Securely Uploading Files to a VPS?

(Sorry for all of the questions lately, but I am trying to be more than just a web developer, and want to become more of a “full-service” developer!)

Once I get a VPS for my client, how do I securely manage it from my laptop?

I believe you upload your web files using FTP, right?

In the past I have heard people throw around terms like sFTP, SSL, SSH, and some others I forget.

My goal is to be sure whether I am uploading website files (e.g. HTML, PHP, .htaccess) or downloading data or backups that it is secure and private!!

Since I am taking on this extra role of managing the website, I need to protect myself against getting sued for data breaches or hacks.

Oh, BTW, I’m pretty sure whatever host we will be using will provide cPanel on a Linux VPS.

I don’t mind doing research, but am not really sure what to search for.

About all I know is that people used to use FTP to upload things online, but that it is also insecure.

Have heard people talk about SSH, but not sure how that relates to things.

Am also a bit confused why you wouldn’t upload using https.

Can someone help me out on this?

(I want to understand this to help me pick a web host that offers a secure way to upload things.)


Secure uploading is quite different than secure managing a server. You can do the former VERY easily using Secure FTP (SFTP) which will encrypt your data during transmission but, to securely manage a server, you MUST be monitoring it 24/7/365¼ and, IMHO, only a host can adequately do that (because they have both the staff and the funds to obtain, train and use server management tools.

SFTP is available via FireZilla and my Linux host (WebHostingBuzz) provides that capability (I believe it’s part of their WHM/cPanel suite).




I spent some time this weekend reading a little on FTP, SFTP, FTPS, FTP w SSL, and SSH, SSH-1, and SSH-2, and it is all confusing to me.

It sounds like any host I would choose will offer cPanel/WHM on Linux.

What I was trying to ask in my OP, was…

1.) What is easiest, yet most secure, way to upload files and data to my client’s VPS?

2.) What is the easiest, yet most secure, way to download files and data (e.g. backups) from the “live” VPS?

I have a MacBook that I use for development.


SFTP simply uses a different port and encrypts data before sending. SFTP is the easiest way to go (IMHO).

Of course, if you prefer, you could use your browser in a secure link to cPanel’s File Manager but that’s not as convenient (for me).

That covers question 1 & 2.

I havn’t touched a Mac is so many years that I have no clue what app you can use (except browsers).



Okay, thanks for the response.

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