTTP, WebDAV extends the functionality of HTTP by adding features such as file locking, file versioning, and file writing. With the introduction of WebDAV, the traditional 'read-only' Internet now becomes a 'read-write' medium poised for collaboration.
South River Technologies has extensive experience in using these protocols in our products. Since 1996, SRT has specialized in developing products using these Internet standard protocols.
|WebDAV & SSL
||FTP, SSL, SFTP, FTPS
||WebDAV, HTTP, FTP, SSL, SFTP, FTPS