CAEN Knowledge Base
CAEN Knowledge Base

How do I access my online file storage using Secure File Transfer Protocol (SFTP) or Secure Copy (SCP)?

SFTP and SCP are utilities for transferring files between sites over the Internet. In many ways SFTP and SCP are interchangeable, but they are still unique protocols. SFTP and SCP should always be used as opposed to FTP, which sends information over the network in clear text format; SFTP and SCP provide encrypted file transfer.

At the College of Engineering, these programs are useful for connecting to sftp.itcs.umich.edu and transferring files to/from your AFS Personal Storage. SFTP can also be used to access your CAEN Windows Home Directory remotely.


SFTP & SCP for Windows

All CAEN Windows computers are equipped with a program called WinSCP. You can find it in the Start menu at:

All Programs >> Communication Tools >> WinSCP

Simply start the program and enter the Host Name you want to connect to, your U-M uniqname as the User name, and click the Login button. You will then be prompted for your UMICH password. You will be presented with a split window; one side displaying files/folders on your local computer, and the other side displaying the files/folders on the remote server (in this case, in your AFS home directory). Files can be copied to/from each location by simply dragging and dropping their icons from one side to the other:

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WinSCP is available for free download as an installation package and a standalone executable at:


SFTP & SCP for Linux

SFTP and SCP can be invoked using command-line tools by typing sftp or scp at any Linux prompt. For example, If you wanted to copy a file in your local home directory to your AFS Public directory, you could use scp as follows:

[uniqname@example]$ scp ~/file sftp.itcs.umich.edu:Public/file

scp is also very useful because you can copy files from one remote machine to another:

[uniqname@example]$ scp host1:file1 host2:file2

So, if you want to copy a file from the temporary directory on example.engin.umich.edu to your AFS home directory, you could type:

[uniqname@example]$ scp example.engin.umich.edu:/tmp/filename  sftp.itcs.umich.edu:filename

When you log into any CAEN Linux computer, you are taken to your ITS AFS space as your home directory. So, if the file you want to copy from, or the location you want to copy to, are not in your home directory tree, you will need to give the full path to the filename.

For more information on the usage of these commands, type man scp or man sftp at the Linux prompt.


SFTP & SCP for Mac OS

While Mac OS has built-in command-line SFTP and SCP programs that can be executed from the Terminal, similar to Linux, there are many, free graphical programs available:


Further Information

ITS also provides instructions for using WinSCP to access your AFS personal storage at: