The instructions in this article were last updated as of October 2019. These instructions no longer work as of MacOS Mojave (10.14) due to changes Apple have made to their Mail application.

If you need to access an Office 365 shared mailbox you will need to either use the Webmail or install and use Outlook for Mac to do so unfortunately.

This article will cover how to set up and use SFTP with your Wilkins IT web hosting account. You’ll need your cPanel credentials in order to follow these instructions, if you’re not sure what they are then please contact us for further help.

  1. You’ll need to log in to your cpanel account. The default access would be through the cpanel subdomain of your primary domain. For example if your domain is example.com, then cpanel.example.com should bring you to the login. Alternatively you can try your primary domain at port 2087, e.g. https://example.com:2087
  2. Once logged in, look under the security section for SSH Access and click on it
  3. Click on the Manage SSH Keys
  4. Under Manage SSH Keys click Generate a New Key
  5. Set the Key Name, a password and configure the Key Type and Key Size if you’d like (the defaults are usually sufficient for these). It’s a good practice to set the key name to something that helps you remember what it was used for in the event you need to deauthorize it later. Click Generate Key when you’re done
  6. You should see Key Generation Complete!, if so click Go Back to continue
  7. You should see two keys listed (unless you’ve done this previously), one under Public Keys and one listed under Private Keys. By default new keys are not authorized for connections. Beside the new key underneath the Public Keys section click on Manage
  8. Click the Authorize button to allow this key to be used, then click Go Back to view your keys again
  9. Next, underneath the Private Keys section, click on View/Download
  10. There are two formats available for this key. If you’ll be using an OpenSSH based client (most commonly used on Linux based devices) to connect using SFTP then you can likely use the key listed as Open Key (the top most key). If you’re using a client based on PuTTY then you’ll need to convert the key first before you can use it. In this article we’ll be using WinSCP which uses the PPK key format, so we’ll convert the key by entering the passphrase for it then clicking Convert. If you’re using an OpenSSH client then you can simply download the key and specify that file whilst connecting to your domain on port 22 with the correct credentials

( click an image to view the larger gallery )

The remaining steps will detail using the free and open-source secure file transfer utility WinSCP specifically. WinSCP can be downloaded from their official website, or you can use your own client if you have one you prefer though these instructions may not apply to you.

  1. After they key is converted, click on the Download Key button, your browser will download a PPK file named after the key
  2. In WinSCP set the File protocol to SFTP, then set the Host name and User name, then click Advanced
  3. In the Advanced window, underneath SSH click Authentication and set the Private key file to the location of the key file you downloaded earlier (click the ellipses button to browse). Once that’s set click the OK button then you can click Login
  4. You should be prompted for the passphrase for that key, enter that and it should connect and you should see the standard directory listing for your hosting account. Transfer the files to/from the account as needed then you can end the session by closing the window

( click an image to view the larger gallery )

If you’re providing third party SFTP access to your hosting account for any reason, it’s always best to create a specific key for that purpose. Then you have the ability to easily revoke/de-authorize the key (and thus access to your website) at a later time to keep access secured and under control.

Those are the basic steps for getting SFTP access configured and running for your web hosting account with us. If we missed anything, or you’re running into issues following these instructions, feel free to contact us or open up a ticket for assistance!

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