FTP is an acronym for File Transfer Protocol, and it is a way of transferring files or data between computers. FTP allows you to both send and pull files from servers – similar to how you can move files around with Windows Explorer.
FTP requires both a username and password to access the other computer just as you would log into your own computer.
SFTP stands for Secure File Transfer Protocol, which is a version of FTP that allows the transfer of data over a secure shell (SSH) data stream. Another name for SFTP is SSH File Transfer Protocol. SFTP requires that the user must be authenticated by the server and the data transfer must take place over a secure channel (SSH). This format was developed in the 1990’s and is natively secure so that you can send confidential data without the worry that it will be intercepted.
The SFTP protocol is packet-based instead of text-based. Packet-based protocols are easier to process because they are compact, unlike text-based which can contain a large amount of characters. This makes SFTP much faster, and because it runs on SSH it is inherently secure. The encryption cannot be triggered or turned off by anyone, therefore many companies choose SFTP over regular FTP.