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A Brief Introduction to FTP Hosting

File Transfer Protocol sites and systems are a popular tool for many businesses--but they do have their drawbacks.  Reliability and security concerns abound, and savvy business owners and IT professionals are looking for alternatives.

But what are they? Let's look at SFTP and FTPS systems, explain what they are, and how they can work for you.

What are SFTP and FTPS?

With traditional FTP, users upload large files and transfer them “between two remote systems.” This method poses a great security risk — mainly due to the lack of control over who can access your FTP server and how often they access it.

To counter those security risks, there are SFTP and FTPS. Both offer secure alternatives to traditional FTP, but there are notable differences between the two protocols.

SFTP (SSH Secure File Transfer Protocol, or Secure File Transfer Protocol) basically offers all the security  from SSH (Secure Shell) plus the capabilities of an FTP service. Designed as an extension of SSH, providing file transfer capability and often using only the SSH port for both data and control, it only requires one connection, unlike FTPS.

FTPS (FTP-SSL or FTP Secure) is a security extension to typical FTP services. FTPS uses a control channel and opens new connections for transferring data as well as requires a certificate. More well-known and used than SFTP, FTPS uses a text format that can be read by humans.

SFTP is complicated to set up, difficult to maintain and often requires installing special software by your employees and clients. Combined with the difficulties involved in utilizing and administering secure FTP servers and clients’ frustrations from not having the proper software installed, many businesses to switch back to the insecure traditional FTP.

Fortunately, Citrix ShareFile’s web-based FTP service provides you with a professional, secure and user-friendly alternative to traditional and “secure FTP services.” Here’s how.

Benefits of using ShareFile as a secure FTP solution

We offer four levels of file storage and transferring services, including a customizable enterprise service that allows you send large files of up to 100 GB and comes with unlimited storage. Some key features of our plans include:

Reliable security — We use the same 128-bit SSL encryption used by banks, the government and other institutions that deal with confidential information. We also monitor data 24/7 to ensure it's always accessible and secure.

Track and monitor — Your IT department can track and log all file activity through ID verification and password protection, so you have detailed records of whenever a file is downloaded. You can easily restrict users from granting access to third-party editors who might create unsecured file copies too.

Storage and transfers — We offer unlimited storage, and you can send files up to 100 GB in size with just a few clicks.

Email integration — Our easily downloadable Plugin for Microsoft Outlook lets you attach large files to emails that normally exceed the maximum size limit.

Customized interaction — We can create a custom-branded portal with your business’ online account. This ensures your brand’s image is present throughout any client exchange.

Flexible access — Your account can be securely accessed from any mobile device or desktop that connects to the network, so you can work outside the office.

Unlike most other secure FTP hosting services, ShareFile requires minimal to no additional IT resources, no additional hardware and no software installation for employees or clients.

Interested in learning more about how ShareFile can fulfill your business’ secure FTP needs? Contact us for your free trial today.