Secure Alternatives to FTP

Sadly, as the number of users on the Internet increases, so to does the level of account hacking. Many of these happen via FTP and involve the attackers harvesting usernames and passwords. This can be done from any infected machine on a shared lan or network by using packet sniffing techniques, keyloggers or other trojans. Regardless of whether you are using one of our new business hosting accounts, or have your data residing on a VPS hosting platform or even a dedicated server – there are secure alternatives to FTP.

For security reasons we recommend the use of an FTP alternative whenever possible. We offer 2 alternatives at Our favorite is to use SCP. SCP (Secure Copy) protocol is a network protocol that supports file transfers. The SCP protocol, which runs on port 22, is based on the BSD RCP protocol which is tunneled through the Secure Shell (SSH) protocol to provide encryption and authentication. SCP might not even be considered a protocol itself, but merely a combination of RCP and SSH. The RCP protocol performs the file transfer and the SSH protocol performs authentication and encryption. SCP protects the authenticity and confidentiality of the data in transit. It hinders the ability for packet sniffers to extract usable information from the data packets.

We also offer a secondary choice of SFTP (Secure FTP) this still sends files using the FTP protocol but encrypts the username and password sent.

Resellers will need to create a support ticket to request we enable SFTP/SCP on the domain name they desire.

When it comes to SCP clients to transfer files, we recommend the use of WinSCP for Windows based machines and CyberDuck for Macs.

If you wish to use SFTP we recommend FileZilla as a popular open source FTP program that supports SFTP. It has to be enables in the advanced section of the account settings.

Using SCP should always be a first choice followed by SFTP if SCP is not an option. Don’t forget, we offer FTP lock on our professional and business accounts. We also offer an .ftpaccess security system for our reseller hosting accounts.


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