Secure File Transfer With SFTP

March 22nd, 2010 by Laz Hart

SFTP based secure file transfer also known as the SSH File transfer protocol, is one the of the most used secure network protocols that provide reliable file access, transfer and management. The main idea of using the windows SFTP is that you are able to run it over a secured channel. The server also authenticates the client securely.

Setting up SFTP
The first step to setting up a SFTP Service under Windows is to download and install a SSH or SFTP Server program for windows like Sysax Multi Server. You also need to have a SFTP client component installed to be able to communicate to the SFTP server. You should then create user accounts and passwords. Under windows, most SSH server software provides access to a graphical user interface. Under unix systems, the mkgroup and mkpasswd commands can be used to create user accounts.

The use of a user group makes it very easy to manage a number of similar users. You will also need to specify a home folder for the account. This is the folder that the user will be placed in by default once they login successfully. The standard SFTP port is 22 but this can be changed to provide more security against port scans.

The main difference between a FTP Server and an SFTP Server is that in FTP, all data transferred between the client and server is sent as plain text without any form of encryption. This makes it possible for an eavesdropper to listen in and retrieve confdential details including login and password information. However, with SFTP, all of this data is encrypted before it is sent across the network and there is no possibility of decrypting and retrieving this information.

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