You may be familiar with the terms FTP and SFTP, these are the protocols that are used to transfer the files between client and server.

So here in this article, I will explain what are FTP & SFTP and the differences between them.

What is FTP?


FTP or File Transfer Protocol is a standard networking protocol used to transfer files between client and server. It is built on a client-server model, a FTP user may need to authenticate himself for transferring a file from client to server or vice versa.

The FTP uses two separate channels to transfer data i.e. a command channel and a data channel where the command channel typically handles the delivery of commands and responses and the data channel handles the actual transfer of files.

The data send through FTP is generally not encrypted so anyone who has bad intentions can access and misuse the information that you are transferring.

What is SFTP?


The SFTP stands for SSH File Transfer Protocol OR Secure File Transfer Protocol which has the same functions as FTP.  As discussed earlier that the data send using FTP is unencrypted and not secure. For secure transmission of user credentials and other data, FTP is often secured with the SSL/TLS or replaced with SFTP.

OR you can say SFTP uses tunneling and performs file transfer over SSH. In this way, data first get encrypted and then transferred to the client or server.

Differences between FTP and SFTP

The following table shows the key differences between FTP and SFTP.

Which one you should use?

Transferring data on computers is a vital day-to-day task for many individuals and businesses. Some of this data may not require protection while other files may contains sensitive information like bank account information, personal data, etc which if falls into the wrong hands can be misused.

If the data that is to be transferred is encrypted it can’t be decrypted and used by any third party when the data is intercepted. So encrypting your data is essential.

SFTP sends data by encrypting it, through the secure channel it is recommended to use SFTP if you are transferring data that contains sensitive information otherwise you can use FTP also.


So I hope now you understand the differences between FTP and SFTP. Now if you have a query then write us in the comments below.

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