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Table of contents
What is AWS Transfer Family?
Benefits Of AWS Transfer Family
How does AWS Transfer Family work?
Standard File Transfer Protocol Clients By AWS Transfer Family
Frequently asked questions
What is SFTP?
What is FTPS?
Last Updated: Mar 27, 2024

AWS Transfer Family

Author Akash Nagpal
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Amazon Web Services (AWS) is a comprehensive cloud computing platform that comprises infrastructure as a service (IaaS), platform as a service (PaaS), and packaged software as a service (SaaS) solutions. AWS services may provide a company with computing power, database storage, and content distribution resources.

In today’s time, AWS has became a trend. Learning about AWS opens a wide range of career opportunities. To become proficient in AWS, one must learn about AWS transfer family. So, in this article we are going to discuss about what is AWS Transfer Family, how does it works and its benefits. 

What is AWS Transfer Family?

AWS Transfer Family is a safe transfer service that allows you to transfer files into and out of AWS storage services.

AWS Transfer Family can transfer data from or to the AWS storage services listed below: 


AWS Transmit Family transfers data via the following protocols:

  • SSH (Secure Shell) File Transfer Protocol (SFTP)
  • Secure File Transfer Protocol (FTPS)
  • FTP (File Transfer Protocol) (FTP)


Transfer Family provides you with access to an AWS file transfer protocol-enabled server without running any server infrastructure. This service allows you to transition your file transfer-based processes to AWS while keeping your end users' clients and customizations intact. You must first link your hostname with the server endpoint, create users, and provide them with the appropriate access. After that, your users' transfer requests will be handled directly by your Transfer Family server endpoint.

Benefits Of AWS Transfer Family

  • A fully managed solution that grows to suit your demands in real-time.
  • There is no need to alter your programmes or set up any file transfer protocol infrastructure.
  • With your data safely stored in Amazon S3, you can utilize native AWS services for processing, analytics, reporting, auditing, and archiving.
  • You receive a fully managed elastic file system for use with AWS Cloud services and on-premises resources when you utilize Amazon EFS as your data storage. Amazon EFS is designed to expand to petabytes on demand without affecting applications, growing and shrinking dynamically as files are added and removed. This reduces the requirement for provisioning and managing capacity to accommodate expansion.
  • It is a fully managed, serverless File Transfer Workflow service that makes it simple to set up, execute, automate, and monitor file processing utilizing AWS Transfer Family.
  • There are no upfront expenses, and you simply pay for the service you utilize.
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How does AWS Transfer Family work?

AWS Transfer Family is a fully managed AWS service that allows you to transfer files into and out of Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) storage or Amazon Elastic File System (Amazon EFS) file systems using the protocols listed below:

  • SSH (Secure Shell) File Transfer Protocol (SFTP)
  • Secure File Transfer Protocol (FTPS)
  • FTP (File Transfer Protocol) (FTP)

AWS Transfer Family offers up to three Availability Zones for your connection and transfer requests and is supported by an auto growing, redundant fleet.

Transfer Family Managed File Transfer Workflows (MFTW) is a fully managed, serverless File Transfer Workflow service that makes it simple to set up, operate, automate, and monitor file processing using AWS Transfer Family. Customers may utilize MFTW to automate tasks including copying, tagging, scanning, filtering, compressing/decompressing, and encrypting/decrypting data transported via Transfer Family. This allows for complete visibility for tracking and traceability.

To use AWS Transfer Family, undertake these high-level steps:

  1. Create a bucket in Amazon S3 or a file system in Amazon EFS.
  2. Create an Amazon S3 bucket for further information on using Amazon S3. Create an Amazon EFS file system for further information on utilizing Amazon Elastic File System.
  3. Create an IAM role with two IAM policies: 
  4. An IAM policy grants AWS Transfer Family authority to access your Amazon S3 bucket or Amazon EFS file system. This IAM policy governs the level of access granted to AWS Transfer Family users.
  5. An IAM policy for establishing trust with the AWS Transfer Family.
  6. Create a Transfer Family server and set the identity provider type used to authenticate your users by the service.
  7. Add one or more users if you're dealing with a server that uses a service-managed identity provider rather than a bespoke identity provider.
  8. Open a file transfer protocol client and set up the connection to utilize the desired server's endpoint hostname. This hostname may be obtained using the AWS Transfer Family dashboard.

Standard File Transfer Protocol Clients By AWS Transfer Family

AWS Transfer Family supports any standard file transfer protocol client. The following are some examples of frequently used clients:

  • OpenSSH — A command-line programme for Macintosh and Linux.
  • WinSCP — A graphical client for Windows only.
  • Cyberduck is a graphical client for Linux, Macintosh, and Microsoft Windows.
  • FileZilla - A graphical client for Linux, Macintosh, and Windows.

Frequently asked questions

What is SFTP?

SFTP is an abbreviation for Secure Shell (SSH) File Transfer Protocol, a network protocol used for secure data transfer over the internet. The protocol offers the complete security and authentication capability of SSH. It is frequently used to communicate data between business partners in various industries such as finance, healthcare, media and entertainment, retail, advertising, and others.

What is FTPS?

FTPS stands for File Transfer Protocol over SSL and is an extension to FTP. It uses Transport Layer Security (TLS) and Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) cryptographic protocols to encrypt traffic. FTPS allows encryption of both the control and data channel connections concurrently or independently.


In this article, we have extensively discussed the AWS Transfer Family and its features.

We hope this blog has helped you enhance your knowledge regarding the Transfer Family from AWS. Some official documentation on big data that can help you improve your understanding is AWS Ground station and Amazon ground station features.

If you would like to learn more, check out our articles on AWS vs. GCPcloud platform comparison, and 10 AWS best books, Amazon Hirepro

Practice makes a man perfect. To practice and improve yourself in the interview, you can check out Top 100 SQL problemsInterview experienceCoding interview questions, and the Ultimate guide path for interviews.

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