FTP, FTPS and SFTP File Uploads in a Virtual Printer Driver

What are FTP, FTPS and SFTP?

File Transfer Protocol (FTP)

FTP is a standard network protocol used to transfer files between a client and a server on a computer network. It relies on two communication channels: a command channel for controlling the conversation and a data channel for transmitting file content. Despite its widespread use, FTP does not encrypt data, which means that usernames, passwords, and file contents can be intercepted by anyone with access to the data stream.

File Transfer Protocol Secure (FTPS)

FTPS is an extension to FTP that adds support for the Transport Layer Security (TLS) and Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) cryptographic protocols. FTPS comes in two main modes:

  • Explicit FTPS (FTPES): The client explicitly requests security from the FTPS server and upgrades an existing FTP connection to a secure one.
  • Implicit FTPS: The client connects to the server via a secure connection from the start.

FTPS secures data transfer by encrypting the communication channels, ensuring that the data remains confidential and tamper-proof.

SSH File Transfer Protocol (SFTP)

SFTP, on the other hand, is a completely different protocol based on the Secure Shell (SSH) protocol. It provides a secure channel for transferring files and managing remote file systems. SFTP encrypts both the command and data channels, ensuring that all aspects of the connection remain secure. Unlike FTPS, SFTP uses a single channel for data transfer, simplifying firewall configurations.

Key Differences Between FTP, FTPS, and SFTP

Security No encryption, vulnerable to interception. Uses TLS/SSL for encryption, securing the connection. Uses SSH for encryption, securing both command and data channels.
Ports Uses port 21 for commands and opens separate ports for data transfer, which can complicate firewall configurations. Uses port 21 or 990 for commands and additional ports for data transfer. Uses a single port (typically port 22), simplifying firewall configuration.
Authentication Uses clear-text usernames and passwords. Can use certificates for authentication in addition to usernames and passwords. Uses SSH keys for authentication, which is more secure than passwords.
Compatibility Widely supported but insecure. More secure than FTP, but can be tricky to set up due to the need for managing certificates and additional ports. Highly secure and easier to configure, often preferred for secure file transfers.


Demand for FTP, FTPS, and SFTP in a Virtual Printer Driver

The ability to upload files via FTP, FTPS, or SFTP in a virtual printer driver can be incredibly valuable in various scenarios, offering convenience, security, and efficiency. Here are a few specific use cases:

1. Healthcare Industry:

  • Scenario: A healthcare provider needs to send patient records to a remote server for backup and compliance purposes.
  • Benefit: Using FTPS or SFTP ensures that sensitive patient information is securely transferred, meeting regulatory requirements like HIPAA.

2. Legal Firms:

  • Scenario: A law firm needs to transfer confidential documents to a cloud storage provider for secure archiving.
  • Benefit: SFTP ensures that all client information remains confidential and protected from unauthorized access.

3. Publishing Houses:

  • Scenario: A publishing company needs to send large manuscripts and design files to a printing service.
  • Benefit: FTP can be used for transferring large files quickly, while FTPS or SFTP can provide the necessary security for sensitive content.

4. Corporate Environments:

  • Scenario: An employee needs to send financial reports to an external auditor.
  • Benefit: FTPS can encrypt these transfers, protecting sensitive financial data from interception.

5. Remote Work:

  • Scenario: A remote worker needs to submit completed assignments to the company’s internal server.
  • Benefit: SFTP provides a secure method for transferring files, ensuring that work documents remain protected over potentially insecure home networks.



The integration of FTP, FTPS, and SFTP file upload capabilities in our Virtual Printer Driver enhances its functionality and security, meeting the diverse needs of various industries. By offering secure file transfer options, our Virtual Printer Driver ensures that your documents can be safely and efficiently uploaded to your desired destination, whether it’s for compliance, convenience, or collaboration purposes. Whether you’re in healthcare, legal, publishing, corporate, or remote work environments, our solution caters to your needs with robust security and flexibility.