Does .NET FtpWebRequest Support both Implicit (FTPS) and explicit (FTPES)?

I am being asked to support implicit and explicit FTPS (also known as FTPES). We are currently using the .NET FtpWebRequest. Does the FtpWebRequest support both types of FTPES, and what is the difference?



as far as I know the current (.NET 2.0 and 3.5) version of FtpWebRequest supports Explicit SSL only.

Actually, .NET 2.0 does not currently support implicit SSL, only explicit. We will consider adding this for a future release.

JonCole - MSFTModerator at MSDN forum post

If you need to use both Implict and Explicit TLS/SSL you have to try one of third-party FTP/SSL components. Following code uses our Rebex FTP/SSL and is taken from the tutorial page.

Explicit TLS/SSL

Client connects to FTP server in a usual non-protected way, usually to port 21 was assigned to FTP protocol. When it is desired to protect the connection using SSL, an SSL negotiation is initialized, control connection is secured and all following communication is being protected.

// Create an instance of the Ftp class. 
Ftp ftp = new Ftp();

// Connect securely using explicit SSL. 
// Use the third argument to specify additional SSL parameters. 
ftp.Connect(hostname, 21, null, FtpSecurity.Explicit);

// Connection is protected now, we can log in safely. 
ftp.Login(username, password);

Explicit protection means that it is possible to secure the connection at any moment. If you don't know whether you will need the protection on not at the connection time, you might want to connect using the ordinary unencrypted FTP protocol and secure the connection later.

Ftp ftp = new Ftp();

// Connect to the server with no protection. 
ftp.Connect(hostname, 21);

// Upgrade connection to SSL. 
// This method also accepts an argument to specify SSL parameters. 

// Connection is protected now, we can log in safely. 
ftp.Login(username, password);

Implicit SSL protection of the FTP session

FTPS protocol was originally assigned a separate port by the IANA. Upon connection to this port, an SSL negotiation starts immediately and the control connection is secured. All data connections are also secured implicitly in the same way. This is similar to the approach used by HTTPS.

This approach is not favored by the IETF and is deprecated. It is supported by Rebex FTP/SSL for interoperability with older servers, but it is strongly recommended to use the explicit protection instead whenever possible.

Ftp ftp = new Ftp();

// Connect securely using implicit SSL. 
// Use the third argument to specify additional SSL parameters. 
ftp.Connect(hostname, 990, null, FtpSecurity.Implicit);

// Connection is protected now, we can log in safely. 
ftp.Login(username, password);

You may download the component at

I have used Alex FTPS Client earlier. May be you should look to

.NET Framework/FtpWebRequest supports only explicit TLS/SSL encryption. It does not support implicit TLS/SSL encryption.

I believe it's unlikely it ever will. The FTP implementation of .NET frameworks uses only standardized features of the protocol. The implicit TLS/SSL encryption was never standardized. It was introduced only as a temporary mechanism to allow using seamless encryption with FTP clients that did not support encryption. In general, there's no reason to use implicit TLS/SSL encryption. An FTP server that supports implicit TLS/SSL encryption only, is broken, imo. Note that RFC 2228 [FTP Security Extensions] was introduced over 20 years ago!

Anyway, if you need to use the implicit TLS/SSL encryption, you have to use a 3rd party FTP library.

With WinSCP .NET assembly, it's easy:

// Set up session options
SessionOptions sessionOptions = new SessionOptions
    Protocol = Protocol.Ftp,
    UserName = "username",
    Password = "password",
    FtpSecure = FtpSecure.Implicit,

using (Session session = new Session())
    // Connect

    // Your code

You can have WinSCP GUI generate a C# FTP code template, like the one above, for you.

(I'm the author of WinSCP)

You can also try Ftp.dll FTP/FTPS client.

It supports implicit and explicit SSL connections. Here's the implicit sample:

using(Ftp ftp = new Ftp())

    ftp.Login("user", "password");

    ftp.UploadFile("report.txt", @"c:\report.txt");


Please note that this is commercial product and I'm the author of this component.

edtFTPnet/PRO is an FTP client library that also supports FTPS implicit and explicit modes. It's simply a matter of specifying the right protocol:

 SecureFTPConnection conn = new SecureFTPConnection();
 conn.Protocol = FileTransferProtocol.FTPSImplicit;

 // set remote host, user, pwd etc ...

 // now connect

The same component supports SFTP also.

And yes, I am one of the developers of this component (and of edtFTPnet, the free, open source .NET FTP client).

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