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How To Easily Use SFTP To Download and Upload Files Securely
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How To Easily Use SFTP To Download and Upload Files Securely 

SSH File Transfer Protocol is a secure protocol for transferring files between a local and a remote server. On the remote system, an SSH server is needed. The data transfer between the local and remote systems is encrypted using this protocol. We prefer SFTP over FTP because it offers secure data transfer.

Table of Contents

While SFTP is preferred, if you only have access to a remote FTP server, use the link below for FTP access.

How to Connect To SSH Server

SFTP establishes a connection to the ssh server. On the remote device, the ssh server must be running. To bind to the example.com server as user Yehiweb, type the following command.

				
					$ sftp yehiweb@example.com


				
			
to connect to a different port
				
					$ sftp -P 2222 yehiweb@example.com


				
			

A sftp prompt will appear after successful authentication. Where you can securely download or upload files. On the sftp prompt, type help to get a list of available commands.

				
					sftp> help 

Available commands:
bye                         Quit sftp
cd path                     Change remote directory to 'path'
chgrp grp path              Change group of file 'path' to 'grp'
chmod mode path             Change permissions of file 'path' to 'mode'
chown own path              Change owner of file 'path' to 'own'
df [-hi] [path]             Display statistics for current directory or
...
...

				
			

How to change the Local and Remote Directories

Using the commands below, search your local and remote server directories.
				
					sftp> !pwd
/home/ubuntu

sftp> pwd
/home/yehiweb
				
			
  • ! pwd – This command is used to search the existing directory on a local system.
  • pwd – This command is used to determine the existing directory on a remote system.
Now you can navigate between local and remote sftp directories.
				
					sftp> lcd /home/ubuntu/Downloads

sftp> cd Uploads
				
			
  • lcd – On a local system, the lcd is used to navigate between directories.
  • cd – On a remote system, cd is used to navigate between directories.

How To Download Files From SFTP

To download a file from an sftp server to your local system drive, use the get command. To change the location of the local download folder, type lcd. The command below will download remotefile.txt from a remote system to your local system.

				
					sftp> get remotefile.txt


				
			

Using the -r switch with the get command to import files and directories in a recursive manner. The command below would recursively download the folder remotedir from the remote system to the local system.

				
					sftp> get -r remotedir


				
			

How To Upload Files to SFTP

To upload a file from a local system to a remote system, use the put command. To begin, change the location of the remote upload folder using cd. The command below would move localfile.txt from a local system to a remote sftp server.

				
					sftp> put localfile.txt


				
			

Using the -r switch with the put command to upload files and directories in a recursive manner. The command below will upload the localdir directory, as well as all files and subdirectories, to a remote server.

				
					sftp> put -r localdir


				
			
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