Home : Internet Terms : Archie Definition


Archie is a program that allows you to search for files available on one or more FTP servers. It was commonly used in the early 1990s, but has been replaced by standard web-based search engines and peer-to-peer (P2P) file sharing services.

In the early days of the Internet, large files were often available only through FTP servers. In order to download a specific file, users would have to navigate to the appropriate directory and then find the correct file before downloading it. This made it difficult for people to locate files unless they knew exactly where they were stored on the server. Archie made it possible for users to actually search FTP servers rather than browsing through all the directories.

While Archie is rarely used today, some websites still offer an Archie search feature. You can often identify an Archie search engine by a URL that begins with "archie" rather than "www." Most Archie search engines allow you to search for filenames based on either substrings or exact matches. You can also specify if a search should be case sensitive or not. Additionally, you can use boolean operators such as AND and OR to search for multiple filenames at once.

Updated: February 8, 2012

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