Free SFTP Server Windows: The Ultimate Guide for Devs to Safely Transfer Data

Hi, Dev! Are you looking for a reliable and secure way to transfer your files? If you’re using Windows, you’ll be relieved to know that there are free SFTP server options available. In this article, we’ll walk you through everything you need to know about SFTP servers, how to set them up on Windows, and provide some FAQs to help you navigate the process. Let’s dive in!

What is an SFTP Server?

SFTP stands for Secure File Transfer Protocol. It’s a network protocol that allows you to transfer files securely from one computer to another. Unlike traditional FTP, SFTP uses encryption to protect your files from interception and theft. An SFTP server is a software application that runs on a server computer and allows users to connect and upload or download files securely using SFTP.

Advantages of Using an SFTP Server

There are many advantages of using an SFTP server over traditional FTP or other file transfer methods. Some of these include:

SFTP uses encryption to keep your files safe from prying eyes.
SFTP is more reliable than other file transfer methods because it uses error correction techniques to ensure that data is transferred intact.
SFTP is compatible with most operating systems and can be used with a wide range of software applications.
Easy to Use
Setting up an SFTP server is usually a simple process, and once it’s up and running, it’s easy to use.

How Does SFTP Work?

When you transfer a file using SFTP, the file is encrypted and divided into packets. The packets are then sent over the network to the destination server, where they are reassembled and decrypted. The encryption process ensures that the packets can’t be intercepted or read by anyone other than the intended recipient. SFTP uses a public/private key system to authenticate users and ensure that only authorized users can access the server.

Top Free SFTP Server Options for Windows

Now that you know what an SFTP server is and how it works, let’s take a look at some of the best free SFTP server options for Windows.

1. FileZilla

FileZilla is a popular and user-friendly FTP client that also includes an SFTP server option. It’s open-source and available for Windows, Linux, and macOS. FileZilla SFTP server supports both FTP and SFTP protocols, and it’s easy to set up and use.

2. WinSCP

WinSCP is another free and open-source SFTP client and server for Windows. It’s lightweight and easy to use, and it supports a wide range of file transfer protocols, including SFTP, SCP, and WebDAV. WinSCP also includes a powerful scripting interface that allows you to automate transfers and manage your files more efficiently.

3. Cerberus FTP Server

Cerberus FTP Server is a powerful and secure SFTP server for Windows. It’s available in both free and paid versions, and it supports a wide range of file transfer protocols, including SFTP, FTPS, and HTTPS. Cerberus FTP Server includes advanced security features, such as IP blacklisting, brute-force blocking, and automatic SSL certificate management.

4. Titan FTP Server

Titan FTP Server is a professional-grade SFTP server for Windows. It’s available in both free and paid versions, and it includes a wide range of features, such as support for SFTP, FTPS, and HTTP protocols, advanced security options, and customizable user interfaces. Titan FTP Server is a great option for businesses and organizations that need a reliable and secure way to transfer files.

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How to Set Up an SFTP Server on Windows

Now that you know some of the best free SFTP server options for Windows let’s walk through the steps to set up your own SFTP server using FileZilla.

Step 1: Download and Install FileZilla Server

The first step is to download and install FileZilla server on your Windows computer. You can download it from the FileZilla website. Once you’ve downloaded it, run the installer and follow the prompts to install the software on your computer.

Step 2: Configure FileZilla Server Settings

Once you’ve installed FileZilla Server, you’ll need to configure some basic settings. Open the software and go to the ‘Edit’ menu, then click on ‘Users.’ Click the ‘Add’ button to add a new user and enter their username and password. You can also set the user’s permissions and configure additional settings, such as their home directory and download/upload speed limits.

Step 3: Set Up Firewall Rules

If you have a firewall enabled, you’ll need to set up some firewall rules to allow incoming connections to your SFTP server. You can do this by opening the Windows Firewall settings and creating a new rule that allows incoming connections to FileZilla Server on the port you’ve specified.

Step 4: Connect to Your SFTP Server

Once you’ve configured your SFTP server, you can connect to it using any SFTP client. Simply enter your server’s IP address or domain name, your username and password, and the port number you specified during setup. You can then transfer files securely and easily!

SFTP Server FAQs

To help you navigate the process of setting up and using an SFTP server on Windows, we’ve compiled some common FAQs and their answers.

1. Is SFTP Secure?

Yes, SFTP is very secure. It uses encryption to protect your files from interception and theft. However, it’s important to make sure that you’re using a reputable SFTP client and server that has been tested for security vulnerabilities.

2. What Port Does SFTP Use?

SFTP typically uses port 22 by default, but you can configure your SFTP server to use a different port if necessary.

3. Can SFTP Transfer Large Files?

Yes, SFTP can transfer large files without any issues. The speed of the transfer will depend on your internet connection and the speed of the server you’re transferring the files to.

4. Can I Use SFTP to Transfer Files Between Different Operating Systems?

Yes, you can use SFTP to transfer files between different operating systems. SFTP is compatible with most operating systems and can be used with a wide range of software applications.

5. Do I Need to Use a Command-Line Interface to Use SFTP?

No, you don’t need to use a command-line interface to use SFTP. There are many user-friendly SFTP clients available that provide a graphical user interface and make it easy to transfer files.


Free SFTP servers for Windows are a great option if you’re looking for a secure and reliable way to transfer files. FileZilla, WinSCP, Cerberus FTP Server, and Titan FTP Server are all excellent options that offer different features and capabilities. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can set up your own SFTP server and connect to it securely from anywhere. If you have any questions, be sure to check out the FAQs section or reach out to the support team for your chosen SFTP server provider.