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protocols 2008-04-30 protocols 2009-03-01
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====== Supported Transfer Protocols ====== ====== Supported Transfer Protocols ======
-As of version 4.0, WinSCP supports three transfer protocols, SFTP, FTP and SCP. Currently, many servers support all three protocols. Each has its advantages and disadvantages, while FTP has one big disadvantage, being insecure. This document contains a comparison to help you to decide which is most appropriate for your needs. The comparison describes both features that are characteristic to the specific protocol as-is, and features that are caused by the implementation of the protocol in WinSCP.+As of version 4.0, WinSCP supports three transfer protocols, SFTP, FTP and SCP. Currently, many servers support all three protocols. This document contains a comparison to help you to decide which is most appropriate for your needs. The comparison describes both features that are characteristic to the specific protocol as-is, and features that are caused by the implementation of the protocol in WinSCP.
The default mode of operation is to use SFTP and fall back to SCP. Select your preferred protocol on [[ui_login_session#protocol_group|Login dialog]]. The default mode of operation is to use SFTP and fall back to SCP. Select your preferred protocol on [[ui_login_session#protocol_group|Login dialog]].
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===== [[ftp]] FTP (File Transfer Protocol) ===== ===== [[ftp]] FTP (File Transfer Protocol) =====
-FTP, being the oldest of the three, is most widespread transfer protocol of nowadays. It is inherently insecure, sending all data (including passwords) unencrypted. Although there exists secure variants (FTP over SSL), they are not supported by WinSCP. Functionally it is inferior to SFTP. Also it is less platform independent than later versions of SFTP, mainly in respect to directory listing.+FTP, being the oldest of the three, is most widespread transfer protocol of nowadays. In its basic form it inherently insecure, sending all data (including passwords) unencrypted. There is also secure variants ([[ftps|FTP over TLS/SSL]]). FTP is functionally inferior to SFTP. Also it is less platform independent than later versions of SFTP, mainly in respect to directory listing.
===== Protocol Comparison ===== ===== Protocol Comparison =====
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^ Feature ^ SFTP ^ FTP ^ SCP ^ ^ Feature ^ SFTP ^ FTP ^ SCP ^
-^ Security | Secure (SSH) | Insecure. Secure variants (FTP over SSL) unsupported by WinSCP. | Secure (SSH). |+^ Security | Secure (SSH) | Optionally secure ([[ftps|FTP over TLS/SSL]]) | Secure (SSH). |
^ Speed  | Generally slowest (encryption and necessity to wait for packet confirmations). | Generally fastest file transfer (no encryption and efficient file transfer), yet transfer setup is slow, so transfer of large number of small files can be slow. | Medium (encryption, but efficient file transfer, yet it does not allow the transfer to be interrupted). | ^ Speed  | Generally slowest (encryption and necessity to wait for packet confirmations). | Generally fastest file transfer (no encryption and efficient file transfer), yet transfer setup is slow, so transfer of large number of small files can be slow. | Medium (encryption, but efficient file transfer, yet it does not allow the transfer to be interrupted). |
^ [[resume|Transfer resume]] | Supported. WinSCP supports resuming only since SFTP-2 (which introduces rename command). | Supported. | Unsupported. | ^ [[resume|Transfer resume]] | Supported. WinSCP supports resuming only since SFTP-2 (which introduces rename command). | Supported. | Unsupported. |

Last modified: by martin