In this post I am going to discuss about difference between File Transfer Protocol
(FTP) and Secure File Transfer Protocol (SFTP). Although FTP and SFTP aim to serve the same function the two differ from one another. By the end of the post will see some key differences between SFTP and FTP.

Definition of FTP:

FTP stands for File Transfer Protocol where file exchanging take place from one host to another host connected to the internet. FTP is a client-server-based protocol with the help of an FTP server where you can upload or download files. In FTP data transfers in plain text from client to server. So, at that time there is scope for hackers to hack the data of the user.

File Transfer Protocol (FTP)

History of FTP:

FTP was written by Abhay Bhushan in 1971 and it was published as RFC 114. FTP is a system File Transfer Protocol originally described in RFC 959 in 1980 and has undergone several changes and improvements since then. Other specifications were also came like, RFC 1579 (February 1994) which is firewall friendly, RFC 2228 (June 1997) for security extension, RFC 2428 (September 1998) it add support to the IPV6 which defines new type of passive mode.

Definition of SFTP:

SFTP has the benefit of being well known and familiar to users because already FTP was in use. It is because it utilises the same, or very comparable commands to FTP. And on the other hand, SFTP is much more secure, as it came from a safe network protocol. SFTP is also a protocol for transferring files using SSH secure information and controls that are being transfer between the server and the client.

Secure File Transfer Protocol (SFTP)

History and Versions of SFTP:

The development of SSH File Transfer Protocol is by IETF (Internet Engineering Task Force) to protect secure shell connections. Here, the internet draft is made in succession to revise the protocol into a new version. So, SFTP uses Version 3 as the reference.

Different versions in SSH file transfer protocol are Version 0-2, 3, 4, 5, 6.

Some of the key difference between FTP and SFTP:

ftp vs sftp
1. FTP data and password are
sent in plain text.
1. In SFTP data is encrypted.
2. FTP is a protocol which used to exchange
files in TCP/IP network.
2. SFTP is a protocol which allows
file transfer and management over the
data stream.
3. FTP abbreviation is File Transfer
3. SFTP abbreviation is Secure file
transfer protocol.
4. In FTP data is not encrypted while
transferring the files.
4. SFTP introduced secure channel for
transferring the files.

FTP and SFTP both are used for file transferring but only difference is SFTP utilises SSL to secure the connection.

In FTP the data and password transfers in plain text where as in SFTP the data is encrypted while sending it to the another host.

Therefore, the architecture used in FTP is client-server and in SFTP SSH is used.

The usage of number of channels in FTP are 2 and in SFTP it is 1 channel. The establishment of control connection is on TCP port 21. Where as in SFTP establishment of connection is on SSH protocol.

Hence, Above mentioned are the some of the key differences of FTP and SFTP.
By above info now you can understand some key differences between FTP and SFTP. So, if we miss out any info just comment in the section below. We will be happy to update.