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FTP, FTPS, and SFTP: Know What They Are And What They Are For

FTP, FTPS, and SFTP: Know What They Are And What They Are For

Get to know the protocols that can help a lot in the management of your site

If you have a website, you may have heard of FTP, FTPS, and SFTP, but you’ve probably never stopped to think about what these three acronyms stand for and what they’re for. After all, most entrepreneurs, even those who created their own sites, may not have used these three protocols.

The fact is that it’s worth knowing these three elements that are very useful and in some cases can even save your site if a script or hacking error occurs. Let’s meet them!

FTP – File Transfer Protocol

As the name reveals, FTP is a file transfer protocol. This means that FTP creates a communication channel between your computer and the server that hosts your site so you can send the data you want to allocate to your site or make modifications to it.

Why is that so important? Well, let’s imagine that you have a WordPress site, one of the most famous and used CMS in the world. While editing your site, you accidentally erase an important line of code and your website goes offline. Without access to the WordPress dashboard, it is impossible to go back to the CSS editor to correct the error. And now?

Now one of the solutions is to access FTP! There you will find everything in your web hosting, including the folder with the WordPress files. Then just find the problem, fix the code or just delete the template folder and start over.

If you are not working with a CMS like WordPress, having access to FTP also allows you to edit and upload files directly to the hosting applications and data you need to have over there.

Of course, this does not mean that you need to do everything by FTP, necessarily. But it is an access that can speed up the file transfer process and solve problems like this WordPress example.

When you want, you can access FTP through a specific address and access in your hosting or using one of the various FTP software that exists in the market.

FTPS – File Transfer Protocol over SSL

FTPS is nothing more than FTP with an extra layer of SSL security. Information passed between the two channels (your computer and the server) does not have a security feature that takes care of that transmission exclusively.

In FTPS, data is encrypted using SSL (Secure Socket Layer). In practice, this means that the information has seen a kind of enigma when they leave your computer and are only deciphered when they are uploaded to the server.

This way, even if someone can intercept the traffic with the intention of stealing data, you will not be able to read the information.

There are two types of FTPS, the one with implicit and explicit SSL. In the first, all connections must be protected by cryptography. Any attempt to transmit or receive information outside of SSL is rejected by the server. In the second, the client (how your computer is called) can choose which information it wants to be encrypted.

In this second case, you can choose to transfer information that does not need to be secured without SSL, and encrypt only sensitive data, such as customer credit card numbers and passwords.

SFTP – Secure File Transfer Protocol

SFTP resembles FTPS because both offer extra protection for files and changes that are being made to the hosting. However, SFTP uses Secure Shell (SSH) technology to authenticate the contact and establish a secure connection between the machines.

SSH is another cryptographic network protocol that aims to provide a secure connection for data exchange and is widely used in the case of remote logins for accessing computer systems.

When SFTP is broadcast, the information is not transmitted through streaming channels but packaged in SSH. You can also configure private keys to enforce security while data packets are sent from your computer to the server.

The Author

A Journalist Specializing in Blogging, Social Networking and Community Management. As a constant learner, Pravin is always aiming towards new ideas and greater knowledge. When he is not doing research, reading, or writing for blogs, you can find him hanging around social media sites.

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