Transferring files between devices might seem simple to the layman; after all, how difficult can downloading a 50 MB video file be? Only CN specialists truly understand how complex something which everyone takes for granted is. In a world of a hundred protocols and models, it sure becomes tiring to take care of all of them when you’re into web development or just want to send files across securely. Mailing is easy; most email services use SMTP. It is the File Transfer Protocols that really tire one out.
Luckily, there are a few software one can install, called FTP Clients. A few of them are pretty well known, FileZilla for example, which forms the first entry in the list about to follow. Check them out and tell me which one you like the most. It need not be from this list of the best ftp clients.
Let’s get started then…
FileZilla is perhaps the most popular FTP client in use, perhaps in large part because it is a free and open source, letting developers and programming enthusiasts alike to tweak and personalize file sharing with people. The service is very user-friendly and programmer friendly, with the website housing the source code and nightly builds ready to be downloaded and experimented with as well as feature requests, bug squashing guides and more. Also, if you’re a beginner and need help figuring FTP and other related topics out, FileZilla’s Wiki and FAQ sections can be very helpful.
My personal preference lies with SmartFTP when it comes to Google Drive, though the client also supports Amazon s3, SFTP, and WebDAV in its protocol. The software boasts support in 20 languages easily making it among the most user-friendly software from the category. But the real ease of SmartFTP lies in the device management features it provides. The local browser is just the best, capable of highlighting files that are missing between two windows in a very visual format for comparison (aptly named Visual Compare). You can filter out files on a particular extension, kind of like a reverse sorting mechanism. You can also open multiple tabs for the same application. Apart from that, you have PRoxy and Firewall support and URL watcher, and a few other choice features that really make this software well rounded.
3. Free FTP
Free FTP is standard fare as far as FTP clients go. It supports multiple protocols like SFTP and FTPS along with the usual FTP, and some also use it for HTTP though I find it somewhat inferior in HTTP editing when compared with other FTP Clients on this list. The major benefits Free FTP has is in the easy user-friendly interface which makes everything easier to do; it is the perfect FileZilla alternative if you’re looking for one. You can see important device information at the bottom bar, manage files with a few clicks and drags, backs up your website data to restore or peruse later, and has a very easy to access use-history that you can find helpful when sorting through big changes or when you want to revert to a previous step in your expedition. You can find better options like image editing and quicker uploading in the paid version of the app called Direct FTP.
4. Viper FTP
Though some say Mac can be used as an FTP client by itself, I’m neither possessed of such programming expertise nor do I expect others to sit through a long drawn series of unintelligible steps to upload a file. Viper FTP seems a better choice to me when looking for an FTP Client for Mac devices. Supporting SFTP, FTPS, WebDAV and Amazon S3, you can also upload to YouTube using this software. It one-ups Free FTP in the history log department as well, allowing you to bookmark activity to revisit later quicker. It has AES 256 encryption to keep things private and safe, and a very convenient progress indicator styled to perfection. The features are just too numerous to completely list out. I only wish it were available for Windows as well.
Cyberduck has impressive encryption services to bolster your privacy and hides file names as well as content. It works with third-party providers (S3 or OpenStack Swift API required). Regarding compatibility, Cyberduck can help you manage protocols like FTP as well as SFTP, WebDAV, Backblaze B2 and Microsoft Azure, along with the industry standards that are OneDrive, DropBox and Google Drive, and of course S3 and OpenStack Swift like we mentioned previously. What’s more, it works on Windows as well as Mac devices. The interface is sorted, but the small size can make it look a little packed. To use the Windows File Explorer or Finder.app with the interface, however, you’ll find Mountainduck.io to be a necessity. It comes from the same developer, but it is a paid software.
Like with SmartFTP, FlashFXP supports 20 languages, including Chinese (simplified and traditional), Russian and German. As far as features go, though somewhat sparse, FlashFXP has some pretty neat tricks up its sleeve. Supporting FTP, FTPS and SFTP protocols, it is sadly available only for Windows. For Windows users, however, a more reliable software might not be easy to find. The FlashFXP experience has a good helping of performance speed and effort efficiency, for example when it compresses files on the go (known in FTP Clients as Mode Z). The polyglotic interface and visual indications make it extremely easy for the user to keep track of things. The software as a whole has an integrity and professional touch to it.
I first came to know of CuteFTP when I was researching Mobile File Sharing apps and heard of TappIn. The application forms a part on the latest CuteFTP version 9, an app which supports FTP, FTPS, SFTP, HTTP and HTTPS SSL. TappIn itself makes the software pretty versatile, allowing you to send files to people who don’t use FTP clients on their devices. The Windows version allows you to access multiple remote sites simultaneously, backup data from sites, make RSS feeds, podcasts and more, edit files, sync websites and do so much more. The Mac version can do much of that too, though some features may not match between the two. The catch? CuteFTP is paid only. You can have a go at the trial though.
Ok, right off the bat let me tell you that this is not as much an app as a Firefox web browser add-on. So the whole concept might not be immediately intelligible to beginners, but it is used pretty often and is quite loved too. It supports the usual FTP and SFTP etc, and allows remote file editing, file syncing (which sort of follows from the previous feature) and is also comfortable displaying differences in folders visually. Given that it is a Firefox extension, there is not much to worry about regarding OS compatibility; if your PC can get Firefox, you can get FireFTP too.
9. Cross FTP (Pro Versions)
I specifically recommend Cross FTP Pro, as opposed to the Enterprise or free versions. The Enterprise version has an email notification and SLS transfer, but I don’t think it’s anything to pay extra fifteen bucks for. The free version lacks a lot of the features I think are essential, like WebDAVs, Synchronisation, and Remote File Searching. Cross FTP Pro supports all the popular protocols, be it FTP, SFTP, FTPS, Google Cloud or Amazon Glacier, S3 and many more. Every version comes with password encryption, which is a good thing. Cross FTP Pro is a decent option to avail for the 25 bucks it costs
10. Transmit 5
Mac OS gets another exclusive FTP Client software for its kitty. And this one really packs quite a punch. It costs $45, but it’s an investment that’s worth every penny you pay. The software supports and lets you use Backblaze B2, Box and DreamObjects among the newer cloud services along with established ones like Dropbox, Google Drive, Microsoft Azure, Rackspace and Amazon Drive. The protocols supported include FTP (of course), SFTP, WebDAV and S3. The software also now comes with Panic Sync that helps synchronise your sites quickly. Transmit 5’s activity view is pretty helpful, and it is pretty fast, though certainly not the fastest in our experience. Regardless, it is good to have another Mac only application.
Webdrive comes with a free 10-day trial, and the features are numerous and focussed enough to get you hooked and buy it despite the somewhat high price. The software ensures that your cloud-based drives essentially become like hard disk drives to your PC, going by the speed and ease of access it affords you. SFTP, WebDAV and SharePoint are supported. The interface is simple, virtually the same as native Windows or Mac. Also, both 32 bit and 64-bit architectures are supported.
12. FOFF (Free Open FTP Face)
Another amazing open source software is FOFF, which can be installed on any operating system which runs Python bindings natively (so Linux) or by installing the programming language itself (so Windows 8+). There’s also an audio player you can use (you’ll need to install pymedia). Text Viewer, Image Viewer, Bookmark Manager are some other features neatly packed in a convenient, professional interface. It is pretty impressive for what one expects free software to be like. FileZilla is superior though, because it has more features and more presentable. But I guess the last is subjective. How do you think the two FTP Clients compare?
This one is another Windows friendly FTP Client, though you need Internet Explorer 5 or higher (and we all know how much of a pain that is). It supports protocols like FTP, FTPS, SFTP, HTTPS, HTTP and WebDAV. It claims to take less space on your device by utilising multiple connections for browsing directories along with file transfer, though the actual space and resources demanded of a PC may vary based on a variety of factors. Nevertheless, it is fast, efficient and definitely doesn’t bloat your PC. The software’s interface is short in design and pretty helpful. Plus, features like Request History and Multi-Part Transfers make it a well-rounded option.
There are other options one can find as well, be it WINSCP , AndFTP for Android or FTP Express . You can choose one by weighing the options you have, use two or more at a time or just pick one at random to try if you’re feeling lucky. There’s really no set algorithm to compare the best FTP Clients; which one do you think works best for you?