Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Use WinSCP to securely transfer files between local and remote computer

I have been using WinSCP to securely transfer files between my Windows PC and remote Linux servers for years, and is still using this handy tools until today.

Based on the implementation of the SSH protocol from PuTTY and FTP protocol from FileZilla, WinSCP is developed by Martin Prikryl back from 2000 and was probably the first ever GUI file transfer client for SSH. This awards winning open source application is licensed under GPL with the project migration to SourceForge.net repository in 2003. The project is now hosted in TeamForge since 2005 while still made available in SourceForge.net at the same time.

With WinSCP, you can connect to and transfer files with an SSH (Secure Shell) server running SFTP (SSH File Transfer Protocol) or SCP (Secure Copy Protocol) service. It can also connect to a normal FTP (File Transfer Protocol) server for unencrypted file transfer.

The main differences between SFTP and SCP are:

  • File transfer with SCP is generally faster than SFTP.
  • SFTP supports resume of incomplete file transfer while SCP doesn't.
  • SFTP supports file transfer bigger than 4GB while SCP supports file transfer up to 4GB only.
  • Recursive operations with directories (deletion, permissions change, etc.) is faster in SCP than SFTP.
Some interesting features of WinSCP includes:
  • Translated into multilingual.
  • Integration with Windows Explorer for drag&drop, URL detection, shortcut icons, etc.
  • Supports for scripting and command line interface.
  • Local and remote file manipulation such as create, copy, duplicate, move, delete, rename, compress, etc.
  • Compare local and remote directories.
  • Directory synchronization between local and remote folder.
  • Remote editing of text files with integrated text editor.
  • Portable version that doesn't need any installation is available.

WinSCP is also available as a plugin for file manager applications such as FAR and Altap Salamander.

Click here to go to the download page of WinSCP.


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