From the KnowledgeBase

Secure FTP: How to use Secure FTP to transfer files on a Macintosh
Secure FTP: How to use Secure FTP to transfer files on a Macintosh


Secure FTP is an alternate method of transferring files between your computer and a remote server. Fugu, Fetch, Trasmit, and FileZilla are all examples of Macintosh applications that provide a Mac interface for Secure FTP to your Unix account. For an introduction to Secure FTP at Princeton University, please see: Secure FTP: Answers to Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ).

For Macintosh users who want a graphical interface for secure FTP, OIT recommends the use of Filezilla, a free FTP solution found at: SCI student computers have Fetch included as part of the software set pre-installed.

If you are moving files to your public_html folder for web publishing, you can use Dreamweaver, which has Secure FTP capabilities built into the program, or you can use Filezilla. Secure FTP programs do not require a VPN connection, but they do require that you Enable Your Unix Account.

Secure FTP Instructions
FTP will automatically take you to the correct public_html folder within your Unix account, but first your Unix account must be enabled. Log in to the Enable Your Unix Account page to make sure your account is enabled.

Once an SFTP application is installed on your computer, open it.

  • Enter in the Connect to: field
  • Enter your University netID in the Username field
  • Enter 22 into the Port field.
  • Entering something in the Directory: field is optional. If you want to connect directly to your public_html directory to upload a Web page, you could fill in public_html here.
  • Click the Connect button
  • Enter password when prompted and click the Authenticate button.
  • If this is your first time connecting to a host (e.g., you might receive the following security message; "The authenticity of host ' can't be established. DSA key fingerprint is Are you sure you want to continue connecting?" When you click Yes, a key code is saved in a file on your system so you will not see this in the future.
  • When the connection is made, one side of the screen will list the files on the remote host (server), and the other will list your local computer.
  • Uploading means copying a file from your local computer to the remote computer.
  • To upload a file or folder from your local computer to the remote computer, drag the items you want to upload from the local pane to the remote pane.
  • Downloading means copying a file from the remote computer to your local computer.
  • To download a file from the remote computer to your local computer, drag it from the remote pane to the local pane.
  • Click Disconnect when you are finished.

Sample of Secure FTP window:

Related Links:

Last Updated:
August 26, 2014

Solution ID: