FTPS vs SFTP: What’s The Difference?

If you want to solve the practical question, “What is the difference between SFTP and FTPS?”, then this article is for you. What seems more reasonable to choose for transferring data securely, FTPS or SFTP?

  • FTPS means “FTP with SSL” and bases on an FTP protocol;
  • SFTP means “Secure File Transfer Protocol”, a thing completely different from FTP.

Sometimes the question arises: “What is faster, FTPS or SFTP?” But in fact there is no difference in speed between these two protocols. The crucial differences are connected with other features linked to these two protocols.

FTP over SSL and SSH

FTPS (that sometimes understood FTP with security) is made to provide secure transfer of files. FTPS is FTP there TLS and SSL cryptographic protocol are supported. That makes FTPS (instead of SFTP) good protocol in cases if security is required.

SFTP is an extension of SSH protocol that provide more features and options. In comparison with a standard SSH client, SFTP gives an extra opportunities such as resuming interrupted transfers, removing remote files and directory listing.

Also this protocol doesn’t provide authentication and security. In case with SFTP the underlying protocol is expected to provide security. SFTP is often used as SSH protocol subsystem that’s why security isn’t the main point in case of using SFTP.

FTPS vs SFTP: Pros and Cons of Either Solution

Pros and cons of FTPS

FTP Server

As every technology, FTPS and SFTP has its own advantages and disadvantages. The choice of technology of transferring the files depends upon your requirements. One advantage of FTPS is its popularity (as it is used very frequently).

Also in this protocol, server-to-server communication can be managed, and human user can read all the communication.

The controversy lies in the fact not every FTP servers supports SSL/TLS and the secondary data channel is required that makes the using of it harder behind firewalls. Also there is no uniform directory listing format in FTPS.

Pros and Cons of SFTP

The pros of SFTP are following:

  • One data connection
  • Security of the connection that is always supported
  • Uniform directory listing of SFTP

The list of cons includes:

  • Communication unreadable by human and
  • SSH support not as the built-in option

As you can see sometimes abbreviates confuse us and make it harder to understand the real meaning of the term. That is why we try to explain you a real order of things. Technological world is rather complicated but that doesn’t mean that it is unknowable.

See Also

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