How to Transfer Files to VPS with SFTP (Windows,OS X,Linux)

Another way to connect to a Linux VPS is with SFTP, or FTP-over-SSH, not to be confused with FTPS. Because SFTP makes use of a graphical interface for viewing folders and folder trees, it is well-suited to transferring files to and from Linux VPS servers, without the need to install additional software like FTP. Executing commands on the system does still require the use of a shell, however. Some FTP/SFTP programs have shell terminals built-in as a “Launch Shell” utility.

You can use this method with most FTP client applications, including:

  • FileZilla
  • SmartFTP
  • Transmit (OS X)
  • Cyberduck
  • WinSCP (our favorite)

Using your FTP client of choice, select SFTP as the connection type, and ensure the Port is set to 22.

The remaining information is the same as above: IP address, username, password.

You should now see the root folder of your VPS appear, just like when connecting via FTP. When connecting to a VPS or dedicated server with SFTP, however, you will have access to the entire server. Be very careful when transferring and editing files with SFTP!

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