Hosted~FTP~ vs. AWS Transfer Family


The new SFTP/FTPS service from AWS is a point solution and there is really no comparison to Hosted~FTP~’s Sync-S3 feature. It provides customers with access to the SFTP protocol to upload/download files directly to/from an S3 bucket. They offer this as a managed service so you don’t have to stand up or configure servers, but you do have to create and manage IAM roles to control access to the service. AWS access and expertise is required to use this service. The service does not offer anything additional. Below is a list of features/capabilities that Hosted~FTP~ provides that you cannot get directly from AWS:

Category Hosted~FTP~ AWS Transfer Family
Authentication Authentication options include:
– Native password
– SSH key
– LDAP/Active Directory
– OpenID Connect
The service supports two modes of authentication: Service Managed, where you store user identities within the service, and, Custom (BYO), which enables you to integrate an identity provider of your choice. Service Managed authentication is supported for server endpoints that are enabled for SFTP only.

Storing passwords within the service for authentication is currently not supported. This is a critical gap for customers that cannot integrate with an existing identity provider such as Active Directory.

File Operations All standard create, read, update, and delete operations are supported for files and directories.

Use of symbolic and hard links are currently not supported.

Basic functions such as uploading, downloading and deleting a file are available. Files are stored as individual objects in your Amazon S3 bucket. Directories are managed as folder objects in S3, using the same syntax as the S3 console.

Directory rename operations, append operations, changing ownerships, permissions and timestamps, and use of symbolic and hard links are not supported.

Folder sharing Web based administration console makes it simple for users to share folders with other users or contacts You need to create and maintain AWS IAM Roles to control user access to S3 buckets. This requires AWS expertise and requires changing your AWS IAM and/or S3 Bucket Policies each time which would be prevented by many corporate IT Security policies. Making a simple mistake in these policies could easily block (or open) access to unintended users.
Protocols Supports FTPS, SFTP, HTTPS, and FTP protocols Supports FTPS and SFTP protocols. FTP protocol is only supported within the VPC and not over public internet. AWS does not support HTTPS.
Anonymous Access Hosted~FTP~ provides anonymous access to files via the FTP, FTPS, and HTTPS protocols. Anonymous users are currently not supported for any of the protocols.
Static IP addresses Every FTP server is assigned a static IP address that can be published to customers. You can enable fixed IPs for your server endpoint by selecting the VPC hosted endpoint for your server and choosing the internet-facing option. This will allow you to attach Elastic IPs (including BYO IPs) directly to the endpoint, which is assigned as the endpoint’s IP address. Requires AWS expertise.
IP whitelisting Ability to specify IP whitelist per account and per FTP username for fine grained access control. You can attach Security Groups to your server’s VPC endpoint which will control inbound traffic to your server. This requires AWS expertise and applies to the entire server rather than per user.
Security and Privacy 200% Cloud is installed on servers dedicated to a single customer. This allows for enhanced security configurations by using Network ACLs and VPC Security Groups to lock down access to authorized parties. It also allows for a dedicated AES 256-bit encryption key that is not used by any other customer. No guarantees that servers behind the AWS Transfer Family endpoints are not shared between multiple customer endpoints.
Support / Ease of Use Hosted~FTP~ provides hands-on support for initial account set up and ongoing use. No AWS experience or expertise is required. Customers can always call, chat, or email to get assistance. Use case documentation is provided. Support is provided for customers that subscribe to an AWS Support Plan at extra cost. Support is less hands-on and typically results only in a follow-up email referencing AWS document guides.
Multi Region Hosted~FTP~ can configure a global network of speed relay servers so that customers can get the fastest connections regardless of where they are located or who they are transferring files with. AWS Transfer Family service is bound to a specific AWS region (e.g. Virginia, California, Ireland, etc.) Customers that are located far away from the selected AWS region will experience slower file transfer speeds.
Event Logs Access to real-time and daily automated reports You can use Amazon CloudWatch to monitor your end users’ activity and use AWS CloudTrail to access a record of all S3 API operations invoked by your server to service your end users’ data requests. This requires AWS expertise to configure, and then additional software tools to analyze the CloudTrail data.
Customization Hosted~FTP~ has the ability to create custom solutions for 200% customers. Previous customizations include end-user license agreement acceptance, custom folder timestamps, and branding. We listen to feature requests from current and prospective customers and can quickly build custom solutions to meet their needs. AWS does not create custom solutions for individual customers.
Multi-Cloud Ability to back up customer files to other clouds such as Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud. This allows for enhanced high availability and disaster recovery configurations. Not available
Getting Started
Signing up for a Free Trial
Basic steps to Setup
Purchasing your account
Choosing the right account type: Enterprise and SMB
Logging into your account
How to login with a Web Browser
How to Login to an FTP client via FTP
How to Login to an FTP Client via SFTP
Logging in by FTP URL with Username and Password
Reset and change your password
How to Update an Expired Password
Administrator Initial Setup
Account-level options
Force Secure Protocols only (FTPS/HTTPS/SFTP)
Enabling a Password Policy
Enabling CJIS Compliance Policy
Add IP whitelisting
Configuring Web Access
Configuring FTP/SFTP Access
Implementing Multiple Administrators
Adding branding to your account
Branding Contact Logins
Creating a Custom Subdomain (
Web Interface
Home Tab
Files Tab
Contacts Tab
Users Tab
Plugin Tab
Setup Tab
Adding a User or Contact
Adding a Contact by Email Address
Add a User by Email Address
Add a User by Username
Using Groups
Account setup PDF Guides (*.pdf)
Activated Account Limits
Shared Folders
Configuring for Restricted Shared Folders (FUSN)
Creating Folder Structures for Sharing
Detailed Steps to Sharing Files/Folders
Managing Shared Folder Privileges
Add real-time notifications to uploads/downloads
Audit logs and Real-time Reports
Using Real-time Reports
Example Report Filters
More Example Report Filters
Exporting a Report
Enable audit logs for logins, file transfers, and deletes
Accessing and viewing your audit logs
Steps to sharing the logs folder
Anonymous Access
Creating A Public Link
Anonymously Sharing Files and Folders
Transferring Files
Uploading Files by Web Browser
Uploading Files by FTP Client
Download your FTP/SFTP server files from any browser
Download files with an FTP client
Using the Send function to securely send files through a web-based link
Using the Send function from your Files tab
Managing Mail Events (Send and Receive function)
Drag & Drop
Uploading Multiple Files with Drag and Drop
Enabling Drag & Drop on Legacy IE Browsers
Website Plugin
Integrating the Upload Plugin into your Website and Business
Web Plugin Overview and Guide
Plugin Brand Customization
Embed the Plugin into Your Website
Adding Additional Security (CAPTCHA, Password)
Security and Compliance Info
Security Model Overview
Security Model Details
Multi-Factor Authentication
MFA Initial setup for a standard user by Admin
MFA by User (Multi-Factor Authentication)
MFA reset on managed user
MFA reset on a standard user
Configuring Single Sign-On (SSO) for your account
Configuring Okta with OpenID
Configuring AzureAD with OpenID
Enabling Single Sign-On (SSO) for user logins
Certificate & Host Key Info
SSL Certificate Info
Trusting the Hosted~FTP~ SSL Certificate
SSL Server Test
FTPS Host Keys
SFTP (RSA/DSA) Host Keys
Configuring PKI Support
Compliance Info
WCAG 2.0
Bundle Features
Hosted~FTP~ vs. AWS Transfer Family
Group vs. Enterprise bundle features
Enterprise T1 vs. T2 Bundle Comparison
Enterprise T2 Plan Features
Different user types and function comparisons
Difference between users and contacts
Sync Feature
Configuring a Sync to SFTP Gateway
Configuring a Sync to S3 Gateway
Regular expressions with Sync feature
File Retention Policy
Configuring a File Retention Policy
File Retention Policy Examples
Account Management
Purchasing your account
Payments & Billing
Choosing a payment plan
Renewing an expired account
Changing a Bundle or Payment Plan
Changing Credit Card Information
Reviewing billing statements
Trial Account Limits
How is Storage Calculated?
Reviewing account resources and usage
Switching Account Bundles
Changing the Account Administrator
Administrator Access to User Accounts
Cancelling an Account
FTP/FTPS/SFTP Connections
Hosted~FTP~ IP Addresses
SFTP (RSA/DSA) Host Keys
Connect with Plain FTP
Connect with Secure FTPS/SFTP
Connecting with an FTP Client
Command Line (CLI)
How to connect to your remote site using the command line
How to login to SFTP with one line on Linux
Understanding FTP commands in the command line
Connecting through SFTP by Command Line (CMD)
Using PKI keys to connect to Hosted~FTP~ on linux
Importing PuttyGen PKI Keys to Linux
FTP/FTPeS command line error codes and their meaning
Windows Network Locations
Add Network Location Windows XP
Add Network Location Windows 10/8/7
Connecting from a Mac Computer Terminal
Using Filezilla with FTP/FTPS
Using FileZilla with SFTP
Connecting to WebDrive
Using WebDrive
Installing WinSCP
Uploading & Downloading with WinSCP
WinSCP Scripting
Executing WINSCP script from a saved site
Executing WINSCP script without a saved site
Transfer new and updated files only
Backup Scripts with WinSCP
Keep Folders up to date
Uploading & Downloading with AndFTP
Searching, Resume Support & Third-party Sharing with AndFTP
FTP, SFTP Use Cases in Industries
EDI document transfers
Integrating the Upload Plugin into your Website and Business
Real Estate
Call Center
Best Practices
Use Cases
Exporting EDI files to FTP for download
User Optimization
Create a Managed User
Giving a User Read-only Access
Giving a User Full Access
Default FTP Folder Destination
Set a 0GB Storage Quota
Deleting a User and Keeping their Files
Importing Multiple Users & Shared Folders
Importing Users in Bulk – Syntax and Definitions
Importing Restricted Shared Folders in Bulk – Syntax and Definitions
Detailed Steps and Example Templates for Importing
Exporting a User List
Combine multiple audit logs
Managing FTP Files and Storage in your Account
Moving Files from a User to an Administrator
Video Tutorials
Web Interface
Home Tab
Files Tab
Web Plugin
AndFTP – Connecting, uploading and downloading
AndFTP – Searching, resume support and third-party sharing
WinSCP – Downloading, Installing and Understanding
WinSCP – Connecting with FTP, FTPS, SFTP, uploading and downloading
WinSCP Backup Script
Cyberduck– Connecting with FTP,FTPS, SFTP, Uploading and Downloading
Cyberduck– Quick Look, Transfer Queue and Synchronizing
Cyberduck – Bookmarks, Editing and using Multiple Connections
FileZilla -Downloading, Installing and Understanding FileZilla
FileZilla – Connecting with FTP, FTPS, SFTP and uploading and downloading
FileZilla – Importing/Exporting Site Connections, Editing and Logs
FileZilla Tools – Bookmarking, Searching, using Multiple Connections
Our FTP Client Reviews
Desktop FTP Client Summary
Mobile FTP Client Summary
PSFTP Review : Our Rating 7.5/10
NetDrive Review: Our Rating 8.5/10
Filezilla Review: Our Rating 9/10
AndFTP Review:Our Rating 7.8/10
ES File Manager Review: Our Rating 5/10
FTP Ready Review:Our Rating 5/10
FTP On The Go Review:Our Rating 8/10
CyberDuck Review: Our Rating 9/10
Classic FTP Review: Our Rating 8/10
WebDrive Review: Our Rating 9.5/10
Fling FTP Review: Our Rating 9/10
SmartFTP Review: Our Rating 7/10
MultCloud Review: Our Rating 10/10
Hosted~FTP~ Quota Messages and Definitions
FTP/FTPeS command line error codes and their meaning
Troubleshooting FTP in the command line and common errors.
No matching host key found
Storage Quota Notification: Remedial action
Troubleshooting FTP in the command line and common errors.
Troubleshooting “Can’t verify publisher”
Troubleshooting Drag and Drop
Drag and Drop Troubleshooting for Mac
Troubleshooting FTP/SFTP client connection problems
Troubleshooting slow upload speeds on Windows
No matching host key found
File not visible to admin
File uploaded successfully but not visible in account
Usernames – Guidelines and Restrictions
Download Center
Contact Sales & Support
Joining GoToMeeting by Browser
Joining GoToMeeting by Client