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Cloud Hosting vs RDP/FTP


What is FTP?

File Transfer Protocol (FTP) is a standard network protocol that is used to transfer computer files between a server and client on a computer network. Built on a client-server model, FTP uses separate control and data connections between the client and the server. FTP users authenticate themselves with a clear-text sign-in protocol: a username and password. 

What is RDP?

Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) is a proprietary protocol developed by Microsoft, which provides a user with a graphical interface to connect to another computer over a network connection. The user employs RDP client software for this purpose, while the other computer must run RDP server software.

What is The Cloud?

Typically, The Cloud is computing on the internet. We can also define it as the practice of using remote servers hosted in the internet to store, manage and process data, as opposed to using local servers. The user only needs a computer with a web browser and of course internet connection. The cloud allows you to remotely access all data and software from anywhere using any device, without having to store anything on your computer.

Similarities Between FTP and The Cloud

Both are online file transfer or sharing modes, with cloud computing featuring more advanced and secure features.

Both FTP and cloud services can vary cost wise, with differences dependent on servers.

Differences Between FTP and The Cloud

  • To use FTP, you require an FTP client to access your files and folders. 
  • For the Cloud, all you need is a web browser or an application to access files and software.
  • FTP is reportedly insecure; it offers no traceability. Not knowing who has accessed your files, has made it easy for cyber criminals to hack into FTP servers, retrieve shared information and leave without a trace.
  • Cloud services have solved the issue of security in many ways such as the ability to track and report access to your files. Additionally, you are able to create backups in case of data loss.
  • FTP initial set up is typically more costly.
Cloud Computing

Remotely access files from anywhere without having to set up any hardware. Cloud computing services, offer online backup and file syncing to keep your most important documents accessible wherever you go. Apple iCloud, Microsoft OneDrive, and Google Drive provide access, editing, and sharing capabilities.

Remote Desktop Tool

Another way to get files from anywhere there is Wi-Fi or some other form of internet is to remotely log in to your computer. When you do this, you create a setup that simulates you sitting in front of your computer at home.

NAS Device

If you don’t need to remotely control or manage your home computer and only want to access shared files over the internet, use a Network Attached Storage (NAS) device. A NAS is a mini remote file server that connects to a home network. They are great for file sharing and backups for multiple computers, and they typically offer remote file access over FTP or a web browser, depending on the device.

Home Server

If you don’t want to use a third-party solution, set up a VPN and server. This option is the most expensive and time-consuming to set up — the software usually costs and you have to forward router ports — but it offers the most control.



There are many options for accessing files away from home or office. Still not sure what is right for you or your company? Give us a call today, and let us help you break down the differences between Cloud Hosting and RDP/FTP and what would be a good fit for your company.



Have a question? Reach out today!  (256) 513-8206

PCS can help you with any of the above mentioned items.


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