You know who you are: Adobe, Apple, DVcreators, elGato, Telestream, and others. Even though we would love to have a utopian world -and a utopian Internet-, we are certainly not there yet. There are bad guys out there, and we can’t afford to make it easy for them. That’s why there are secure websites (https) and secure e-mail encryption (SSL). Fortunately, there are many good software programs that already support SFTP, including CoreFTP, Cyberduck, Fetch, Transmit, and Übercaster. And from Apple, even iWeb (starting with the ’09 version) supports SFTP. So why don’t Adobe Media Encoder, Compressor, DVKitchen, Turbo.264HD, and EpisodePro support SFTP too? All of these are professional tools, but for some unknown reason, they alarmingly all lack SFTP support as of the publication date of this article.
Advantages of SFTP over regular FTP
Regular FTP sends your password unencrypted through the Internet, so a bad guy can “sniff” your password while it goes by, and then use it to take your site down. It happened to me many years ago, before I knew better. Since I switched to SFTP, it has never happened again with any of my sites or my clients’ sites. For the same reason, I use SSL with both my incoming and outgoing mail servers. You should too.
If you are certain that your current server doesn’t offer SSL or SFTP, change servers immediately, or right before your contract renews (if you really think you can afford to be unencrypted between now and then). Later in this article, I will recommend an excellent server that does offer both SSL and SFTP. Oh, and if your bank doesn’t use a secure site (https) before you log-in, change banks ASAP and tell them why you are changing.
Compliment before constructive criticism
I officially applaud the Apple team in charge of adding SFTP to iWeb starting with version ’09. (I just hope iWeb will at some point create a home page that would appear in the browser bar just like the domain name used, instead of having a huge, ugly, and unnecessary tail.) I also officially applaud the team at CoreFTP, David V. Kocher of Cyberduck, Jim Matthews of Fetch Softworks, the Transmit team at Panic, and both Eberhard & Sebastian on the Übercaster team at Pleasant Software for supporting SFTP. You obviously get it, and we certainly appreciate it!
- Compressor team at Apple, please add SFTP. (iWeb team, please help the Compressor team!)
- Media Encoder team at Adobe, please add SFTP.
- DVKitchen team at DVcreators, please add SFTP.
- Turbo.264HD team at elGato, please add SFTP.
- EpisodePro and ScreenFlow teams at Telestream, please add SFTP to both programs.
We will all really appreciate it!
If your current server doesn’t offer SFTP or SSL for e-mail
Please dig deeply with your current server provider before switching. However, if you definitely determine that your current server can’t help you with SFTP or SSL (or if they want to charge you an unjustifiable amount to add it), then I will recommend the same provider we use at TecnoTur. Their pricing is unbelievable, and they do offer SFTP and SSL email for no extra charge. They also offer unlimited bandwidth at no extra charge, which is very important for us since we produce podcasts. I have been using them for about two years and I am extremely happy with their reliability, speed, and customer service. The host is called DreamHost, they are located at DreamHost.com, and beyond the excellent offering you’ll find there whenever you check, you will receive an even better deal if you enter TECNOTUR in the referral code when registering. You must enter it in manually. I intentionally did not build it into the link, because I want it to be very clear what you would get without entering the code, and what additional benefit you’ll get after you do.
Even when you have SFTP and SSL, it is much better to use strong passwords. You probably know that it should be fairly long, and contain a combination of numbers and letters. Together with numbers, I recommend using at least two misspelled words intentionally, since that will at least thwart those bad guys who attempt to break a password using a dictionary-based algorithm. However, know that even the best password can be broken by brute force if enough time is allowed, just as the best bank vault can be compromised. Avoid using the same password everywhere, and keep automated backups both on site, and off site.
Allan T©pper’s articles and seminars
Get a full index of Allan T©pper’s articles and upcoming seminars at AllanTepper.com. Listen to his podcast TecnoTur, together with Tanya Castañeda, Rub©n Abruña, and Liliana Marín, free via iTunes or at
Disclosure, to comply with the FTC’s new rules
None of the many software developers mentioned in this article is directly paying Allan T©pper or TecnoTur LLC to mention them in this article. DreamHost is not directly paying Allan T©pper or TecnoTur LLC to mention DreamHost in this article. However, any new accounts created at DreamHost using the TECNOTUR referral code will eventually turn into a bonus for the purchaser and a credit on TecnoTur LLC’s account at DreamHost, to reduce the cost of TecnoTur LLC’s payments to DreamHost. In addition, any new purchases of DVKitchen using the same TECNOTUR referral code will result in a discount for the purchaser, and a small commission for TecnoTur LLC.