Is the FTP connection secure/encrypted? Should I use sftp?


Verified User
Dec 20, 2018
Hello everyone,
I run directadmin on my own private server which I use for several things including the synchronization of confidential files.
For that I have been using FTP so far. How ever, I remember from the past that FTP logins are unencrypted and can be read in plaintext by anyone who manages to do a MITM attack.

Is this also the case with DirectAdmin?
Another thread mentioned that FTP uses SSL/TLS so it should be encrypted?
Would that also mean that the file transfer is an encrypted connection?

Thanks in advance!


Super Moderator
Apr 11, 2005
GMT +7.00

FTP is a plain protocol without encryption. Can be used both with ProFTPd and PureFTPd on DirectAdmin server.

FTPs is more secure, it uses encryption, but you might face issues with certificates. You will need to take additional care of it. With DirectAdmin automation of course it can be done easier. Can be used both with ProFTPd and PureFTPd on DirectAdmin servers, but SNI support is provided only by PureFTPd.

SFTP is secure too, and you should not worry about certificates at all. Can be used with ProFTPd (or SSH) on DirectAdmin servers.

Read official documentation if you need more details.