tramp operates transparently, accessing remote files as if they are local. However, tramp employs a formalized remote file naming syntax to perform its functions transparently. This syntax consists of many parts specifying access methods, authentication, host names, and file names. Ange-FTP uses a similar syntax.
Unlike opening local files in Emacs, which are instantaneous, opening remote files in tramp is slower at first. Sometimes there is a noticeable delay before the prompts for passwords or authentication appear in the minibuffer. Hitting <RET> or other keys during this gap will be processed by Emacs. This type-ahead facility is a feature of Emacs that may cause missed prompts when using tramp.