SFTP (SSH File Transfer Protocol or Secure File Transfer Protocol) is a secure file transfer protocol. It runs over the SSH protocol. It supports the full security and authentication functionality of SSH.
Transferring files through an Secure FTP server is one of the safest ways to transmit data online. With an SSH FTP server tool, you can transfer files securely over an encrypted SSH connection.
SSH FTP has pretty much replaced legacy FTP as a file transfer protocol, and is quickly replacing FTP/S. It provides all the functionality offered by these protocols, but more securely and more reliably, with easier configuration. There is basically no reason to use the legacy protocols any more.
SFTP also protects against password sniffing and man-in-the-middle attacks. It protects the integrity of the data using encryption and cryptographic hash functions, and authenticates both the server and the user.
Encrypting files with an SFTP server can prevent unauthorized access (which can help with things like HIPAA compliance). Many Secure FTP servers come bundled with SCP, which also protects files via SSH.
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