FTPS vs SFTP: Difference and Comparison

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, patterns, and time periods for conveying information. They also define 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 used to serve these purposes.

Key Takeaways

  1. FTPS (FTP over SSL/TLS) is a standard FTP protocol that uses SSL/TLS encryption for secure data transfer.
  2. SFTP (SSH File Transfer Protocol) is a secure file transfer protocol that uses SSH to transfer files.
  3. FTPS requires a separate SSL/TLS certificate, while SFTP uses SSH keys for authentication.

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. In contrast, SFTP provides secure transmission and uses a single channel for speeding up communication.

FTPS vs SFTP

FTPS (file transfer protocol with support)is a developed version of the 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 secure, but when it gets attached to SSH protocol, it became a secure protocol for transferring important data and files.

SFTP provides you with 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 facilitates file transfer.

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Comparison Table

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.

FTPS provides certificates 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.

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What is SFTP?

SFTP is already a secure protocol with the help of which you can access your files, manage the data, and transfer the file with proper security. A binary method is used for file encryption in SFTP protocol, making it more secure than the 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 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, making it easier to use, and also only needs a single port number if someone wants to open it through the firewall. It does not support any certificate as FTPS does.

Main Differences Between FTPS and SFTP

  1. In FTPS, two channels are used for transferring files and data during communication. In contrast, SFTP uses only a single channel for the transmission of data or information.
  2. FTPS is a developed file transfer protocol version supporting transport layer security. In contrast, 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 through a 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.
References
  1. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0022309307013968
  2. https://www.sae.org/publications/technical-papers/content/2005-01-1755/

Last Updated : 22 June, 2023

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22 thoughts on “FTPS vs SFTP: Difference and Comparison”

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