[ Updated August 20th, 2018 ]
File Transfer Protocol (FTP) is one of the most popular protocols for file transfers.
Over the last few years, secure versions of FTP called SFTP and FTPS have come up. FTPS is File Transfer Protocol Secure that negotiates through an encrypted TLS tunnel to transfer data. On the other hand, SFTP is not really a FTP server, rather it is an SSH server that also understands FTP commands.
As a result, SFTP prevents the unencrypted transfer of login credentials and at the same time, it also generates a unique identifier that has to be transmitted back from the client to complete the transfer. Due to these measures, you can rest assured that your file transfers will be safe with SFTP.
Now that you have an idea of SFTP, let’s look at some of the best SFTP servers for the most secure file transfers.
Here’s the Best SFTP Servers for Secure File Transfers:
1. SolarWinds SFTP/SCP Server
SolarWinds, one of leaders in network management software, offers a free SFTP/SCH server that guarantees reliable and secure network file transfers.
Let’s look at some of its important features and capabilities:
- Allows multiple devices to transfer files simultaneously.
- Users have the option to authorize a specific or a range of IPs.
- Runs as a Windows service.
- Uses the highest security and reliability standards.
- Can transfer files up to 4GB
Due to these features, SolarWinds is ideal to securely push OS images, configuration updates and other firmware-related files.
SolarWinds SFTP/SCP Server can be downloaded from https://www.solarwinds.com/free-tools/free-sftp-server/registration
FreeFTP is an open-source SFTP and FTPS server that supports the creation of arbitrary users.
It comes with the following features.
- It can be installed as a system service, when needed.
- Comes with a quick setup process for Windows
- When installed as a system service, it is available all the time.
- Has a graphical application support.
- Allows remote port forwarding.
Free to use.
FreeFTP can be downloaded from http://www.freesshd.com/
3. Bitvise SSH Server
Bitvise SSH server is a powerful application for transferring files securely.
Here’s a look at some of its features.
- Supports secure remote access through the console as well as through a GUI.
- Keeps a record of daily, monthly and annual usage statistics.
- Provides one of the fastest available speeds for file transfers, though the actual speed depends on the client’s resources.
- It is HIPAA compliant.
- Supports GSSAPI-enabled Kerberos 5 exchange and NTLM Kerberos 5 user authentication.
- Helps users to create virtual accounts backed by the identity of one or more Windows accounts.
- Users have the choice to configure bandwidth limits for uploads and downloads.
- Terminal subsystem uses sophisticated techniques to render the best output.
- Bvterm protocol provides the full spectrum of a Window’s console features.
- Easy to install and configure
- Ideal for Windows environment, as it starts working immediately on installation. No configuration is needed for the Windows environment.
- Option to restrict access to specified accounts.
- No limitation on the number of users who can connect.
- The number of simultaneous connections depends only on the system’s resources.
- There is no need to define the account settings for each Windows account separately.
- Offers secure TCP/IP connection tunneling.
- Provides secure file transfers through both SFTP and SCP servers
- BVshell helps to restrict file system access to specific directories.
- Can be configured to forward messages to a legacy telnet server.
- All settings can be configured with a script or through a text file.
- Supports multi/slave configuration setup, where the slaves can be configured to synchronize their settings, host keys and password cache with a master.
- Administration can be delegated to multiple users, as each user can be given limited access to certain resources.
The cost of each license is $99.99 per year. Additionally, the access period can be upgraded to two years for an additional amount of $19.95 per installation and for three years with an additional payment of $39.90 per installation.
A free trial is available for 30 days. You can download a fully functional Bitvise SSH server from https://www.bitvise.com/download-area
4. Rebex SFTP Server
Rebex SFTP server is a minimalist server, yet it’s highly configurable and customizable. It is designed mainly for a Windows environment.
Some of its main features are:
- It’s a multi-user SFTP/SCP server
- Supports SSH remote shell
- Uses highly secure algorithms such as elliptic curve cryptography or ECC to ensure that files are transferred safely and securely.
- Simple to install. Simply download, unzip and run the .exe file. No extra installation is required.
- Setting can be configured and changed at any time to match preferences.
- Compatible with all popular SFTP clients such as WinSCP, FIleZilla client, Bitvise SSH client, FlashFXP, SmartFTP, FTP Voyager, Axway Secure Client and more.
- There is an optional support for legacy algorithms
- It can run as a Windows service.
- Management can be done through the command line interface.
- Offers support for SSH forwarding
- Works well on Microsoft Windows Server 2012 or later, Microsoft Windows 10, Microsoft Windows 8.1 and Microsoft Windows 7 with .NET Framework 4.5
To get a quote, enter your email address in https://labs.rebex.net/SftpServer. The details of the license will be sent to your account.
A 30-day free trial can be downloaded from https://labs.rebex.net/sftpServer/
5. Cerberus FTP Server
Cerberus FTP Server is a secure Windows file server that comes with FTP, SFTP, FTPS and HTTPS capabilities. Though this tool has been existing since 2001, the first stable release was on April 23, 2018.
Its features include,
- Supports Active Directory, LDAP, FTPS, SFTP, HTTPS, Secure SSL encryption, two-factor authentication and IP banning.
- Compliant with many industry standards such as HIPAA and FIPS 140-2
- Advanced reporting tool provides a glimpse of the statistics and performance at any given time.
- Comprehensive auditing helps users to monitor availability and performance.
- Comes with a web file transfer client.
- Provides email notifications
- Gives multiple options for event support and automation
- Customizable file retention policies
Cerberus FTP Server comes in four editions – Personal, Standard, Professional and Enterprise. Personal edition costs $89, standard edition is $299, professional is $599 and enterprise edition is $1,499 respectively.
|Maximum number of connections is 20||Maximum number of connections is 50||No limit on the number of connections||No limit on the number of connections|
|Supports users and groups||Web administration||SSH2 SFTP||HTTPS/Web client|
|Detailed logs||Public key authentication||Event support|
|Full IPv6 support||FIPS 140-2||Email notification|
|FTP||Active Directory integration||File retention policies|
|FTP with TLS/SSL||LDAP integration||Web account request|
|Soap-control API||CRL and CA support||Ad hoc file sharing|
|Auto banning||Client Certificate verification||Advanced stats and reporting|
You can buy the personal edition at https://www.cerberusftp.com/, standard edition at https://www.cerberusftp.com/store/standard, professional edition at https://www.cerberusftp.com/store/professional and the enterprise edition at https://www.cerberusftp.com/store/enterprise respectively.
You can download a free trial version from https://www.cerberusftp.com/#
CompleteFTP is a Windows SFTP server that aims to be highly customizable and integratable. It offers the features that you’d expect from an SFTP server, such as non-Windows and Windows (local or AD) users, a virtual file-system, a user-friendly admin interface and a responsive web file-manager (from version 12), but also adds some novel capabilities such as:
- Scriptable process triggers and e-mail notifications
- Protocol-translating proxy/gateway
- Remote FTP/SFTP servers mountable as virtual directories
- Free *box-style file-sharing client application (CompleteBox)
- Clustering with real-time config synchronization
In short, SFTP servers help to securely transfer files using the FTP protocol. The above servers are some of the best ones available in the market today. We suggest you download one of the SFTP Server software above and test them out in your network/infrastructure. Each one of them has a Different feature set and pricing structure.
Our Favorite is Definitely going to be the FREE Solarwinds SFTP Server – You can Download at the Link below 100% Free and Use it as long as you want!