Although not a new technology, Secure File Transfer Protocol (SFTP) remains the method of choice for many businesses transferring files and other data from one location to another. Many of the best Extract, Transform, Load (ETL) tools on the market seamlessly transfer data to your chosen destination via the SFTP protocol without needing lots of code or data engineering, which can speed up your workflows significantly. Doing so can make your data transformation process more secure than if you were to use ETL alone.
The five key takeaways from this guide about SFTP ETL tools are:
- SFTP ETL tools combine Secure File Transfer Protocol with Extract, Transform, and Load, helping you securely transfer files and other data from a data source to a central repository such as a data warehouse.
- These tools use the SFTP protocol to extract data from a source, transform that data into the correct format, and load it into the destination system.
- SFTP optimizes data security during the ETL process by encrypting data and requiring public key authentication to access data.
- SFTP can also support large data transfers and move data between locations quickly.
- The best SFTP ETL tools on the market include Stitch, Fivetran, Informatica Power Center, and Integrate.io.
Learn the best SFTP ETL tools below based on features, price, and user reviews.
Table of Contents
- What Are the Benefits of SFTP?
- Why Is Data Security Important?
- Best SFTP ETL Tools on the Market:
What is SFTP?
SFTP stands for Secure File Transfer Protocol. It is a network protocol that allows for secure file transfer and management over a secure shell (SSH) connection. SFTP provides a secure and encrypted method for transferring files between remote systems.
SFTP is commonly used by individuals and organizations for secure and reliable file transfer between local and remote systems, such as uploading website files, transferring backups, and exchanging sensitive data securely over the internet.
What Are the Benefits of SFTP?
SFTP provides data security and public key authentication, protecting your files as they move from one place to another. The protocol also checks whether that data originates from a trustworthy source. Aside from security, SFTP supports large data transfers and can transfer multiple files simultaneously, improving productivity in your business.
Here are some key features and characteristics of SFTP:
- Security: SFTP utilizes SSH to establish a secure and encrypted connection between the client and the server. This ensures that the file transfers and commands exchanged between the two are protected from eavesdropping, tampering, and unauthorized access.
- Authentication: SFTP employs various authentication methods, including passwords, public key cryptography, and keyboard interactive authentication. These methods ensure that only authorized users can access and transfer files.
- Portability: SFTP is platform-independent and can be implemented on different operating systems, including Windows, Linux, macOS, and others. This makes it a versatile solution for file transfers in heterogeneous environments.
- File Operations: SFTP supports various file operations, such as uploading, downloading, renaming, deleting, and listing files and directories. It also allows for permissions management, preserving file attributes (e.g., timestamps), and handling symbolic links.
- Firewall-Friendly: SFTP uses a single connection to transfer files, which makes it firewall-friendly. It typically utilizes port 22, the standard SSH port, for communication.
- Integrity Checking: SFTP provides built-in integrity checks for data transfer. It uses checksums to verify the integrity of transferred files, ensuring that they are not corrupted during the transfer process.
What Is the Difference Between SFTP, FTPS, and HTTPS?
SFTP, FTPS, and HTTPS are all secure file transfer protocols. While SFTP encrypts data during the transfer process, FTPS adds another layer of security by encrypting data with SSL or TLS. FTPS file transfer speeds are faster than SFTP. HTTPS is better suited for transferring smaller files and offers less protection than SFTP and FTPS.
Why Is Data Security Important?
Internet attacks are on the rise, and many cybercriminals are trying to steal sensitive information from businesses like yours. Investing in data security solutions like Secure File Transfer Protocol ETL tools can reduce the chances of a data breach when transferring data between a source and location and help you comply with data governance principles in your region or sector, such as GDPR and HIPAA.
Best SFTP ETL Tools on the Market
Let's take a look at some of the best SFTP ETL tools on the market and how they can help you ensure your data remains safe and secure.
Price: From $15,000/year.
Tool type: Cloud-based
Customer rating: 4.3/5 (G2)
- Supports SFTP in all ETL workflows
- Also supports other data secure transfer protocols
- Drag-and-drop interface
- 200+ pre-built data connectors for data warehouses, file systems, SaaS tools, and other platforms, including Microsoft Azure, Amazon S3, AWS Redshift, IBM Db2, and Oracle
- Fast data transfers
- Elastic and scalable
- Field-level encryption security
- World-class customer support
Integrate.io is the best SFTP ETL tool on the market because it supports the SFTP protocol in all ETL workflows, helping you improve security and functionality when transferring files from spreadsheets, applications, and systems. For example, you can extract data via SFTP from a source and send it to a data warehouse before running it through a business intelligence (BI) platform, helping you identify real-time patterns and trends in granular data and make smarter decisions. When building data pipelines — either from scratch or via Integrate.io's numerous data connectors — you get full protection from the SFTP protocol at all times and can prevent hackers from stealing your most valuable information.
Integrate.io has a simple learning curve, allowing you to transfer data via SFTP and ETL with its drag-and-drop interface. It's also completely elastic and scalable, letting you change your data transfer methods as your business grows. For example, Integrate.io supports the FTPS secure data transfer protocol, which encrypts data with SSL or TSL. Whatever you need to leverage your business data, Integrate.io has your back.
Price: Unknown (contact the company for a quote)
Tool type: Cloud-based
Customer rating: 4.2/5
- Supports SFTP and other secure data transfer protocols
- 100+ data connectors
- Fast data transfers
- Drag-and-drop interface
- Excellent customer support
Fivetran is one of the most popular SFTP ETL tools out there. However, it's unclear whether this platform supports SFTP in all its workflows, like Integrate.io, or only select jobs. It's also unclear how easily SFTP integrates into ETL loads on Fivetran. The company has several resources for server authentication, client authentication, connecting to SFTP machines, and connecting to Windows, Unix, and Linux operating systems. This gives the impression that Fivetran has a steep learning curve for SFTP.
That said, Fivetran has a simple drag-and-drop interface that makes it easy to set up big data pipelines for other data transfer types and offers over 100 data connectors. (However, that's significantly less than the number Integrate.io offers.)
3. Informatica Power Center
Price: From $24,000 a year
Tool type: Cloud-native
Customer rating: 4.4/5
- Supports SFTP file sharing and transfer via its Integration Service
- Fast data transfer speeds in general
- Offers 128-bit strength AES encryption
Informatica Power Center makes this list of the best Secure File Transfer Protocol ETL tools because it lets you send sensitive data and large files between computers or over the internet via SFTP pretty easily, depending on your experience. PowerCenter's Integration Service creates an SSH2 transport layer, allowing you to establish a secure connection to files on an SFTP server. However, you will then need to configure an FTP connection to fully use SFTP for data transfer, which requires skills you might lack. Alternatively, you can use a third-party driver for SFTP connections.
Generally, Informatica's speed makes it a good choice for all kinds of data transfer tasks. It is also one of the most secure Secure File Transfer Protocol ETL tools, offering 128-bit strength Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) symmetric encryption.
Price: From $100/month, but to access ETL tools, you need to take out a premium plan, which starts from $1,250 a month
Tool type: Open-source/cloud-based
Customer rating: 4.5/5
- Supports SFTP through an open-source integration
- Fast data transfers
- 130+ data connectors
Stitch says users can access an open-source integration developed by the Singer community for SFTP and ETL workloads. So while Stitch doesn't offer SFTP support itself, it's certainly possible to transfer data to a location of your choice using this secure data transfer protocol. The platform claims this integration can transfer data via SFTP to your chosen destination in minutes.
You can either code SFTP ETL pipelines yourself or choose from one of 130+ data connectors, which will do the hard work for you. Although there are fewer connectors available on Stitch than Integrate.io, you'll find connections for most of the popular databases and data warehouses, allowing seamless integration between these locations.
How Integrate.io Can Help With Secure and Seamless Data Transfer
While all the SFTP ETL tools on this list help you securely move files between locations, Integrate.io gives you the SFTP protocol's full protection. The platform integrates this protocol into all its ETL workflows, providing peace of mind when transferring files from multiple sources. With cybercrime on the rise, Integrate.io's SFTP capabilities can encrypt your data and prevent unauthorized access to your information while you still benefit from reduced delivery times and ETL automation.
Integrate.io can optimize data transfers in other ways:
- This affordable platform lets you create no-code ETL and Reverse ETL data pipelines in minutes, helping you prepare and transform data via a drag-and-drop user interface.
- Integrate.io also performs ELT and Change Data Capture (CDC). In fact, the platform offers the industry's fastest ELT data replication, allowing you to unify your data every 60 seconds and create a single source of truth for reporting. You can try an ELT trial for yourself now.
- Integrate.io also helps with API management with its self-hosted and secure REST API code automation. You can instantly read and write REST API generation and power your data transformation objectives.
- Integrate.io offers data observability monitoring and custom notifications for different use cases, providing a 360-degree overview of all the data in your organization.
Take advantage of Integrate.io's 14-day free trial and experience the power of ETL and SFTP for yourself when transferring data. Or, if you're looking to solve unique data integration and transformation challenges, schedule an intro call with a specialist. Integrate.io will identify your pain points and provide actionable solutions one-on-one.