What is the difference between MTP, PTP and USB mass storage?

We all know very well that when we connect a smartphone to a PC, we usually find different options to do and select, each with their own characteristics, advantages and disadvantages. So, in this how-to tutorial, we are going to explain the 3 main connection modes, MTP, PTP and USB Mass Storage offered by most Android devices. Therefore, in this how-to article, we will just show you the difference between these 3 well-known modes in Android, MTP, PTP and USB Mass Storage.

What is the difference between MTP, PTP and USB mass storage?

MTP (Media Transfer Protocol) on Android

In newer versions of Android, MTP is the default protocol used to establish connections with the computer. When we establish the connection via MTP, our device becomes a “media device” for the operating system. We can therefore use it with other applications such as Windows Media Player or iTunes.

Basically, in this method, the computer has no control over the storage device, but behaves the same as the client-server connection. And below we have mentioned the steps we usually take when we connect our Android device to the computer and here they are.

  • First of all, we just connect the Android device to the computer.
  • Then we open the storage memory.
  • After that, the mobile sends a list of its files to the computer.
  • Now the computer sends a file download request.
  • Then the device simply sends you a copy of the file, which is downloaded via the cable to the computer.
  • Now a list of files is transferred and the connection is closed waiting for a response.

In case you need to send a file: –

  • A file transfer request is sent.
  • Then the Android device simply accepts it.
  • After the above step, the file just starts to be sent.

However, the point is that the speed of this protocol is much lower than that offered by the mass storage protocol, although it also depends on the device we have connected.

In addition, this protocol has some drawbacks, as it is more unstable than mass storage and much less compatible, for example with Linux operating systems, because MTP depends on specific and proprietary drivers. This protocol can also generate incompatibility issues in other operating systems such as MacOS, such as in Linux.

PTP (Picture Transfer Protocol) on Android

This type of connection is the least used by Android users. This is because when users select this method, the Android device is displayed on the computer as a camera. Usually, when we connect the cameras, the computer just offers simultaneous PTP and MTP support.

In PTP (Picture Transfer Protocol) mode, the smartphone simply behaves like a camera without MTP support. This mode is generally recommended only if the user wants to transfer photos easily, as it allows us to transfer photos from the device to the computer without the need to use any additional software or tools.

USB mass storage on Android

This mode is without a doubt one of the most useful, compatible and easy to use. In this mode, the device just connects as a USB stick or classic external hard drive, so that we can use this storage space without any problem. If the device has an external memory card, this is also mounted independently as another storage device.

The main problem in this way is that when it is connected to the computer and activated, the data is no longer available on the smartphone until the mass storage of the computer is disconnected, which can also cause errors in applications when trying to access. he.

The most recent versions of Android have increased the security of data stored on smartphones and tablets and eliminated compatibility with this type of connection, leaving only MTP and PTP connections with their respective advantages and disadvantages.

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