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What is file transfer (FTP & SFTP)?

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  • SFTP programs and other software are available through the ITS Software page.

File Transfer Protocol and Secure File Transfer Protocol (FTP/SFTP) provide a standard way to transfer files between computers, regardless of the operating system on each computer (Windows, Macintosh, UNIX, etc.). These programs are most commonly used to transfer files from your computer to a web server. SFTP is more secure than FTP because it ensures that the entire transfer session is encrypted, meaning no passwords are sent in the clear and are therefore much less vulnerable to interception.

Please note that if you use an file transfer program to upload files to NYU's i4 web sever, you are now required to use SFTP. (Please note that some SFTP clients offer both FTP and SFTP—be sure to select SFTP if you are given a choice.) For more information about SFTP, including an explanation of addresses and terminology, and detailed information about file types, see

Using SFTP at NYU

ITS provides free SFTP programs (Fugu and Fetch for Macintosh, FTP Commander and WinSCP for Windows) and other software at, also accessible via the Software channel in the Ask ITS area of NYUHome. Click the appropriate link below for instructions on using one of these SFTP programs:

Page last reviewed: July 15, 2011