The FTP (File Transfer Protocol) is one of the fastest and simplest ways we have to send data on the web. To connect to an FTP server, we need a client like FileZilla, which is the built-in client found on any OS. We also need to use FTP-compatible programs like Google Chrome and Firefox, the two most widely used browsers in the world. The FTP is not exactly one of the most secure protocols, which is why browsers will remove its support in order to improve security.
If we click this link on our browser, we will see how the entire content found on the server will be loaded without any additional extension or program. Some files will be downloaded to our PC if we try to open them, whereas other files, like images, will be rendered on the browser.
Google Chrome developers are trying to change the way the browser works with the protocol. Before entirely removing FTP support, the browser will keep displaying directory indexes. However, files will be downloaded instead of being opened.
Chrome will remove full FTP support sooner or later, so it will not use the server, meaning we will not be able to open or download files.
Firefox and other browsers will do the same and remove FTP support
Like Google, Mozilla is also planning on doing something about Firefox’s support for the protocol. Although the company has been thinking about removing the support since 2014 (nothing has been done so far), comments from five months ago suggest the topic is being discussed again to decide what to do with the browser’s FTP support.
Like Mozilla, every other browser will remove the support sooner or later for security reasons. The truth is users will not notice the removal of FTP support. According to Google, less than 2% of users used the protocol in a seven-day period.
Although the FTP is insecure, there are other more secure options, like FTPS and SFTP. However, browsers do not usually support them. In case we want to use the FTP once Chrome and Firefox stop supporting it, we can use FTP clients like FileZilla, which is the best cross-platform client out there. There are also other clients like Mini FTP, which is one of our favorites because it is really easy to use.