When you need to upload website data from your local computer to your web server so it appears online, you would use a program such as FileZilla or Cyberduck. These programs connect to the web server using one of the following protocols to connect.
This article explains the difference between these two protocols and which one you should use when connecting to your server.
Difference between FTP and SFTP
FTP (File Transfer Protocol) is an old network protocol that transfers files between your computer and the web server. The problem with FTP is that the data is not encrypted during transfer, making it insecure.
Because the data is unencrypted, an exceptionally sneaky person could potentially eavesdrop on what you're sending. For this reason, FTP should never be used.
SFTP (Secure File Transfer Protocol) is the modern network protocol that transfers files between your computer and the web server. It does the same basic functions as FTP while also encrypting your data during transfer.
Since the data is encrypted, this protocol is safe to use.
FTP and SFTP at DreamHost
All website users at DreamHost are configured to use SFTP and port 22.