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What Port Does SFTP Use?

Discover what port number SFTP uses to keep your data secure.

Different Protocol, Different Port

Ports, also known as channels, are an integral part of the successful delivery and communication process of secure files. Although the specific protocols that operate on these ports makes the most difference, are you aware of which actual port SFTP uses?

What is SFTP?

SFTP (SSH File Transfer Protocol) is a file transfer protocol built upon the SSH (Secure Shell) transport layer and is used to securely move large amounts of data over an internet connection.

SFTP utilizes SSH to establish a secure authenticated connection and provide organizations with a higher level of file transfer protection. It uses the SSH authentication and cryptographic capabilities to keep files secure during the transfer process.

What Port Does SFTP Use?

Unlike FTP over SSL/TLS (FTPS), SFTP only needs a single port to establish a server connection — port 22.

Is This Port Number Better than FTP?

SFTP is more friendly to today’s client-side firewalls since it only requires a single port (22) to be open for sending controls and for sending or receiving data files. The fact that SFTP uses a single port for all communications can make it easier to use than FTPS, especially when dealing with strict firewall policies.

Although the design of the FTP protocol uses just one channel (port 21) for sending commands and receiving acknowledgements, it has to open additional channels dynamically in order to send files. The client and server software negotiate these channels immediately, but this poses an issue for client-side firewalls because a large number of ports need to be open to the server’s IP address in order for the protocol to operate through the firewall unabated.

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