Friday, February 17, 2012

Experience with SFTP Clients

Say you want to transfer files over a network in a secured mannar.Here comes the usecase of SFTP[Secure File Transfer Protocol].SFTP is a secured protocol which is an extention of the Secure Shell protocol(SSH) provides capabilities as file accessing,file transferring and file management.

This protocol encrypts both commands and data and ensure not transmitting of passwords and sensitive information over the network.SFTP functionality is similar to FTP,but since FTP uses a different protocol,you cannot use FTP client to talk to an SFTP server.

To use SFTP capabilities,you can try out either graphical SFTP client or either at the command line.

At command line -[In Unix or Mac OS environment]

  • Start a SFTP session by 'sftp username@hostname'
  • Then enter the password when prompted.
  • Then with using sftp commands you can try-out file operations.[To get SFTP commands type 'help']
When you are using command line to SFTP operations you'll mostly remember about SCP protocol usage.But compared to SCP,there are advantages in SFTP protocol.
  • SCP provides only file-transfering,but SFTP provides more operations on remote files.
  • SFTP client has extra capabilities compared to a SCP client as directory listing,remote file removal and resume interrupted transfers.
Graphical SFTP Clients

There are several SFTP clients that can be try-out and could be found from internet.But note that the FTP only clients coudn't be use to access to SFTP.I tried out two such graphical SFTP clients,which are able to get freely.

1. WinSCP- This is an free client support all SFTP,SCP and FTP.It's main function is file transfering between a local and a remote computer.Adding to that it provides scripting support and file manager functionality.You can find more info on [1].

2.gFTP-This is a free multithreaded file transfer client for *NIX based machines.You can install the client from ubuntu software center.For more info refer [2].


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