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Work from home with Secure File Transfer (SFTP)


IT Services is currently working to improve this service.
Members of staff who encounter problems using SFTP are recommended to use Windows Remote instead.

 

Using SFTP to access your Sussex files

You can use SFTP (Secure FTP) to connect to your files from home. You will need to follow the guidance on this page to download and set up an FTP program and then connect with your Sussex username and password to these addresses:

Your personal files (Documents, Desktop etc.)
unix.sussex.ac.uk

Staff shared G: drives
gdrive.uscs.susx.ac.uk

To connect to Sussex services, make sure you are using SFTP to connect (Secure File Transfer Protocol) and enter your normal Sussex username and password for the User and Password fields.

You may need to transfer a file between computers if:

  • you have a document on your own computer that you want to print at the University
  • you need to work on a file from off campus
  • you want to hold a second copy of an important file on another computer for security
  • you have used the entire capacity of your personal directory and need to archive some files to another location to free up space

You can transfer files with a physical device such as a USB memory stick or DVD (see Saving and backing up your work), but an alternative approach is to use SFTP (Secure File Transfer Protocol) to move the files across the Internet. This has the advantage that you do not have to be on campus to use it.

Web access

screenshot of files pageOur simple web pages give you quick access to your personal files (N drive) and staff group files (G drive). You can browse your folders, download, upload, delete and rename files and even edit text files directly.

Using SFTP

You can use SFTP to transfer files if the computers are connected to the same network at the same time. For example, on campus you can copy files to another computer on the Campus Network, or a computer off-campus if it is on the internet.

You can install an SFTP program on your home computer to exchange files with an IT Services system:

PC users
We recommend that you install WinSCP but you can use any file transfer program which supports SFTP including Filezilla and Webdrive.

Mac users
Students and staff can install Fetch on their own Macs with the Sussex licence code or use a free alternatives such as Cyberduck or Filezilla. 

Connecting

The following instructions and screenshots are for the PC program WinSCP but other SFTP programs will use the same settings. When you launch the program, you will be asked to enter the details needed to connect:

  • for the Host name, enter the address of the service you are connecting to (e.g. for the N: drive, enter unix.sussex.ac.uk)
  • put in your username and password for the service if required (for the N: or G: drive, enter your normal Sussex username and password)
  • choose the transfer protocol (for Sussex services, make sure SFTP is selected)
  • click on Login

WinSCP login window

Transferring files

When you have established a connection, you should see a window like the one shown below. The window on the left shows the files on your computer. On the right, you can see the files in the service you are connecting to. So if, for example, you are connecting to your N: drive, the files in your home directory will be shown. You can transfer files between the two locations by dragging and dropping between the two windows.

WinSCP main window

Anonymous FTP

The use of FTP described above allows you to copy and create files on two systems. For obvious reasons, you normally have to give a username and password to authenticate who you are on both systems.

There are occasions when a person wants to allow anyone to access a file. For example, if you have written a paper that you wish others to download (rather than having to email them a copy). This facility is available and is called Anonymous FTP. To use it a special directory has to be created. Contact ftp-request@sussex.ac.uk for further information.

An alternative approach is to make the file available on a website. The advantage of using FTP is that it is more reliable (as it does error checking when transferring the file).

If you do access an Anonymous FTP server, the convention is to specify your email address as username when you login.

created on 2010-01-01 by Chris Limb
last updated on 2018-02-15 by Alexander Butler