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You're probably familiar with the well-known FTP (File Transfer Protocol) that has been in use since the 1970s. If not, FTP is essentially a way that computers can communicate to transfer files easily. In cases where you need those transfers to be secure, though, you'll probably want to use SFTP (Secure File Transfer Protocol) with your Cloud or VPS server that has SSH enabled. Transfers sent back and forth through regular FTP are done so in a plain-text form and could easily be intercepted, whereas, with SFTP, the transfers are encrypted before they are sent so that only the source and destination know the contents of the transfer. The ports that are required to be open for FTP can also be a concern.
There are several key differences between FTP and SFTP, including:
There's also FTP/S, which lets you secure parts or all of the connection, but the security can be turned off, and using this method will result in less than ideal speed.
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Written by Hostwinds Team / June 5, 2021