How to Configure Your SFTP Client

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Because File Transfer Protocol (FTP) cannot guarantee security, many users prefer to use SSH File Transfer Protocol (SFTP). SFTP provides file access, transfer, and management tools that resemble FTP through a secure SSH connection. However, SFTP is not merely FTP over SSH. Instead, it is an entirely separate protocol.

For more information about SFTP, read the SFTP Wikipedia article.

Configure your SFTP client

SFTP clients typically require the following information to connect to a server:

Possible values
Possible values
Hostname The server’s hostname. A valid hostname or IP address.
SSH port number The port number on which sshd listens. A valid positive integer. 22
Security Whether the client combines FTP and SFTP functionality. SFTP SFTP
Username The SSH username that the client uses to connect to the server.
  • A valid cPanel account username.
  • root


You cannot use an FTP account to connect via SFTP.

Password The SSH user’s password. A secure password. 12345luggage
Private Key The SSH user’s private key.

The absolute path to a private key file on your local computer.


  • cPanel users can generate and download a private key via cPanel’s SSH Access interface (cPanel >> Home >> Security >> SSH Access).
  • The root user can generate and download a private key via WHM’s Manage root’s SSH Keys interface (WHM >> Home >> Security Center >> Manage root’s SSH Keys).


You may see a warning that the server’s host key is unknown. To ensure that this message does not display again, accept the key and store it on your local computer.

Last Updated On July 31, 2018

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