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SCP (Secure Copy) is a means of securely transferring computer files between a local and a remote host or between two remote hosts, using the Secure Shell (SSH) protocol. Data is encrypted during transfer, to avoid potential packet sniffers extracting usable information from the data packets. The protocol itself does not provide authentication and security; it relies on the underlying protocol, SSH, to provide these features. For most applications, the SCP protocol is superseded by the more comprehensive SFTP protocol, which is also based on SSH.