A Closer Look at FTP Alternatives
Often used out of convenience to send files ad hoc, basic FTP generally lacks many of the security, compliance, and efficiency features that most enterprises need to sustain themselves in today’s fast-paced business environment. The data exchange environment is increasingly challenging to manage, especially when you add the requirements of highly regulated industries.
When your file transfer needs become more complex, an FTP alternative can help you to better manage your data.
What is FTP?
Based on a client-server model, FTP is a 40 year old technology that relies on two separate data and control connections to exchange files between a client and a server on a computer network. FTP works on a basic level but it won’t be as efficient beyond your basic ad hoc data transfer. FTP most often works best for small and basic files; however, for larger, more complicated transfers, an FTP alternative might be necessary.
Enterprise Data Transfer Needs: Questions to Consider
With the many enterprise file transfer systems available, you may find yourself wondering about an alternative to FTP. Based on your data transfer needs, would FTP really work for you and your organization?
Before diving into all the different technologies available, consider the following questions during your evaluation process:
- How much data do you need to transfer?
- How often do you need move data?
- What are the sizes and file types that you most often need to transfer?
- Is compliance a priority for your organization and industry?
If you find yourself in a situation where the volume of data that you are required to move will only grow, FTP will not be a sustainable system of file transfer. So what are your alternative options?
Managed file transfer (MFT) offers the benefits of a secure and efficient file transfer process, which isn’t as readily available with FTP and most alternatives. Through a secure file transfer solution like MFT, data transfers can be accomplished quickly, accurately, and with the visibility and control necessary to protect your infrastructure from security and productivity risks. MFT makes enterprise data management easier, at the same time facilitating and maintaining compliance can be achieved with greater confidence for a more efficient and secure environment.
Lacking the security and advanced features offered by a majority of file transfer protocols like FTP, Trivial File Transfer Protocol (TFTP) is easy to implement and provides a simple FTP alternative that enables a client to get a file or move a file to a remote host. TFTP is often used for the process of booting a computer from a network.
Simple File Transfer Protocol (SFTP) (not to be confused with the Secure Shell File Transfer Protocol) is a file transfer protocol that supports password protected login with user ID, folder and file management hierarchy. SFTP is typically known to be a bit insecure due to some of its more basic file management functionalities.
Secure Shell File Transfer Protocol (SFTP) offers the same set of commands for users, as FTP, however SFTP transfers files with the Secure Shell (SSH) connection – which is an encrypted network protocol that can enable a remote login to operate over a network that lacks security. SFTP offers encryption of commands and data. It also prevents passwords and sensitive information from open transmission over the network.
Used for tunneling FTP through a Secure Shell (SSH) connection, FTPS offers encryption and uses an application layer wrapper, known as Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) to enable secure and private communications across a network.