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What is Enterprise SFTP Software

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What is Enterprise SFTP Software?

The primary job of all SFTP software is to move files over a secure shell (SSH) connection. SFTP software can exist as a standalone tool, or as part of a larger software solution, such as managed file transfer (MFT). SFTP software can be made up of a client, a server, or both together.

What distinguishes enterprise SFTP software from everyday SFTP solutions typically includes both cost and a variety of features that promote ease of use, transparency (via audit logs and reports), and security. While free SFTP software can include those features, enterprise-level solutions also offer tech support, scalability, and reliability.

Enterprise SFTP software is generally constructed to streamline, automate and safeguard traditional SFTP data exchanges. It’s built for companies of any size and should meet the needs of any team or organization, with scalability and centralization in mind.

SFTP in Brief

SFTP, short for SSH File Transfer Protocol, is among the most reliable ways to send and receive files online. While other file transfer methods allow user authentication with only an ID and password, SFTP can be set up to require SSH keys that are unique to each user, which offers an additional security layer. Plus, SFTP uses AES, Triple DES, and other algorithms to encrypt data that flows between systems.

An SFTP server gives your trading partners a secure way to exchange files with your organization, while an SFTP client gives you the ability to connect to an SFTP server. The server is where files are stored, and the client gives users a way to upload or download data to or from the server.

Cloud-Based SFTP Software

SFTP can be used for both cloud file transfer needs and any on-premises file transfers that you do. The location of your servers, which serves as the “tunnel” for all file transfer activity, are what determine whether your SFTP is cloud-based or not.

Overall, you can use SFTP for cloud file transfers in a variety of ways:

  • With a hosted SFTP server
  • Deploying an on-premises SFTP solution and transferring data to and from the cloud
  • Deploying an SFTP solution within your cloud environment to transfer data
  • Using a SaaS solution that includes built-in secure file transfer protocols

Compare Free SFTP Software to Enterprise SFTP Software

If you need a free or otherwise inexpensive way to send and receive secure file transfers with a handful of trading partners, a simple SFTP server and client tool might be a good fit for you. For regular data exchanges or sensitive information, a more robust solution may serve you better.

Why Use Free SFTP Software?

Free SFTP software, like all free things, has tradeoffs for the price. While these solutions will transfer your data as needed, they are often simplistic software solutions: you may need to initiate any transfers manually or check back to ensure they either succeeded or failed. Free SFTP software may not offer built-in reports of your data exchanges, making any compliance or audit tasks you have to carry out more labor-intensive.

Why Use Enterprise SFTP Software?

While enterprise SFTP software may add to your IT spend, what you get out of functionality (and time back for more important tasks!) often makes up for the cost. Enterprise-level SFTP solutions are built with business needs in mind, and take compliance requirements, recurring transfers, and large files into account.

Other solutions that handle file transfers or automation build SFTP into their functionality, too. A secure file transfer solution, like MFT, will typically support reporting and auditing, workflows, integrations with third-party or cloud applications, and more.


MFT solutions are built to automate, centralize, and secure the files you transfer every day. MFT allows you to use SFTP for your transfers, alongside several other secure FTP protocols, including SFTP, FTPS, HTTPS, and AS2.

When to choose MFT vs. SFTP: while MFT gives you the best of both worlds, whether you choose a strictly-SFTP solution or not is entirely up to your current business needs. A modest budget or infrequent file transfers might require only an SFTP server or client solution. If you don’t often work with sensitive files, SFTP may also be enough to fit your security requirements.

However, a managed file transfer solution offers organizations of all sizes a lot more value than simple file transfers. If your considerations include compliance, automation, or auditing, or if you exchange a high volume of file transfers a day, a managed file transfer solution could better fit your productivity and security stance.

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