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SFTP vs. FTPS: The Key Differences

SFTP vs. FTPS: The Key Variations

With so many options for transferring files, it can be confusing to answer the most important question: what is the best way to secure your company’s data during transfer?

Use this article as an introduction to the differences between two mainstream secure FTP protocols, SFTP and FTPS, and which is the best choice to protect your file transfers.

What’s the Difference: SFTP vs. FTPS

Both FTPS and SFTP offer strong protection through authentication options that FTP can’t provide.

Why Should You Choose One Over the Other? SFTP vs. FTPS Ports

One major difference between FTPS and SFTP is how they use ports.

SFTP needs only a single port number for all SFTP communications, making it easy to secure.

FTPS uses multiple port numbers. The first port for the command channel is used for authentication and passing commands. However, every time a file transfer request or directory listing request is made, another port number needs to be opened for the data channel.

You and your trading partners will therefore have to open a range of ports in your firewalls to allow for FTPS connections, which can be a security risk for your network.

While Both Protocols Have their Benefits, We Recommend SFTP

We recommend SFTP thanks to its better usability with firewalls. For an enterprise, it is ideal to have a managed file transfer (MFT) solution that can manage, monitor, and automate file transfers using a variety of protocols, including FTPS and SFTP.

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