The main difference between SCP and SFTP is that SCP is a protocol that allows transferring files securely from a local host to a remote host while SFTP is a protocol that allows file accessing, transferring, and managing over a reliable data stream which is faster than SCP.
A computer network is a collection of network devices connected together to exchange data and resource. A protocol is a set of rules that allows devices to communicate. Generally, a network is configured for various protocols. Two of them are SCP and SFTP. Both of them run on SSH. Therefore, both these protocols provide security features. Furthermore, both of them do not have any file size limitation.
Key Areas Covered
SCP, SFTP, SSH
What is SCP
SCP stands for Secure Copy Protocol. It is a protocol that helps to send files between the local host and a remote host or between two remote hosts. Generally, SCP refers to either the Secure Copy Protocol or the SCP program. In addition to file transfer, SCP also supports encryption and authentication features. Further, this protocol is based on the Berkeley Software Distribution (BSD) Remote Copy Protocol (RCP) and uses Secure Shell (SSH) protocol.
SCP program is a software tool for implementing the SCP protocol as a service or client. The program is capable of performing secure copying. Furthermore, the SCP server program is the same programs as the SCP client. An example is a command-line SCP program available with most of the SSH implementations.
What is SFTP
SFTP stands for Secure File Transfer Protocol. It allows accessing and transferring files, managing the files over a reliable data stream. In addition to file transfers, SFTP allows performing tasks such as creating directories, delete directories, delete files etc. Furthermore, this protocol assumes that it runs over a secure channel like SSH. Unlike in SCP, SFTP sends an acknowledgement for every packet. Therefore, SFTP is slower than SCP.
Difference Between SCP and SFTP
SCP is a network protocol that allows transferring computer files between a local host and a remote host or between two remote hosts. In contrast, SFTP is a network protocol that provides file access, file transfer and file management over any reliable data stream. Thus, this is the main difference between SCP and SFTP.
SCP stands for Secure Copy Protocol while SFTP stands for Secure File Transfer Protocol.
Support for resume file transfer
Moreover, SCP command-line client does not allow resuming an interrupted file transfer. On the other hand, SFTP command-line client allows resuming an interrupted file transfer with the –a option of the ‘get’ command.
Another major difference between SCP and SFTP is that SCP is faster than SFTP.
In brief, SCP and SFTP are two protocols based on SSH. The main difference between SCP and SFTP is that SCP is a protocol that allows transferring files securely from a local host to a remote host while SFTP is a protocol that allows file accessing, transferring, and management over a reliable data stream which is faster than SCP.
1.“Secure Copy.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 10 July 2019, Available here.
2.“SSH File Transfer Protocol.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 10 July 2019, Available here.
3.“What Is Secure Copy? – Definition from Techopedia.” Techopedia.com, Available here.
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