Difference Between FTPS and SFTP (With Table)

There are some rules that a system follows while transferring files and data from one system to another that are known as protocols. These are sometimes predefined, but most of the time, these are defined by authorities for the systems. These are fixed and cannot be changed by anyone.

Protocols are important for every type of communication system as they decide rules, pattern, and time period of conveying information and also defines recovery methods if any error occurs during the transmission of information or data from one system to another. FTPS and SFTP are examples of protocols that are used for serving these purposes.

FTPS vs SFTP 

The difference between FTPS and SFTP is that FTPS does not provide a secure connection or transmission, and there are two mediums in FTPS for easy transfer of data over communication. While SFTP provides secure transmission and uses a single channel for speeding up communication.

FTPS (file transfer protocol with support)is a developed version of file transfer protocol that supports transport layer security. FTPS adds up security measures to make the transmission more secure. In the early days, this transfer protocol was not very secured, but when it gets attached to SSH protocol, it became a secure protocol for transferring important data and files.

SFTP provides you a secure communication or transmission over any channel. It uses a single channel for boosting communication. Secure file transfer protocol (SFTP) provides facilities like file accessing, transferring files, and managing files over any trustable data channel. It is a better version of the secure shell protocol, which provides ease in file transferring.

Comparison Table Between FTPS and SFTP

Parameters of ComparisonFTPSSFTP
Definition FTPS (file transfer protocol with support)is a developed version of file transfer protocol that supports transport layer security.SFTP is a better version of the secure shell protocol, which provides ease in file transferring.
No. of channelsTwo channels are used for transferring files and data during communication.Only a single channel is used for the transmission of data or information.
ExtensionFTP (File Transfer Protocol).SSH (Secure Shell Protocol).
Message formatA normal format is used which can be easily understood by humans.Format of 0’s and 1’s are used that is machine language which can be understood by machines.
Security connectionSecurity connection is through a secure socket layer or transport security layer.Security connection is through secure shell protocol.
AlgorithmsIt uses asymmetric, symmetric, and key exchange algorithms.It also uses symmetric, asymmetric, and key exchange algorithms.

What is FTPS?

FTPS is a protocol for the transmission of files, and it is a better version of file transfer protocol with more security methods that helps secure connection during the transmission of a file from one location to another. It is a commonly used protocol for day-to-day tasks.

FTPS uses lots of port numbers when it comes to its connection over other networks, due to which it is less secure than SFTP protocol. The data is not encrypted in FTP protocol, but when it gets connected or attached to SSH, the data gets encrypted.

Certificates are provided by FTPS to its authenticated client or user. When there is a need for transmission, the authenticated user should provide the certificate or copy of the certificate to the server to which they are trying to connect. This certificate illustrates that a user is authentic and is very important while connecting to other servers.

What is SFTP?

SFTP is already a secure protocol with the help of which you can access your files, can manage the data, and can also transfer the file with proper security. A binary method is used for file encryption in SFTP protocol which makes it more secure than FTPS file transferring method.

SFTP does not provide as much speed as FTPS does, but it provides a more secure connection as compared to FTPS. Modern devices and software usually use the SFTP method for the transmission of data. SFTP organizes the data with uniformity, and it also follows documented standards while doing file transmission.

SFTP (secure file transfer program)uses a single channel for transferring files which makes it easier to use, and also, it only needs a single port number if someone wants to open it through the firewall. It does not support any type of certificate as FTPS does.

Main Differences Between FTPS and SFTP

  1. In FTPS, two channels are used for transferring files and data during communication. While SFTP uses only a single channel for the transmission of data or information.
  2. FTPS is a developed version of file transfer protocol that supports transport layer security. Whereas SFTP supports the SSH method for transferring files with a secure line of communication.
  3. In FTPS, a secure connection is provided through a secure socket layer or transport security layer. On the other hand, the secure connection of SFTP is provided is through secure shell protocol.
  4. SFTP supports uniformity and documented standards while operating with files. But there is no uniformity and organized structure in FTPS transmission method.
  5. SFTP is more preferred when it comes to delicate information transmission because it is more secure. While day to day files can be transmitted using FTPS.

Conclusion

We all need security for transferring delicate data and information from client to receiver. There are several rules defined for secure transmission. These are called protocols. Protocols manage files, send them to other locations and make sure that they are error-free. Several important data and information are distributed or transferred by using these protocols.

FTPS and SFTP are both protocols, but SFTP is a more secure as well as reliable method for transferring files from one location to another. SFTP supports formats of 0’s and 1’s that is machine language that can be understood by machines. While FTPS sends files in a human-understandable format. This means the SFTP method is more secure than FTPS method of file transfer. Moreover, SFTP does not change its port number after every file transfer as FTPS does after every transmission.

References

  1. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0022309307013968
  2. https://www.sae.org/publications/technical-papers/content/2005-01-1755/
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