If you’re into Web design at all, then you’re certainly familiar with the concept of file transfer protocol or FTP. But how many of you are familiar with the concept of FTPS? This is basically secure FTP utilizing something known as SSL to protect the data being uploaded to the server. The truth is that, usually, the idea of using FTPS is a total waste of time. Unless the content being uploaded to the Web server is somehow secretive, there would be no advantage to bothering with FTPS. There is also the idea that it may be creating unneeded strain on the server’s CPU resources.
What are some examples of FTPS software clients?
One great and free option would be Filezilla. Using TLS vs SSL, Filezilla provides users with access to FTPS uploading with the click of the mouse. I also appreciate the function included that allows users to set Filezilla to always try for TLS even over insecure connections. This means if the option available, Filezilla would use it to support FTPS. Filezilla is open source software and works on all three major platforms.
Another great option is called WinSCP. Offered as open source software, WinSCP allows Windows users access to both FTP and SFTP. SFTP is often confused with FTPS as SFTP is actually encrypted using SSH security instead of SSL or TSL protection. Without getting into a debate as to which option is more secure, let’s just suffice it to say that each as its own unique advantages.
Is regular FTP secure enough?
Server security is a bigger threat than files being uploaded being seen by others. People are more likely to have the wrong permissions on a directory than have a real problem with something going terribly wrong because someone read the HTML file that was just uploaded. News flash — it’s being uploaded to a public site anyway, so it really seems silly to worry about it now.
Standard FTP is fine for most people. If it makes you feel better though, you’re welcome to use whatever levels of FTP security meet your personal needs. Speaking for myself amongst countless others, standard FTP offers everything I need. Just use a strong password, change it often, you should be just fine.