What is SFTP/SCP?

SFTP (SSH File Transfer Protocal) and SCP (Secure CoPy) are programs/protocols used to log into another computer over a network to move files from one machine to another. They provide strong authentication and secure communication over insecure channels. They are intended as a replacement for FTP (File Transfer Protocal).

Why use SFTP or SCP?

We recommend that our users use an SFTP or SCP client opposed to FTP to connect into our servers to protect you, the user. When using FTP, everything you do is unencrypted including the transmission of your password to log in. It is possible that malicious people on the network can see what you are doing and read your password. If you use SFTP or SCP, your password and all activity will be encrypted so others cannot intercept your password or data. Preventing people from seeing your passwords will help prevent other people from gaining access to your account and data.

In the DECS public computing labs, we use WinSCP as our SFTP/SCP client, and we recommend this client to our users. WinSCP is a user-friendly program which provides a graphical interface for transfter files to network storage.This is free to download and easy to use.

Where to download SFTP/SCP?

Use the link below to download WinSCP. If you are running any version of Windows you will want to click on the WinSCP installation package link which will begin your download. This site also provides documentation on the latest release and other usefull information on WinSCP.

WinSCP Download:


How to use WinSCP

When the program is started, you will be prompted for a hostname, username and password. For the hostname, enter: Enter your engineering username and password in their respective fields. Then, press the Login button.
Photo of SFTP login screen


If this is the first time using WinSCP, you will be prompted to accept the security credentials from, or whichever server you are connecting to. Accept the credentials and you will then see a screen similar to Windows Explorer. On the left side are the files stored locally on your machine and on the right are the files on your network drive (M:\). You can click and drag from either window to copy files between your computer and the network.
Photo of winSCP file browser


Additional Information: