If you have a website or a blog hosted at a private hosting, FTP client is the lifeline to the existence of your website. Through FTP (File Transfer Protocol) client you are able to upload and download files to the hosting. FTP is essentially a network protocol where 2 different hosts communicate to each other through a TCP/IP network. There are several FTP clients available in the internet; free and paid. This post compiles the best list of FREE FTP clients that I have tried and it will be updated from time to time. When I say free, I mean it’s a free client that will not nag you in anyway whatsoever.
FileZilla is one of the best FREE FTP clients that can be used without the need to pay a dime (distributed under GNU General Public License). Just to show you how popular this FTP client is, when you type in “FTP” in Google’s search engine, it ranks top amongst other free FTP clients.
FileZilla Client is compatible with other platforms such as Linux and Mac OS. In term of performance, it is very fast and stable. You can make multiple connections with different hostings where you can easily switch tabs to see each individual connection. It’s user interface is intuitive and simple so you won’t take long to familiarize yourself with this FTP client even for a first timer. FileZilla client comes with IP v6 support and is able transfer large files (more than 4GB).
WinSCP is another FREE open source FTP client for Windows. Because its primary function is to allow file transfer between a local directory and a remote hosting, WinSCP ensures your sensitive data is safely secured through its robust security features.
WinSCP also supports SSH password, public key, Kerberos authentication and keyboard-interactive. In term of interface, you are given 2 choices; commander interface where you can see left (local directory) and right (remote directory) panels or Explorer interface where there is only 1 panel (remote directory) with drag and drop capability. The interface can be chosen where you first install it.
CyberDuck was originally built for Mac OSX but the developer of this free FTP client recently expands the reach of this FTP client to Windows users as well. Its friendly interface make easy for you to connect to a FTP session, SFTP (SSH session) as well as connect to cloud services such as, Amazon S3, Windows Azure, Google Cloud Storage and Rackspace Cloud Files.
The size is relatively big (13.5 MB) and the download rate is pretty much slow; it took around 25 minutes to complete. During installation, it will ask you whether or not to install a third party software (Bonjour) which is not selected by default, so you don’t have to worry about that. If have any other existing FTP clients, it can import the login(bookmark) details into CyberDuck. The interface is simple and sleek and you will know right away that this software is originated from Mac OS X.
GoFTP is a FREE full fledged FTP client with all basic and advanced features. The interface is simple, pretty much similar to other FTP clients I list above. This FTP client is for personal use and for a company with employee less than 50 people. In term of performance, GoFTP is working faster than other multi – threaded FTP clients. One thing that bugs me is the error that reads “Error: invalid socket or not connected”.
My preference always goes to Filezilla because I’ve been using it for quite some time. But different people, different strokes right? If you use other than these FTP clients please let me know so that I can include it here.