Anybody who manages files through web hosting knows that this is no easy task. Fortunately, technologies like FTP have played a tremendous role towards facilitating convenience. Compared to the various Web UI scenarios, FTP clients offer an easier alternative with very attractive benefits. These include low resource consumption, secure transfers among others. But with all the different options currently available in the market, making the right choice can be daunting for many. This segment aims to inform readers on all there is to know about FTP as well as the top-ranked FTP clients.
What is FTP?
Simply put, FTP stands for File Transfer Protocol which creates a connection between your computer to your web server and allows the uploading and downloading of files. However, most conversations tend to lean towards FTP clients when discussing anything FTP. FTP clients are small yet crucial pieces of software with GUI commonly used to establish a secure FTP connection and manage the process of file transfer. Think of it like getting remote access directly to your server. Some FTP clients work only on Microsoft Windows while others operate cross-platform. Here are the five most highly ranked FTP clients that operate on Windows, Mac and cross platform.
Cyberduck is an open source FTP Client that provides support for Windows and Mac OS X. This program supports FTP, SFTP, WebDAV, OpenStack Swift, and Amazon S3 and is perfect for users who do not really care for aesthetics. Boasting of a noticeably impressive Graphical User Interface, Cyberduck offers very easy browsing when compared to other clients. One feature that stands out on this program is the optimized option that allows for efficient organizing and bookmarking such as history, importer, and others. It also offers advanced SSH bolstering authentication and tighter security.
Arguably one of the most powerful yet widely free FTP Client, FileZilla is an open source, multi-platform FTP Client available for Windows, Mac, OS X, Linux, GSU and the usual protocols. Since the software is very user-friendly, FileZilla is a preferred choice among people who are just starting out with FTP. FileZilla boasts of quite an impressive array of features ranging from support for various protocols to Intuitive User Interface. The program may seem a bit rudimentary, but its straightforward approach is exactly why professionals prefer FileZilla to other FTP Clients.
Often viewed as a viable alternative to FileZilla, WinSCP is another free FTP client that supports FTP, SFTP and WebDAV protocols. The tool also goes as Windows Secure Copy and has been praised by users for being extremely light and easy on your system resources. WinSCP offers integration with windows with numerous features that make file sharing and editing much easier. All in all, you will find that most features on the WinSCP are more developer oriented or concerned with secure file transfers.
While this particular tool is not a dedicated FTP Client on its own, it works by integrating with your computer’s Mozilla Firefox Browser. This makes FireFTP a very attractive option if you want all the great features of an FTP without leaving your browser window. Being a Mozilla add-on, this software works great on Windows, Linux, Mac OS X and even offers additional support for a broad range of the usual protocols. FireFTP is very user-friendly and easy to operate.
You know we had to include a Mac-Only tool before the list came to an end because, well; it’s Macintosh. Without a doubt, Transmit is one of the best FTP Clients you can have running on your Mac. The tool is quite noticeable for its simpler User Interface and an assortment of features that are simply out of this world. Transmit supports numerous protocols for file transfer using SFTP and FTP as well as support for WebDav and Amazon S3. Transmit is unique in that it utilizes a Twin Turbo Engine to run 25 times faster than other FTP and still manage crashed or paused transfer files as well.
And that concludes our rundown of 5 of the most highly ranked FTP Clients. As you will have noticed, making the final choice of Client ultimately boils down to what features you need most and how you intend to use the FTP. Since most of these FTP Clients are free and open source, you can try as many of them as you like and see which one suits your needs most.
Razvan Nichitoiu is a long time freelancer with a focus on growth hacking and learning everything it needs to truly become an Online Marketing Ninja. You can follow his progress on IncomeDen.net or the Twitter account.