FAQ: What is the difference between FTP, FTPS, and FTPES?

With all of this FTP’ terminology, it’s difficult to clarify what is what.  So, let me break it down for you.

What is FTP?

FTP, or File Transfer Protocol, is a protocol used frequently in website creation that allows you to transfer data.  FTP enables one to transfer information from their computer to their web hosting account.  For example, if you create a web page on your computer, you would use FTP to transfer your web page design to your actual website.

What is FTPS?

FTPS, or File Transfer Protocol Secure, is a more secure form of FTP and is also known as FTP-SSL.  In short, FTPS is basic FTP with some security added to the data transfer.  These added security protocols, such as TLS (Transport Layer Security) and SSL (Secure Sockets Layer), are cryptographic and provide encryption of data to protect your information as it moves from point A to point B.  So, with FTPS, this added layer of security would encrypt your login information so that those attempting to steal your password would end up stealing an encrypted version, which ends up being completely worthless.

What is FTPES?

FTPES is just another form of FTPS, only the difference is that it connects to your web hosting account explicitly, rather than FTPS’s implicit connection.  More simply, the difference is primarily how and when the login information is encrypted.  FTPES is known to be the safest FTP connection, and that’s exactly what SmartFile has.  For example, FTPES is what is used when making online purchases at ‘secure’ websites

Overall, knowing the difference between FTP, FTPS, and FTPES is important mostly because it involves the security and privacy of your data.

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