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FTP vs FTPS vs SFTP

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Date Last updated 3 months ago
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Unsure about FTP, FTPS, and SFTP? Don't worry, you're not alone! This post is your guide to these confusing file transfer protocols.

This simple table outlines their security and typical port numbers.

FTP

Classic FTP

  • Plain FTP
  • Clear-text password sent over the network
  • Typically runs over TCP port 21
  • Defined by RFC 959 and 1123

FTPS

FTP over TLS/SSL

  • Often called 'FTP/SSL'
  • Often called 'Secure FTP'
  • Plain FTP over TLS/SSL channel
  • Password is encrypted
  • Transfer is encrypted
  • Typically runs over TCP port 21 or 990
  • Defined by RFC 959, 1123, 4217 and 2228

SFTP

SSH File Transfer Protocol

  • SSH File Transfer Protocol
  • Has nothing common with original FTP
  • Often called 'Secure FTP'
  • Password is encrypted
  • Transfer is encrypted
  • Typically runs over TCP port 22


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Fatih Ramazan Çıkan
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Fatih Ramazan Çıkan LinkedIn
Software development enthusiast | Electronics engineer


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