documentation: Remote File Transfer (SFTP)

Plain FTP

Plain FTP is no longer supported. Port 21 has been closed, and will not be opened. This is due to the insecure nature of the FTP protocol. Use SFTP instead, see below.

Secure FTP

SFTP is the best method for remote file access. Normal FTP uses an insecure method to transmit the password (plain text!). Anyone sniffing your packets between and your computer will pick up your password -- this is both a security risk for both you and everyone else on the server.

From a user perspective SFTP works exactly the same was as normal FTP, except a different client is required (one that supports SSL encryption). The encryption itself is handled by the client, and you as a user are insulated from it.

SFTP Clients:

Automatic Login for SFTP

If your SFTP client stores your password and you are comfortable with that, then you can have it automatically login for you (to prevent you having to type your password every time). That is okay.

However, if you have a client such as the console version of sftp running on unix, then you can enable automatic login by enabling automatic login of ssh (see the Remote Login (SSH) page).

If you are using Putty's psftp.exe on windows, you need to enable automatic login using putty for SSH as well using the pagent.exe program (see the Remote Login (SSH) page).