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What are the differences between SSH and FTP ?

SSH (or Secure Shell) is a cryptographic network protocol used to secure network connections over an unsecured network. To use SSH, you must use an SSH client to connect to the server. Once logged in, you can manually run commands in a terminal application.

All connections within your SSH client go through a secure connection rather than plain text. As a result, the connection is encrypted and secure.

The differences between SSH and FTP


FTP uses an FTP client (such as Filezilla) to connect to the server. This client is a visual client where you can see the directories and files on your local computer and the server as icons. You can then click on these icons to interact as needed. For example:

One of the main disadvantages of FTP is that you cannot run commands to accomplish a specific task. With FTP, you can upload files and directories. You can rename them as well, but you cannot run a command to accomplish a task.


With SSH, you use a terminal client (or shell) to connect to the server. There is no visual representation of the data in Shell. Everything is command text line. In this environment, you can type commands to perform specific tasks or tools, which is not possible with FTP. For example:

other tools

These tools can make it easier to troubleshoot and manage your website. However, SSH can be difficult for new users to use. It is therefore strongly recommended to have some knowledge of the UNIX shell.

Should I use SSH or FTP?

SSH can do all that FTP can do, but it's more difficult to use and not recommended for beginners. If you are making simple changes to your website in the form of file uploads, then FTP is the easiest choice.

If you need to run specific commands, SSH is required. Here is how to open your access to SSH at Ex2.

Updated on: 14/02/2023

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