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FTP (File Transfer Protocol)

FTP is a standard network protocol used to transfer files from one host to another over a TCP-based network, such as the Internet. It is an unsecure protocol that relies on clear-text data transmission, meaning data is sent in plain text and can be easily intercepted by malicious actors.

Pros of FTP:

  • Simple and widely supported by many systems
  • Easy to set up and use

Cons of FTP:

  • Insecure, as it transmits data in plain-text
  • Passwords and file contents can be intercepted by malicious actors
  • Vulnerable to attacks like packet sniffing and man-in-the-middle

SFTP (SSH File Transfer Protocol)

SFTP, also known as Secure File Transfer Protocol, is an extension of SSH (Secure Shell) protocol that allows for the encrypted transfer of files over a secure channel. Unlike FTP, SFTP encrypts both data and commands, providing privacy and integrity to the data transmission.

Pros of SFTP:

  • Secure, as it uses encryption to protect data in transit
  • Provides authentication, ensuring that the sender and receiver are who they claim to be
  • Mitigates the risk of attacks like packet sniffing and man-in-the-middle

Cons of SFTP:

  • May be slightly slower than FTP due to the encryption and decryption process
  • Can be more difficult to set up and configure


In summary, although FTP is easier to set up and has been widely used for file transfers historically, SFTP is the more secure and recommended option. SFTP provides encryption, data integrity, and authentication, ensuring that your data is protected while in transit.

It’s essential to prioritize cybersecurity when transferring files between systems. Therefore, it is encouraged to adopt SFTP over FTP to significantly reduce the risk of data breaches and potential attacks.

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