If you have recently clicked on a link to a download a file and found that it pops up a message asking you what program you want to use to open the file then we have the fix.

Even though it looks the same to end users (i.e. you), there are several ways to transfer files through the internet.  It used to be that this was primarily accomplished used File Transfer Protocol (aka FTP) but over the last 15 years transferring files through the much slower Hyper Text Transfer Protocol (aka. HTTP) has taken over.

To keep this out of the weeds we can summarize that FTP is faster than HTTP but way more complex to setup.  As internet speeds have increased the need for efficiency has decreased so most companies just let HTTP handle their transfers.

In the fall of 2020 Google and the Chromium Project announced they were going to drop support for FTP because few people were using it, HTTPS is much more secure, and over time old features have to be removed to avoid bloat and security holes.

Microsoft Edge is a Chrome product (well, actually Edge is a Chromium product) so they also dropped support for FTP in the Spring of 2021.

The bottom line is that if you need to download files from the internet that are connected on FTP, you can either use a different browser or use a dedicated FTP program.


BrowserFTP Support in 2021?
ChromeNot any More
EdgeNot any More
FirefoxYes
Internet ExplorerYes
OperaNot any More
SafariYes

 


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