How to connect SFTP using FileZilla?.

Let’s see how to securely connect to a cloud server via SFTP in two easy ways with FileZilla.

Connecting to your server seems like a very specific thing reserved for tech-savvy people.

How to connect SFTP using FileZilla?

However, FileZilla makes it look really simple. It has an extremely intuitive interface, and to sum up my two years of experience with FileZilla, I’ll just say that it works flawlessly every time.

Also, it is open source and free (with a Pro version). Also, it supports SFTP (a secure way) to connect to the cloud.

How to connect SFTP using FileZilla?

But why SFTP?

This stands for Secure File Transfer Protocol. You now have no options if your server is configured to only accept SFTP connections. You have to go the SFTP route.

However, even for an FTP server, it is always better to use SFTP for security.

How to connect SFTP using FileZilla?

What happens is that FTP sends data in plain text without any kind of encryption. Therefore, it is susceptible to man-in-the-middle attacks.

By contrast, SFTP data transfer is encrypted and protected against compromise. The only tradeoff is the transfer speed, which gets a bit slower.

How to connect SFTP using FileZilla?

Also read: Understanding SFTP vs. FTPS vs. FTP

So if you need data transfer security and a compatible application, here is FileZilla and the tutorial.

Connect SFTP using Filezilla

This is the FileZilla interface:

How to connect SFTP using FileZilla?

The one on the left shows the local directories and the one on the right is about the server, which is empty because it’s not connected yet.

Now we need some details to continue:

  • IP address of the server
  • Username
  • Password
  • and port number

As already stated, there are two ways to do this. The first is Quickconnect and the other is Site Manager.

How to connect SFTP using FileZilla?

Fast connection

As is evident from the name, this is useful for quickly connecting to a cloud server.

Here, we have to fill in the empty fields and press Quickconnect.

The Host section is where you enter SFTP:// (server’s IP address), and the rest is obvious.

Once you enter the details and hit Quickconnect, you’ll see something like this:

How to connect SFTP using FileZilla?

This message helps you ensure that you are connecting to the desired server. You can verify the IP address on the Host and the fingerprint by comparing it with your server’s.

Also, you can check Always trust this host to avoid this warning in the future.

Once you are done verifying, click OK to connect.

How to connect SFTP using FileZilla?

Remember to prepend the host’s IP address with sftp://. For example, you will connect via FTP (not secure) if you use ftp:// instead.

So this was Quickconnect.

However, it does not save the server credentials and you can only reconnect to the last ten connections without re-entering the details.

Also, you have no option to modify the connection details of previous connections.

So a simple way to do this is as follows.

site administrator

Site Manager helps you manage connections with ease. Once added, you can easily connect to the listed server with just one click.

The best option is to use Site Manager while connected with Quickconnect. This way, you know that the credentials are correct and that everything works as expected.

Alternatively, we can go into the Site Manager, fill in the entries, and go online to see if it works.

How to connect SFTP using FileZilla?

Click File in the top menu. Now, we can use Copy Current Connection… (marked as 2) if we have an active connection, or we can click Site Manager (marked as 1).

Either way, one will land in the Site Manager window.

And depending on the path (Copy Current Connection or Site Manager) we have taken, the details will be pre-populated, or you can enter them as below.

Once done, click Connect or OK.

How to connect SFTP using FileZilla?

Later, you can check the settings by clicking on the displayed icon and connecting to the saved server.

In addition, you can enter the Site Manager again to modify the connection parameters.

So this was using FileZilla to connect with SFTP.

Still, sometimes we don’t want the extra security and prefer FTP instead.

In that case, here are some FTP server programs for transferring files, including the already discussed FileZilla.