FTP, FTPS and SFTP are all protocols used to share files between computers on a network. While they all have similar functions, there are important differences between the protocols that are important to understand. In this article, we will explain the differences between FTP, FTPS and SFTP.
FTP (File Transfer Protocol).
FTP stands for File Transfer Protocol. It is one of the oldest protocols used to share files over a network. FTP uses a client-server model to move files. The client connects to the server and executes commands to download or upload files.
FTP is an insecure protocol because it sends all data unencrypted, including usernames, passwords and file information. This makes it vulnerable to attacks by malicious users who can intercept the information.
FTPS (File Transfer Protocol SSL).
FTPS stands for FTP Secure and is a secure version of FTP. FTPS uses SSL/TLS encryption to secure the data sent between the client and the server. This means that all data, including usernames, passwords and file information, is encrypted before it is sent.
FTPS can be implemented in two ways: explicit or implicit. In explicit mode, the client makes an unencrypted connection to the server and then initiates SSL/TLS encryption. In implicit mode, the client makes a secure connection to the server directly.
SFTP (SSH File Transfer Protocol).
SFTP stands for Secure File Transfer Protocol and is another secure file sharing protocol. Unlike FTP and FTPS, which use the client-server model, SFTP uses an SSH connection to share files. This means that SFTP does not require a separate server to share files.
SFTP uses encryption to secure all data sent between the client and server, including usernames, passwords and file information. This makes it one of the most secure file-sharing protocols.
What is the difference between FTP, FTPS and SFTP?
The main difference between FTP, FTPS and SFTP is the security of the data sent between the client and the server. FTP sends all data unencrypted, while FTPS and SFTP both use SSL / TLS encryption to secure the data.
Another key difference is the way the protocols are implemented. FTP and FTPS use a client-server model, while SFTP uses an SSH connection. This means that SFTP does not require a separate server to share files.
Finally, there is a difference in the compatibility of the protocols. FTP is an old protocol and is no longer recommended for use because of its security risks. FTPS is compatible with most FTP clients and servers, but it can cause problems with firewalls and NAT routers because of the different ports used for the explicit and implicit modes. SFTP is less compatible than FTP and FTPS because it uses an SSH connection, but it is a more secure protocol.
In general, SFTP is considered the most secure file-sharing protocol because of the encryption and SSH connection it uses. If security is a priority, it is best to use SFTP. If compatibility is more important, FTPS is the best choice. If security is not a priority and you are using an older FTP client, FTP is the only option.
In conclusion, FTP, FTPS and SFTP are all protocols for sharing files over a network. Although they have similar functions, there are important differences between the protocols, particularly in terms of security and compatibility. It is important to understand the differences and choose the right protocol based on your specific needs.