Secure File Transfer (SFTP and SCP)

This page will provide you with detailed instructions on how to transfer files between the local host (your computer) and the USC remote host (server).

There are various ways you can transfer files between web servers or other networks and your computer. However, some are more secure than others. In order to increase network security, you must use SFTP (Secure File Transfer Protocol) or SCP (Secure Copy Protocol) to upload files to the USC network.

SFTP (Secure File Transfer Protocol)

SFTP is defined alternately as Secure File Transfer Protocol or SSH File Transfer Protocol. SFTP clients are interactive file transfer programs, similar to FTP, which perform all operations over an encrypted transport.

SFTP provides secure connectivity while transferring data between a server and a client by encrypting data that is transferred over the network, including username and password information. Although effective in transferring data between systems, other protocols deliver data using clear text, which makes it easy for packet sniffing programs to intercept data passing over a network.

The following links provide detailed instructions on the SFTP clients supported by ITS.Go to the USC Downloads Page for the latest versions of these SFTP clients.

SFTP Clients

SCP (Secure Copy)

SCP (Secure Copy) is a command, similar to cp or copy, that enables users to copy files between two UNIX servers. SCP is fast and effective, and like SFTP, transmits data over an encrypted connection.

To copy a file from the local host to a remote host, bring up a UNIX prompt and type:

    scp ‘<file path name>’ <username@remote_host>:’<any file name>’

To copy a file from a remote host to the local host, bring up a UNIX prompt and type:

    scp <username@remote_host>:’<file> <file path name>’ ‘<any file path name>’

Information on Server Settings for BCF/Mizar Users

If you are looking for information on how to use SFTP with your new BCF account, please see our Mizar Overview section.

Getting Help

If you have SFTP-related questions, please call the Customer Support Center at 213-740-5555 or email consult@usc.edu.