Among some of the most commonly used protocols on the Internet is the file transfer protocol, FTP, which is basically exactly what it says-it transfers computer files from host to host. To facilitate the file transfer you need to use an FTP client, and given that these clients are often faster than the native file managers embedded in web hosting management software like cPanel, it makes sense that FTP account integration and accessibility would be one of the many features offered in many web content management systems. While there are plenty of options, not all FTP clients are created equal. Here’s a list of our favorites.
FileZilla is arguably the most widespread FTP client with a reputation of being the unofficial industry standard. It’s not undeserved praise either, since FileZilla is free and open-source, well-documented, and works on all three operating systems, Windows, MacOS, and Linux. While the UI is nothing to write home about in terms of looks or design, the simplicity of it makes it easy to use for beginners. Windows users can use FileZilla to build their own FTP servers, and there’s a portable version available to put on your USB when you’re on the go. There’s also bookmarking, drag and drop, proxy support and pause-resume download capabilities, as well as remote file editing.
Also free and open-source, Cyberduck originally started as a Mac-only client, but rolled out Windows compatibility in the 4.0 update due to user request. It’s a client known for being super user friendly, with a great GUI. FTP, SFTP and FTPS protocols are also all supported, alongside WebDAV, Amazon S3, Google Cloud and Rackspace Cloud, as well as Quick Look and Growl. Cyberduck also boasts advanced SSH features, bookmarking, and remote editing with any text editor of your choice while you’re on the server.
As its name suggests, this FTP client is Windows-compatible only. FTPS and FTP protocols are supported, and there’s an extra security boost SFTP and SCP protocol support through SSH-1 and SSH-. If you’re a Windows user the UI will look extremely familiar, resembling general task windows on the operating system. WinSCP also has a couple outstanding features. Like Cyberduck and Filezilla, WinSCP also has remote editing, and ioens plan text files in the text editor of your choice. When saved, all files save transparently, and the changes are also uploaded to your remote server. A synchronized browsing feature makes it so that when directories are changed in one file panel, the same directory is opened in an opposite panel. If a corresponding directory doesn’t yet exist, you’re given the option to create one. WinSCP also comes in a portable version.
Forget the Mac and PC wars, you say, I just want an FTP client. That’s fine, because FireFTP is actually a web browser-based client that works with any platform as long as Firefox is installed. FireFTP is essentially a Firefox add-on, so it might not have as many features as other FTP clients, but because it works with Firefox there’s basically no installation hassles, and it’s perfectly portable as long as you’ve got Firefox on your thumb drive. Supports all major FTP protocols, FTP, SFTP, FTPS and SCP, and also supports FZP for server-to-server transfers. Remote text editing, proxy service, and pause/resume of downloads is also available.