Almost all shared hosts allow you to access your hosting account using FTPES.
But are you saying you want to use your shared hosting account as an FTP client and connect it to another server? That isn't hard - it just requires your to use a host that has installed an FTP client package. I'd pick a couple of hosts you like and ask them.
Thanks for your reply. I am not wanting to connect to an FTP account. I am wanting a script to connect to a remote (external FTP) via SSL. I have tried four companies so far and they all say no so far. Guess I need to keep on searching!
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I'm sure you'll find one, whichever way around it is.
I'm still not clear where this script runs. Do you want to run a script on your own computer that connects to the FTP server running on the shared host (over SSL)? Or do you want to run a script on the shared server that connects to a different FTP server (over SSL)?
If it's the former, you just need FTPES, and almost every host supports it. Any host using cPanel would allow that, unless they've chosen to disable it.
If it's the latter, you need the host to run extra software on the server, such as lftp.
You are more likely to find FTPES Support if you look for "Premium" website hosting. As companies rarely advertise that features, the only way to really know is to contact them and ask them about FTP through Explicit TLS/SSL (FTPES).
I wanted to do a few tests to make sure that what I had told you was correct. It nearly was. I'll explain.
I was correct to say that, to connect from your shared hosting account to another FTP server, you'd need to have an FTP client installed on the shared server. I was also correct to say that lftp is a very good FTP client package.
However, the version of lftp in most of the linux repositories was not compiled to work with SSL. So the host would need to have compiled lftp from source, specifically enabling gnutls as they did so. Using SSL for FTP also creates a potential firewall issue, in that the ports that the receiving server might use can need explicitly opening for outbound traffic.
Hopefully that gives you a bit more to go off if you're contacting a few hosts about whether they would support this.
In the coming years you'll find that FTP over SSL will be enforced. Fighting malware is one of our biggest headaches and half of all malware is uploaded by client PCs infected with Gumblar variants. We are slowing disabling standard FTP connections on all our shared servers and forcing clients to connect using SSL. After all it's using just a box that has to be checked in an FTP client, it's not that much of a disruption as long as clients are informed.
On my personal servers I've had standard FTP disabled since Gumblar was released back in 2009.
CloudLinux + PHP 5.4 + FTP over SSL = 95% reduction in malware. PHP 5.4 ran as default forces everyone to upgrade their outdated and insecure scripts. Again, needs to be done slowly with good communication. I just got sick of clients blaming us for malware that their own insecure PCs and sites placed in their files. No-one likes to load their site and get a big red WARNING sign. As well as the harm it does to SE rankings. Time for web hosts to wake up and smell that security-scented coffee.
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It sounds like the OP is working with exactly this kind of setup. They're needing to run an FTP client on a shared hosting account that lets them upload to an FTP server over SSL. That means that whoever runs that FTP server (whether it's something the OP has set up for themselves, or FTP access to an account that someone else has provisioned), they've set it up so that only SSL-based FTP can be used. Which, as you say, is exactly the way it should be.