Version 1 (modified by alamaison, 8 years ago) (diff)

First bit of description

Swish will use any keys you add to Putty's key agent, Pageant, to authenticate you with servers you connect to.

Public key authentication

One of the main benefits of SFTP is that it is secure as your data is carried over an encrypted SSH connection. The most secure, and often most convenient, way to log into the server is using public key authentication. The remarkable thing about this kind of authentication is that your private key (basically a really long password) is never actually sent to the server. This adds that little extra bit of security in case the server has been attacked: the attackers don't have your key so can't pretend to be you when logging in anywhere else.

How is the server still able to know it is really you? In short, using very clever maths. You can  read more about it if you're interested.