FAQs about SFTP


When do I need to use SFTP?

SFTP is provided primarily for exchanging files between your computer and the William & Mary file servers when your computer is not connected to the campus network. You should not need to use SFTP if you are on campus.

What is an FTP client?

A File Transfer Protocol software  is designed to transfer files back-and-forth between two computers over the Internet. It needs to be installed on your computer and can only be used with a live connection to the Internet.

The classic FTP Client look is a two-pane design. The pane on the left displays the files on your computer and the pane on the right displays the files on the remote computer.

Mac Users: Read details about using Fugu and Fetch to connect to webftp.wm.edu.

How do I connect to the WM web server (www.wm.edu)?

Continue to use the same Host name www.wm.edu as well as your WMuserid and password. However, you can only use a secure ftp client such as, SSH Secure FTP, to connect. Contact the TSC at 1-HELP if you need further assistance.

I currently use SFTP to access the WM web server (www.wm.edu) when I'm on campus. Is there a better alternative?

Absolutely! It's called mapping a drive. If you are authorized to work with files that are hosted on the WM web server, then you can work with them directly. If you can log into the WM Campus domain then you can map a drive. Here's how to do it...

  1. Right-click on "My Computer" and select "Map Network Drive."
  2. Select a drive letter that is not currently in use. Use the directory path \\files.campus.wm.edu\www\mydepartment. Contact the TSC at 1-HELP if you need further assistance.
  3. Be sure that the "Reconnect at logon" box is checked.
  4. Click OK once more.
  5. You will see the drive listed when you double-click on "My Computer."
Why do I get terminal session error when I try to connect?

Terminal or shell sessions are not allowed to our sftp servers. If you receive this error, you may have tried to use the incorrect SSH client application. Make sure that the client your using is a secure file transfer client and not a secure shell client. Both of the Windows SSH software packages we support have separate clients for secure shell and secure file transfer. Fugu for the Mac only provides secure file transfer.

Note that changes to files on the WM web server will result in immediate, live changes.