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Fetch supports using SFTP to connect securely to servers.

SFTP stands for "SSH File Transfer Protocol." When you connect to a server using SFTP, SSH encryption is used to protect the connection between your Macintosh and the server. This protects your password and your data, preventing an eavesdropper from capturing or stealing them as they travel over the network.

Despite the similarity in name and operation, SFTP is a completely different protocol from FTP and does not support all the same features and commands as FTP. Also, while they are both secure file transfer protocols and have similar names, FTPS (FTP with TLS/SSL) should not be confused with SFTP.

To use SFTP for secure connections in Fetch, the server you are connecting to must also support SFTP. If you try to connect with SFTP to a server that doesn't support it, you will receive an error. Your network administrator or service provider can tell you if your server supports SFTP, and what other information you might need to use SFTP if it does.

To connect to a server using SFTP, choose SFTP from the Connect using pop-up menu in the New Connection dialog. Notice that the Enable Encryption checkbox becomes checked and disabled. SFTP always uses encryption — unlike FTP with TLS/SSL or Kerberos, where encryption can be turned off.

Some other differences between SFTP and FTP connections worth noting are:

  • When uploading text files via SFTP, line endings are not translated as they are when uploading text files via FTP. Instead the line ending of the file is preserved as whatever it was on the Macintosh.
  • SFTP does not have active and passive connection modes, and thus works better with firewalls, routers, and NAT devices.

For more information about security in Fetch, see the Security help topic.

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