Secure File Transfer Protocol (SFTP)

What is SFTP?

FTP (File Transfer Protocol) and SFTP (Secure File Transfer Protocol) are widely used protocols for working with remote files. These protocols allow a user on one computer to transfer files to and from another computer anywhere in the world. If you have downloaded files from the internet, you probably have been using the FTP protocol.

Why Use SFTP?

FTP is not secure because it transmits all data (including passwords and usernames) in plain text. Anyone with a packet sniffer can get your password and download your patients’ images!

SFTP is secure because it uses Secure Shell (SSH) for encryption. SFTP encrypts both commands and data, preventing passwords and sensitive information from being transmitted in clear text over the network.

SFTP is functionally similar to FTP but it uses a different protocol. Therefore, you cannot use a standard web browser such as Internet Explorer, Firefox or Chrome to connect to an SFTP server - you must use special client software such as ‘WinSCP’ or ‘Filezilla’.

What SFTP client software is available?

For Windows platforms please download and install WinSCP

For Macintosh OS X please download and install Filezilla

Please Note: There may be some advertisements on the download pages. We do not recommend downloading or installing any software other than WinSCP or Filezilla.

How do I configure and use WinSCP or Filezilla?

For WinSCP on Windows platforms please read this document

For Filezilla on Macintosh OS X please read this document

What’s in my SFTP private directory?

If you ask us to set up an SFTP account for you, we will create a private directory on our server, and in it will be the following 3 folders:

From_IDT: This is the folder where we put the most recently processed cases for you to download. After a period of time you can move these cases into the ‘Old_Cases’ folder.

To_IDT: This folder is available for you to upload images to IDT Scans for processing. Please book the work you want done online at

Old_Cases: This folder contains cases done in previous years. You can store them in sub-directories created for each year e.g. ‘2020’ (or earlier) if you wish.