SFTP (Secure File Transfer Protocol) helps secure and transfer files to systems, such as remote servers, cloud storage platforms, and other networked devices. In today's data-driven world, many organizations continue to rely on secure file transfers to protect their critical data.

However, how effectively and safely your SFTP solution transfers data will depend on the host you choose for SFTP. Here, we dive into the basics of SFTP hosting and how to choose a vendor.

Before we get started, here are the key takeaways from our SFTP hosting guide:

  • SFTP is a file transfer protocol that offers a secure way to send data to and from systems.
  • A host for the SFTP protocol serves as a remote server for managing and storing files sent with the Secure File Transfer Protocol.
  • The top SFTP hosts use encryption algorithms like AES to secure data at rest.
  • High-quality SFTP hosts have high availability and minimal downtime.
  • The ideal SFTP host will offer sufficient storage space and bandwidth to support your data transfer needs.

Table of Contents

The Basics of Secure File Transfer Protocol (SFTP)

SFTP is a file transfer protocol that offers a secure way to send and retrieve data from systems within or outside your organization. The solution relies on SSH (Secure Shell), which uses encryption algorithms, such as the Advanced Encryption Standard (AES), Triple Data Encryption Standard (3DES), and Blowfish, to encrypt data before transmitting it.

Unlike basic file transfer protocols, like FTP, SFTP is more reliable because it secures data to reduce the risk of unauthorized access and data breaches. Also, SFTP supports cross-platform transmission, allowing you to transmit files securely between various devices.

More businesses use SFTP to secure and send data because the solution offers strong security measures that reduce the risk of data tampering and loss. Your company needs such levels of security to overcome cyber threats and meet today’s stringent data protection and compliance requirements.

What Is SFTP Hosting?

A host SFTP plays a central role as a remote server that manages and stores files sent with the Secure File Transfer Protocol. Authorized users can securely upload, download, and manage files stored on the remote server via an encrypted and authenticated connection.

The hosted SFTP ensures that your data stays protected during storage and transit over the internet. SFTP hosting is crucial as it provides the remote servers SFTP relies on to deliver encrypted and authenticated connections for secure file transfers.

How Hosted SFTP Works

Below is a breakdown of how a host SFTP works to facilitate secure file transfers:

  • The hosting provider configures remote servers to support SFTP. You can then modify directory setups and firewalls to accept connections.
  • Connect to a remote SFTP server with an SFTP client software, such as FileZilla or WinSCP.
  • Enter your username and password or SSH keys for the SFTP server to authenticate your access.
  • Start securely uploading, downloading, and managing files on the server after authentication.
  • The SFTP server encrypts data transmitted to or from you with the SSH protocol.
  • The SFTP server stores and manages your uploaded files in designated directories, which you can navigate to access and transfer files.

You can access files stored on the SFTP server from any compatible device with an internet connection.

Hosted SFTP: 6 Factors to Consider When Choosing a Vendor

As we’ve pointed out, how your SFTP is hosted will affect how effectively the protocol works. Select the best hosting vendor for your company by considering the below factors.

1. Security

What type of security setup does the SFTP host vendor have? An SFTP host that can't provide your desired level of security isn't worthwhile. Choose a vendor that offers strong encryption for data during storage and transmission.

AES (Advanced Encryption Standard) is a popular and powerful encryption algorithm that top vendors use fro encryption at rest. Besides powerful encryption, the vendor should provide firewall protection, regular security audits, and secure user authentication through SSH keys or other methods.

2. Reliability

Choose a host SFTP with a track record of providing high-quality services. The vendor should have a reputation for high availability and minimal downtime so you can access data stored on SFTP servers at any time. Servers with minimal downtime also reduce the risk of transmission interruptions during file transfers.

3. Customer Support

You should be able to get help quickly if you experience issues. Choose a vendor that provides reliable, 24/7 customer support through a variety of channels such as phone, live chat, and email.

4. Performance

Check the vendor’s infrastructure to confirm its performance capabilities, such as transmission speeds. You should also check the vendor’s network latency and data center locations. A vendor with servers near your location can offer faster data transfer speeds and prevent low-latency connection issues.

5. Storage Space

The vendor should offer enough server storage space to store your data. The ideal vendor will offer you a product that can scale to meet your data storage needs as your organization grows.

6. Bandwidth

An SFTP server with inadequate bandwidth will lead to slow and inefficient file transfers. Go for a vendor with sufficient bandwidth to handle your organization's data volume, especially during peak usage periods.

How Integrate.io Supports SFTP

Finding a suitable host is only half the battle. You still need a solution for securely connecting to the server to transmit and leverage data. Fortunately, you don’t have to look further than Integrate.io. Use Integrate.io to connect to SFTP servers, securely extract data, and load the extracted data to other data sources.

We offer a robust set of integrations that simplify connecting to SFTP servers and transferring data to your company systems. Our user-friendly tool is easy to use and configure, so you won't have any trouble setting it up to meet your unique needs. Plus, Integrate.io is scalable and able to handle your data transmission volume as it changes.

Simplify SFTP Configuration With Integrate.io

A host SFTP provides the servers for securely storing your valuable data. You can remotely access, manage, and transfer the data via a secure SFTP connection. If you want a simple solution for connecting to your SFTP host, Integrate.io has you covered.

Our tool covers all your SFTP file-sharing use cases, including sending files to or from SFTP destinations and automating file data sharing and ingestion. With Integrate.io's no-code/low-code functionality, you can have data pipelines set up and running within hours instead of months.

Request a demo today to see how Integrate.io can simplify data integration within your organization.