Connecting to an SFTP Server with an FTP Client

Posted on January 23, 2016 in AuthoringBloggingSoftware

The Problem

Recently I upgraded this web site to a new service provider. The new service provider only supported secure ftp (SFTP) for uploading/downloading of files to/from the server and this meant that any client software that did not support SFTP was effectively rendered useless.

I’m quite reliant on software like Windows Live Writer for posting blog entries and WebLog Expert for analysis of server log files. However, both of these software clients only use “regular” ftp for uploading/downloading files. I momentarily thought I would not be able to use them but soon realised there must be some software that provides a bridge between an FTP client and an SFTP server. A quick Google soon revealed the software I thought was most suitable for the job.

The Solution

Bitvise SSH Client

According to their web site Bitvise SSH Client for Windows includes state of the art terminal emulation, graphical as well as command-line SFTP support, an FTP-to-SFTP bridge, powerful tunnelling features including dynamic port forwarding through integrated proxy, and also remote administration for our SSH Server.

I downloaded a trial version of the software and very soon found myself purchasing a licensed copy as I found it quite suitable for my needs and simple to use.

Firstly you capture the login credentials of the SFTP server you are connecting to

Bitvise SSH Client SFTP Login Screen

Secondly you activate or establish the ftp to sftp bridge. This effectively creates a local ftp interface at IP (localhost) which can be used by any client software that would like to connect to the server through the tunnel.

Bitvise SSH Client FTP to SFTP Bridge Creation

Lastly, you can now configure any client software you have to connect using Bitwise. In the examples below I show the ftp details you would enter for Windows Live Writer image upload via ftp and the Weblog Expert ftp details you would specify to download log files for analysis from your Web Server.

WebLog Expert FTP Configuration

WebLog Expert ftp configuration

Windows Live Writer image FTP setup

Windows Live Writer FTP Setup for Images

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