This article describes how to set up SFTP access for multiple users on a single A2 Hosting shared account.
For transferring files, SFTP is much more secure than FTP. However, a shared hosting package only includes one SSH login account. Because SFTP relies on SSH, this means you cannot use regular FTP users with SFTP. You can only use your cPanel username, which is a potential problem. You don't want to share your account password with other users just so they can use SFTP to transfer some files.
The solution is to create and deploy a separate SSH key pair for each user who wants to use SFTP. Because SSH key pairs do not require passwords, users can then access your account and transfer files securely using SFTP.
The main steps for setting up multiple-user SFTP access are:
The first step is to create an SSH key pair for each user who requires SFTP access. After you have created the key pair, you must deploy the public key (not the private key!) to the A2 Hosting server account. (You use the private key later when you set up an FTP client.)
The exact steps to create SSH key pairs depend on the operating system that your computer uses. For step-by-step instructions about how to create an SSH key pair and deploy the public key to an A2 Hosting server, please follow the procedures in this article for your operating system.
After you have created the SSH key pair (or pairs) and deployed the public key (or keys) to the A2 Hosting server, you are ready to configure the client computers. To do this, you install and configure an FTP client to use the appropriate private key for the key pair.
There are numerous FTP clients available, and many of them support SFTP. A2 Hosting recommends FileZilla, a free program that you can download here. FileZilla runs on Microsoft Windows, Apple Mac OS X, and Linux.
The following procedure shows how to configure FileZilla to connect to an account using a private key and SFTP. If you want to use a different FTP client, make sure that it supports SFTP and public key authentication.
To configure FileZilla to use a private key for SFTP access, follow these steps:
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