What does AFP stand for?
AFP stands for Apple Filing Protocol, a type of network protocol developed by Apple Computers to allow users to share files with other people connected to a particular network. This protocol can be applied to computers running on the older Mac OS and the more recent Mac OS X. Under Mac OS X, AFP is just one of several file management services that can help users transfer data over a network. Other file services that work with Mac OS X include WebDAV, SMB or Server Message Block, and FTP or File Transfer Protocol.
Apple Filing Protocol used to be called AppleTalk Filing Protocol. As part of the AppleTalk suite of various protocols, this is the protocol used when involving AppleShare file servers. It featured an authentication system for users and was made to be compatible with Macintosh’s HFS filesystem. Besides AppleShare, the early implementations of AFP were on AppleShare IP, System 6, and the 1.x early versions of Mac OS X Servers. In its early times, AFP was able to support up to a maximum of ten file-transfer connections simultaneously. Back then, AFP was referred to as a “personal” file sharing system.
Along with the more recent updates and developments on AppleShare and the Mac OS X server, AFP also went into several revisions to update its existing features. AFP version 3.0 was specifically developed to work with computers running on the Mac OS X. This particular version was able to support file sizes of up to two tebibytes. Succeeding updates to AFP involved support for NFS sharing, Kerberos authentication, and SSH or secure shell connections.
With several updates to AFP allowing for support to various file systems and protocols, its security features were also configured to deter unwanted access to important data stored on network servers. Security on the Apple Filing Protocol is done through user authentication, volume-level password system, and controls setup for network directory access.