Having the right FTP client makes anyone’s life easier who needs to transfer files… especially if you’re a developer working on a client site.
While the extra features can be nice in and of themselves, the key components of the game are security, stability, and speed. Here are five great FTP clients that go well beyond baseline for these three S’s.
No FTP list would be complete without FileZilla, a highly preferred multi-platform FTP client. One of the reasons for the immense popularity of this tool is the fact that it’s compatible with all major operating systems- making your life easy so you don’t have to run virtual platforms.
FileZilla is also a great portable system for those who want to maintain settings between work stations, since the program can be installed in mobile format on your standard thumb drive. While not especially heavy on features, FileZilla is one of the faster possible options, and comes with the cheapest price on the market: Free.
Thanks to numerous code debugging tools and powerful development/design extensions for Firefox, Mozilla’s browser is especially popular among web developers. If you’re used to doing your code work in-browser, then FireFTP is a great option.
This lightweight FTP extension for Firefox may not have a lot of extra utilities, but if your typical operations include little more than downloads and uploads, this extension is a great tool.
Like FileZilla, WinSCP is another open-source FTP client. This option comes jam-packed with features like a remote text editor, a browser-synchronization utility, and transparent remote server saving. However, the greatest strength of this program is that it is, almost without a doubt, the most secure free FTP option available on the market. The drawbacks are that it is somewhat more difficult to maneuver than alternatives, and is available only for Windows.
“Cute” isn’t exactly the first word that comes to mind for this incredibly fast and secure Mac FTP client, CuteFTP. The impressive UI, broad range of automation features, the ability to bookmark your frequently visited content, direct compatibility with the ODB Editor Suite, concurrent file transfer options, and synchronization utilities are far more likely to earn this client adjectives like “useful” and “brilliant.” If one negative keyword is to be associated with this platform, however, choosing it is easy: Pricey.
Those looking for another solid, free option for their Mac computer may want to take a look at Cyberduck. In addition to covering all the major needs of FTP users, Cyberduck has especially broad compatibility with protocols, and branches out to WebDAV and Amazon S3. Add that to the features like Growl, remote editing, Quick Look, and a laundry list of other items, and you have one of the best alternatives for Mac users.
All of these items but CuteFTP are also part of the open source community, meaning that any solutions not pre-configured in the install version are probably available somewhere on the web — with, of course, appropriate setup.
If anything, I’m sure you have someone you can pull in to help you find your way around.
While there are plenty of other FTP clients available beyond those listed here (whether for free or for a reasonable price), at least one of the great FTP clients listed above should fill any user’s needs perfectly.
Subscribe to SEJ
Get our daily newsletter from SEJ's Founder Loren Baker about the latest news in the industry!