Home Tech What is FTPS? What is the difference between FTPS and SFTP?

What is FTPS? What is the difference between FTPS and SFTP?

Are you tired of compromising your sensitive data while transferring files across the digital realm? 💁

In today’s interconnected world, safeguarding the confidentiality and integrity of your information is paramount. Enter FTPS, the robust solution that ensures secure file transfers with a click of a button.

In this article, we delve into the realm of FTPS, shedding light on its functionality, advantages, and why it has become the go-to choice for organizations aiming to fortify their data exchange processes.

Whether you’re a business owner, IT professional, or simply curious about secure file transfers, this comprehensive guide will equip you with the knowledge needed to harness the power of FTPS effectively.

From its inception as an enhanced version of FTP (File Transfer Protocol) to its widespread adoption in industries that demand ironclad security, FTPS has emerged as a formidable ally in the battle against data breaches and unauthorized access.

Join us as we explore the inner workings of FTPS and unlock the secrets behind its popularity.

Let’s dive deep into the world of FTPS and discover how this secure file transfer protocol can revolutionize the way you exchange information, protect sensitive files, and establish trust in your digital interactions.

Whether you’re a novice or a seasoned professional, this article will provide you with valuable insights into the fascinating world of FTPS and empower you to make informed decisions regarding your data security.

So, without further ado, let’s embark on a journey that will unravel the mysteries of FTPS and unveil its true potential in securing your file transfers, both now and in the future.

What are the advantages of FTPS?

FTPS has many advantages and here are a few listed below:-

  • They are one of the most common protocols in the market and are globally accepted.
  • The communication is very human-friendly.
  • One of the best features about FTPS is that it not only enables the user to download the file from the server but it also enables “server to server” file transfer.
  • It is secure by SSL/TLS security patches.
  • This protocol is made into many internet communication frameworks.

What are the disadvantages of FTPS?

Nothing is black or white, everything is grey in this world it’s just the contrast that matters. And FTPS is no exception to this rule. Hence, these are its demerits.

  • It has a very variable directory listing format.
  • It is not easy to use FTPS behind a firewall as this protocol requires a secondary DATA channel.
  • Since there are a lot of FTP servers made before the invention of FTPS. Therefore, they are few FTPS servers that undermine the SSL/TLS.

Pros and Cons of FTPS:-

Here is a chart outlining the pros and cons of FTPS (File Transfer Protocol Secure):-

ProsCons
Secure Transfer: FTPS uses SSL/TLS encryption to secure file transfers, making it a more secure option than regular FTP.Complex Setup: Setting up FTPS can be complicated, requiring the installation and configuration of SSL/TLS certificates.
Compatibility: FTPS is compatible with most operating systems and can be used with a wide range of client and server software.Firewall Issues: FTPS can encounter firewall problems because it uses multiple ports for data transfer.
Authentication: FTPS supports various authentication methods such as passwords, certificates, and public keys, which can help enhance security.Slow Transfer Speed: Due to the encryption process, FTPS can be slower than regular FTP, especially when transferring large files.
Data Integrity: FTPS provides data integrity verification, ensuring that files are transferred without any changes or corruption.Limited Server Support: Not all servers support FTPS, so it may not be an option for everyone.
Compliance: FTPS is compliant with regulatory standards such as HIPAA and PCI-DSS, making it suitable for transferring sensitive data.Additional Costs: Some FTPS software may require additional licensing fees, which can add to the overall cost.

What is Explicit FTPS?

Explicit FTPS as the name suggests is the case when the user requests the server to make a secured connection, with the help of SSL/TLS, in an explicit manner. The port used is 21.

The working of Explicit FTPS is very much like the old FTP. So, in this algorithm, first of all, a conventional FTP connection is made on the same insecure port 21. Now, once the connection is made, that insecure port was made secure with the help of SSL connection.

Nowadays, a lot of FTP servers support this method of file transfer. In Explicit File Transfer, a secure connection is made before transferring any files.

If for some odd reason the connection is interrupted then either the system will show connection request time-out or the transfer will be made via the insecure FTP protocol.

What is Implicit FTPS?

When the security of file transfer was taken into consideration, Implicit FTPS was introduced. They encrypt the file and send it via a new port 990. If the one receiving is not able to obey the security godliness then the connection will be immediately dropped.

The Implicit FTPS is more strict than explicit FTPS. Although it is more secure because the whole conversation is encrypted, still it was not widely accepted.

At the same time, the demand for Implicit FTPS is not entirely eradicated. As there are some websites, who obeys the implicit mode of file transfer rather than its explicit counterpart.

After all this debate if you still are confused about whether to go for implicit or Explicit FTPS. Then you should try observing your companies file transfer needs.

You should observe who you are sharing data with. You should check with which protocol your employees are most comfortable. As security is not an issue here, as they both ensure total data protection.

Here’s a chart comparing Explicit FTPS and Implicit FTPS:-

CriteriaExplicit FTPSImplicit FTPS
EncryptionSSL/TLSSSL/TLS
Connection MethodClient-initiatedServer-initiated
Port21990
Data Channel PortNegotiated989 (fixed)
Firewall SupportRequires explicit rule for data channel port rangeRequires an implicit rule for data channel port range
CompatibilityCompatible with most modern FTP clientsCompatible with fewer FTP clients

How to connect to FTPS server? (with Filezilla)

Follow the steps mentioned below to connect to FTPS server:-

Download FileZilla from here.

Launch FileZilla and click on the “the site manager” button to create a new site.

what is ftps

Click on the new site button.

What is FTPS? What is the difference between FTPS and SFTP?

Fill the required information, with the help of the information below:-

Host:**********.ftp.com

   Port no:21

   Encryption: Require.explicit FTP over TLS.

   Logon Type: Normal

   User: the account you want to login

   Password: password of that user

After filling out the form click on connect and you are good to go.

You may like to read our guide on 11 Best Filezilla Alternatives For Windows and Mac.

How to enable FTP in Windows 10?

Enabling FTP in Windows 10 is a very easy task. You just need to follow the following instructions.

Search Control Panel from the Start menu. Or you can just type the name in “Type here to search” bae located at the bottom of your screen.

In that window click on Programs

What is FTPS? What is the difference between FTPS and SFTP?

Click on Program and features

What is FTPS? What is the difference between FTPS and SFTP?

After clicking that you will enter a window full of apps, here you can see the functioning of all your apps. Now click on the Turn Windows feature on and off this button will be placed on the left corner of your screen.

What is FTPS? What is the difference between FTPS and SFTP?

Now, search for Internet Information Service. Underneath which you can enable or disable FTPS server

What is FTPS? What is the difference between FTPS and SFTP?

Click OK and then

And this is how you enable FTP in windows 10.

How do I connect my browser to FTPS?

Using HTTPS for browsing is normal for all the major browsers. But if you are a web developer, and want to communicate with the file server using the FTP server. Here we are going to discuss one of those major browsers Internet Explorer.

Just follow these few steps and you will be able to enable FTPS in Windows Internet Explorer:-

Open the Internet Explorer and search for Tools. Click on that and scroll down to  Internet Options

What is FTPS? What is the difference between FTPS and SFTP?

Afterward, look for the advance tab, in that TAB look for “Enable FTP folder view outside of Internet Explorer) button, and then apply the settings

What is FTPS? What is the difference between FTPS and SFTP?

And there you go!

What is SFTP?

SFTP stands for Secure File Transfer Protocol. SFTP works on the network protocol SSH(Secure Shell). SFTP needs just one connection and encrypts authentication information and the same time encrypts data files as well.

There are two methods for authentication in SFTP.

  1. You can insert the user name and password.
  2. Generate an SSH private as well as the public key. Send the generated public key to your partner. Then they will enter that key onto their computer and link it with your account. The moment they connect to the SFTP server then the entered key will go to the server for authentication. The authentication will only be successful if both of your keys match.

What is the difference between FTPS and SFTP?

Well! These gibberish words are different and similar at the same time. Both of these File Protocol claims to have a secure algorithm and they both offer strong protection and that reason is enough to give them the upper hand against FTP.

One question that may throttle your brain is that “Which one among FTPS and SFTP is better?”.

SFTP  has an advantage over FTPS, as FTPS requires multiple ports to operate. The first port of the command channel is reserved for authentication purposes.

And the ports are opened regularly when a file transfer or directory listing request is made. So, the biggest issue here is that it is very difficult for a network to manage an array of ports and ensure security.

For this one very important reason SFTP wins the battle. Although, both of these protocols are good and for an individual, it doesn’t matter. But when it comes to an organization or a firm, SFTP is by far the best option.

📗FAQ

What is the difference between SFTP and FTPS?

SFTP (Secure File Transfer Protocol) is a network protocol that uses SSH (Secure Shell) for secure file transfer. It encrypts both the data and commands being transmitted over the network.

FTPS (File Transfer Protocol Secure) is an extension of FTP that adds SSL/TLS (Secure Sockets Layer/Transport Layer Security) encryption for secure file transfer.

Here’s a chart that outlines the main differences between SFTP and FTPS:-

Criteria SFTP FTPS
Protocol SSH File Transfer Protocol File Transfer Protocol over SSL/TLS
Port 22 989 (implicit) or 21 (explicit)
Security End-to-end encryption, authentication, and integrity protection Encrypted authentication and data transfer, integrity protection
Certificate No need for a separate certificate A separate SSL/TLS certificate is needed
Firewall Can be used with firewalls May require additional configuration for firewalls
Client software Requires a dedicated SFTP client Can be used with standard FTP clients with SSL/TLS support
Platform Cross-platform Primarily for Windows, but also available on Unix-based systems
Compatibility Compatible with most operating systems Some FTP clients may not support FTPS
Performance Slower than FTPS Faster than SFTP
Mode of operation Session-oriented Connection-oriented
Compliance Compliant with HIPAA, PCI DSS, and other regulatory requirements Compliant with HIPAA, PCI DSS, and other regulatory requirements

Secure File Transfer Protocol (SFTP) and File Transfer Protocol Secure (FTPS) are both safe ways to send files over the internet, but they are not interchangeable. When it comes to security, SFTP employs SSH while FTPS makes use of SSL/TLS.

SFTP works on any OS, while FTPS is designed for Windows but is also supported by Unix-based systems. HIPAA and PCI DSS are two examples of regulations that both methods meet.

Is FTPS still used?

Yes, FTPS is still used today as a secure method of transferring files over the internet.

What is the difference between FTP and FTPS?

FTP (File Transfer Protocol) is a network protocol used to transfer files between a client and a server. FTPS, on the other hand, is a secure extension of FTP that adds SSL/TLS encryption to protect data being transmitted over the network.

Which is better SFTP or FTPS?

SFTP is generally considered more secure than FTPS, as it encrypts both the data and commands being transmitted, whereas FTPS only encrypts the data.

Why use FTPS instead of SFTP?

FTPS is sometimes preferred over SFTP because it uses the standard FTP protocol, making it easier to integrate into existing systems. Additionally, some servers may not support SFTP.

Which is faster FTPS or SFTP?

Neither FTPS nor SFTP is inherently faster than the other, as transfer speeds largely depend on the network conditions and server performance.

What are the risks of FTPS?

The risks associated with FTPS include potential attacks on the SSL/TLS encryption, as well as vulnerabilities in the FTP protocol itself.

Is FTPS considered secure?

FTPS is generally considered secure, as it uses SSL/TLS encryption to protect data being transmitted over the network.

What port does FTPS require?

FTPS typically uses port 990 for control messages and port 989 for data transmission.

Does FTPS require SSL?

Yes, FTPS requires SSL/TLS encryption to secure data transmitted over the network.

Is FTPS HIPAA compliant?

Yes, FTPS can be HIPAA compliant using appropriate security measures such as encryption, access controls, and audit trails.

Why is SFTP not secure?

SFTP is generally considered secure, but it can be vulnerable to attacks on the SSH protocol if the server is not properly configured.

What port does SFTP use for FTPS?

SFTP typically uses port 22 for both control messages and data transmission.

Which SFTP is most secure?

The security of an SFTP implementation largely depends on the strength of the encryption used, the security of the underlying SSH protocol, and proper server configuration.

Why is SFTP better?

SFTP is considered better than standard FTP because it encrypts both the data and transmitted commands, providing a higher level of security.

How do I connect to FTPS?

To connect to an FTPS server, you must use an FTP client that supports SSL/TLS encryption. You will also need to enter the server’s hostname or IP address, port number, and your login credentials.

How does FTPS authentication work?

FTPS authentication typically involves using a username and password credentials, which are transmitted over the network in an encrypted form using SSL/TLS encryption.

Does anyone still use SFTP?

Yes, SFTP is still widely used as a secure method of transferring files over the internet.

Is HTTPS more secure than SFTP?

HTTPS (Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure) and SFTP are two different protocols that serve different purposes. HTTPS is used for secure web browsing, while SFTP is used for secure file transfer. Both protocols use encryption to protect data being transmitted over the network.

What is better than SFTP?

There are several secure file transfer protocols that are considered better than SFTP, including SCP (Secure Copy), which is similar to SFTP but uses the SSH protocol for authentication and encryption, and WebDAV (Web Distributed Authoring and Versioning), which provides secure file transfer capabilities over HTTP.


Can SFTP use port 443?

SFTP typically uses port 22 for both control messages and data transmission, but it can be configured to use other ports as well, including port 443.

What is implicit FTPS?

Implicit FTPS is a variant of FTPS that uses SSL/TLS encryption from the beginning of the connection, without requiring an explicit command from the client to start encryption.

Does SFTP use TLS or SSL?

SFTP does not use SSL (Secure Sockets Layer), but it does use the related protocol, TLS (Transport Layer Security), for encryption and authentication.

Is SFTP SSL or TLS?

SFTP uses TLS (Transport Layer Security) for encryption and authentication, not SSL (Secure Sockets Layer).

How does SFTP work for dummies?

SFTP establishes a secure connection between a client and server using the SSH (Secure Shell) protocol. The client can then use commands to upload, download, or manipulate files on the server, all while the transmitted data is encrypted for security.

Why do banks use SFTP?

Banks use SFTP as a secure method of transferring financial data and other sensitive information between internal systems and external partners or customers.

Does SFTP need a server?

Yes, SFTP requires a server to establish a secure connection between a client and the remote system.

How do I access my FTPS from my browser?

To access an FTPS server from a web browser, you must use a browser that supports FTPS and SSL/TLS encryption. You can then enter the server’s hostname or IP address, port number, and your login credentials to access the server.

How do I open FTPS in Chrome?

To open FTPS in Chrome, you can use a Chrome extension such as “FTP Extension for Chrome” or “Secure FTP Client for Google Chrome,” which provide FTPS support within the browser.

How do I connect to FTPS in Windows?

To connect to an FTPS server in Windows, you can use the built-in “FTP Client” application, which supports FTPS and SSL/TLS encryption. You can then enter the server’s hostname or IP address, port number, and your login credentials to access the server.

Summary:-
  • FTPS stands for File Transfer Protocol(with support of Transfer Layer Protocol). It is an upgraded version of FTP.
  • There are two types of FTPS. Implicit FTPS and Explicit FTPS
  • Explicit FTPS: The port used by this FTPS is 21. This protocol works in two steps i.e; first, it builds a connection like conventional FTPS and then, once the connection is made, that insecure port was made secure with the help of an SSL connection.
  • Implicit FTPS: It works on port noo 990. The Implicit FTPS is more strict than explicit FTPS. Although it is more secure because the whole conversation is encrypted, still it was not widely accepted.
  • SFTP: SFTP stands for Secure File Transfer Protocol, SFTP works on the network protocol SSH(Secure Shell). SFTP needs just one connection and encrypts authentication information and the same time encrypts data files as well.

There are two methods for authentication in SFTP.

  1. You can insert the user name and password.
  2. Generate an SSH private as well as the public key. Send the public key to your partner. Then your partner will enter the key and link it with your account. The moment they connect to the SFTP server then the entered key will go to the server for authentication. The authentication will only be successful if both of your keys match.
  • The main difference between SFTP and FTPS is that SFTP works on a single port while FTPS works on multiple ports. Therefore, SFTP is more secure than FTPS