Our Help Portal

Troubleshooting Support Articles
Searchable Help Information Repository
Self-Service Resources How-Tos
Technical Customer Walkthroughs   Browse All Knowledge ! ....

Get Prices Learn More


< All Topics

Using FTPS – Secure FTP

Using FTPS (File Transfer Protocol Secure) involves securing FTP connections with encryption. Here are the general steps to use FTPS for secure file transfer:

FTPS Overview:

FTPS adds a layer of security to the traditional FTP protocol by encrypting the data and/or control channels. There are two main modes of FTPS: explicit (AUTH SSL/TLS) and implicit (FTP over TLS/SSL). The following steps cover the explicit mode, which is more commonly used.

Using FTPS with FTP Clients:

  1. FTP Client Selection:
    • Choose an FTP client that supports FTPS. Popular choices include FileZilla, WinSCP, and Cyberduck.
  2. Configure FTPS Settings:
    • Open your FTP client and navigate to the settings or connection configuration.
  3. Specify FTPS Protocol:
    • Choose FTPS (FTP Secure) as the protocol. This might be an option like “FTPES” (FTP-SSL Explicit) in FileZilla or “FTP-SSL” in other clients.
  4. Enter FTPS Details:
    • Enter the FTPS server details:
      • Host/Server: Your FTPS server address (e.g., ftp.yourdomain.com).
      • Port: Typically, FTPS uses port 21 for explicit mode. Implicit mode usually uses port 990.
      • Encryption: Choose “Use explicit FTP over TLS/SSL” or a similar option.
  5. Username and Password:
    • Provide your FTP username and password.
  6. Advanced Settings (Optional):
    • Depending on your FTP client, there might be advanced settings related to certificate verification, encryption algorithms, or other security options. Adjust these as needed.
  7. Connect:
    • Click the connect or login button to establish a secure FTPS connection.

FTPS Certificate Validation:

When connecting for the first time, your FTP client might prompt you to validate the server’s certificate. This step ensures that you are connecting to the correct server and helps prevent man-in-the-middle attacks.

Using FTPS with Command-Line:

If you prefer using the command line, many operating systems provide FTP clients with FTPS support. For example, you can use the ftp command with the -s option on Windows:

ftp -s:ftp_commands.txt ftp.yourdomain.com

In the FTP commands file (ftp_commands.txt), include the following:

open ftp.yourdomain.com
user your_username your_password

Important Considerations:

  • Always use strong and unique passwords for FTPS authentication.
  • Regularly update and patch your FTP server software to address security vulnerabilities.
  • Consider using a certificate signed by a trusted Certificate Authority (CA) to enhance security.
  • If your hosting provider supports it, consider using SFTP (SSH File Transfer Protocol) for an alternative secure file transfer method.

Remember that the specific steps may vary slightly depending on the FTP client you are using, so refer to the documentation of your chosen client for detailed instructions.