The 5 Best Free FTP Clients

Transferring your website design files to and from your web hosting or server is best done with what’s commonly known an FTP client, though the term is a bit dated because there are more secure alternatives such as SFTP and FTPS.

When I was putting together this list, this was my criteria:

  • Supports secure file transfer protocols: FTP are not secure. Among its many flaws, plain FTP doesn’t encrypt the data you’re transferring. If your data is compromised en route to its destination, your credentials (username and password) and your data can easily be read. SFTP (which stands for SHH File Transfer Protocol) is a popular secure alternative, but there are many others.
  • Has a GUI: There are some awesome FTP clients with a command-line interface, but for a great number of people, a graphical user interface is more approachable and easier to use.

1. FileZilla

Topping my list is FileZilla, an open source FTP client. It’s fast, being able to handle simultaneous transmissions, and supports SFTP and FTPS (which stands for FTP over SSL). What’s more, it’s available on all operating systems, so if you work on multiple computers.

Available on Windows, Mac OS and Linux

FileZilla

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2. Cyberduck

Cyberduck can take care of a ton of your file-transferring needs: SFTP, WebDav, Amazon S3, and more. It has a minimalist UI, which makes it super easy to use.

Available on Windows and Mac OS

Cyberduck

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3. FireFTP

This Mozilla Firefox add-on gives you a very capable FTP/SFTP client right within your browser. It’s available on all platforms that can run Firefox.

Available on Windows, Mac OS and Linux

0585-03-fireftp

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4. Classic FTP

Classic FTP is a file transfer client that’s free for non-commercial use. It has a very simple interface, which is a good thing, because it makes it easy and intuitive to use. I like its “Compare Directories” feature that’s helpful for seeing differences between your local and remote files.

Available on Windows and Mac OS

0585-04-classic-ftp

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5. WinSCP

This popular FTP client has a very long list of features, and if you’re a Windows user, it’s certainly worth a look. WinSCP can deal with multiple file-transfer protocols (SFTP, SCP, FTP, and WebDav). It has a built-in text editor for making quick text edits more convenient, and has scripting support for power users.

Available on Windows

0585-05-winscp

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Which FTP client do you use?

There’s a great deal of FTP clients out there. If your favorite FTP client isn’t on the list, please mention it in the comments for the benefit of other readers. And if you’ve used any of the FTP clients mentioned here, please do share your thoughts about them too.