FTP vs. SFTP

FTP (File Transfer Protocol) and SFTP (Secure File Transfer Protocol) are two different file transfer protocols and they are used to perform networks environment’s most common task to transfer file, data, and information between the hosts on the network. FTP and SFTP are file transfer protocols.

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ftp vs sftp

The main difference between the FTP and SFTP is security. The FTP is first to file protocol and is less secure and the SFTP is secure file transfer which is more secure than the FTP. FTP or File Transfer Protocol to transfer files from one computer to another. SFTP is a more secure way of communication and is based on SSH (secure shell).

SSH is a secure way of providing access to all the shell accounts on the remote server. Another main difference of them is FTP is the most commonly used file protocol and SSFP is not used commonly. Let us discuss some more differences between FTP and SFTP with the help of comparison chart shown below.

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Comparison Chart

            Basis             FTP            SFTP
       Stands forFTP stands for File Transfer Protocol.SFTP stands for Secure File Transfer Protocol.
        MeaningFTP does not provide a secure way to transfer file between hosts.SFTP provides a secure way of transferring file between the hosts.
         ProtocolFTP is a TCP/IP protocol.SFTP is a part of the SSH protocol.
           UsedIt is most commonly used.It is not used commonly.
       EncryptionFTP password and data is sent in a plain text format.SFTP encrypts the data before sending.
       ConnectionFTP establishes control connection on TCP port 21.SFTP transfers the file under the connection established by SSH protocol between client and server.
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What is FTP?

The FTP (File Transfer Protocol) is basically used to transfer file from server to clients. FTP client establishes the connection with the help of the TCP. The FTP server allows multiple clients to access the server concurrently. FTP sets up two connections between the hosts which makes it more efficient.

The first connection is used for transferring the data and others for controlling the information (commands and responses). In the control connection, only one line of command or response is transferred at a time. In the whole FTP session, the control connection remains activated while data connection opens for transferring files and then closed when the file is completely transferred.

File Transfer Protocol has two types. Which are:

  1. FTP
  2. HTTP

FTP
FTP is a protocol that is used to sorts the problem when a communicating client and server have a different configuration. It is a file transfer protocol that is used to upload and download file between client and server. File from one host is copied and send to another host in FTP.

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HTTP
HTTP provides a web page from the web server to web browser on request whereas FTP is used to upload and download file between client and server. The problems in HTTP is covered in FTP.

What is SFTP?

SFTP (Secure File Transfer Protocol) is a secure way to transfer file from the network. SFTP is a more secure way of communication and is based on SSH (secure shell). SSH is a secure way of providing access to all the shell accounts on a remote server. SFTP uses only one channel for data and control.

Before sharing the information between two computers SFTP verifies the identity of the client and once a secured connection is established it sends the encrypted information. Some of its more notable features include resuming interrupted transfers, directory listings, and remote file removal. Compared to other protocols (namely, the Secure Copy Protocol, or SCP), SFTP is more ‘fluid’ as a protocol and is more platform-independent.

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So, SFTP introduces a secure way of transferring the file. In spite of this, we have FTP protocol to transfer the file, but the time when FTP was designed security was not a major issue.

Key Differences between FTP and SFTP

  1. FTP is a network protocol used to exchange files over a TCP/IP network. On the other hand, SFTP is a network protocol which allows file access, transfer, and management over a data stream.
  2. FTP does not provide any secure channel to transfer the files between the hosts. Whereas, the SFTP protocol provides a secure channel for transferring the files between the hosts on the network.
  3. FTP is accessible anonymously, and in most cases is not encrypted. Whereas SFTP protocol is encrypted and makes the control of traffic ineffective when using traditional proxies.
  4. On the one hand, FTP makes a connection using control connection on TCP port 21. On the other hands, SFTP transfer the file under the secure connection established by SSH protocol between client and server.

Comparison Video

Conclusion

Firstly, the FTP and SFTP both are file transfer protocols. Both are used to transfer file, data and information. The FTP transfer your document without any security but the SFTP transfer your file securely because it is a part of SSH program. When FTP was designed the main issue was file transferring bus as time passes the security has become the need and then SFTP was designed to transfer a file securely. lastly, both methods are used to transfer a file.

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