Whenever a client wants an FTP storage solution, my instinct it to direct them to S3 instead, as a secure and cost-effective alternative. Is there any good reason NOT to use S3 instead of FTP/SFTP in any situation where you're setting someone up from scratch?

EDIT: To clarify: Is there any capability of FTP/SFTP (Outside of setting it up on your own server) that would constitute a compelling reason to go with an FTP/SFTP solution over an S3 solution?

2 Answers 2


I'm not sure, from the way you've phrased the question, that there's an answer which would convince you to stick with FTP...

That said, if you had asked this a couple years ago I would have said a lack of quality clients relative to those for SFTP might have given me pause.

SFTP is about as secure as HTTPS, so I'm not sure security is a deciding factor.

Some corporations are paranoid about keeping their data on servers under their control; but you seem to be asking about setting up storage from scratch, so perhaps that is not a consideration.

  • I'd say the more relevant FTP clients these days usually have support for S3, so yeah the client question is no longer a deciding issue...
    – Yarin
    Commented Jul 12, 2011 at 2:29
  • In most ways that matter, SFTP is more secure than HTTPS. Keep in mind that SFTP is an entirely different protocol and not related to FTP in any way. FTPS is a FTP over SSL. SFTP is the SSH filesystem. Commented Sep 10, 2012 at 10:10

FTP is a protocol and there are others you can use instead. FTP is not secure at all and should only be used for publicly shared files and never private data.

I have gradually stopped using Amazon S3 in favour of Rackspace Cloud Files, which is cheaper and the support is massively better.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .