Skip to content »
ITS and UVa logos for printed output

Secure SHell (SSH)


What is SSH?

Secure SHell (SSH) is a software standard to support encrypted data transfer between two computers. It can be used to support secure logins, file transfers or general purpose connects. Servers maintained by ITS require SSH-based connections in most cases. The policy for handling sensitive data may also require that you use SSH-based software for some data transfers between between University systems and other sites.

SSH Software Used at UVa

The servers maintained by ITS and most departments at the University of Virginia use version 2 of the SSH standard. Various commands are available to take advantage of the SSH to provide encrypted communications. The following table includes the most commonly used client applications used to establish an SSH based connection.

Purpose Windows Mac OS UNIX/Linux
Login to a remote server SecureCRT* Terminal† running slogin† slogin†
Run a single command on a remote server   Terminal† running ssh† ssh†
Copy files to/from a remote server SecureFX* Fugu*
Terminal† running scp† or sftp†
scp† or sftp†
Web Publishing SFTP option in site setup in Dreamweaver‡  

* Program available on Software Central
† Program included in Mac OS X and most UNIX or Linux distributions
‡ Available for purchase from Cavalier Computers


While both SSH and the VPN provide secure data transmission, VPN connections only encrypt between your computer and the destination network. SSH connections encrypt data transfer even between devices on the same network. VPN may be preferable when all activity between your machine and a secure network needs to be protected, or to access restricted services on the destination network.

  Page Updated: Monday 2013-09-09 14:36:25 EDT

Standards & Policy

University of Virginia
Information Technology Services
2015 Ivy Road
P.O. Box 400324
Charlottesville, Virginia, 22904-4324 USA

UVa Help Desk: 434-924-HELP (434-924-4357) •

Page Updated: 2013-09-09; © 2014 by the Rector and Visitors of the University of Virginia.

The information contained on the University of Virginia’s Department of Information Technology Services (ITS) website is provided as a public service with the understanding that ITS makes no representations or warranties, either expressed or implied, concerning the accuracy, completeness, reliability or suitability of the information, including warrantees of title, non-infringement of copyright or patent rights of others. These pages are expected to represent the University of Virginia community and the State of Virginia in a professional manner in accordance with the University of Virginia’s Computing Policies.