FTP has fallen by the wayside as a file sharing method. However, it is still useful for PC-to-PC, PC-to-mobile transfers, and uploading files to a web host or cloud service. As a stand-alone technology, FTP is insecure and out of date.
Over time, the protocol with FTPS and SFTP has matured in order to secure and increase the reliability of data transmission. Although Finder has built-in support for FTPS and SFTP shares, we're going to show you some of the best free and paid FTP clients for Mac.
Cyberduck is an FTP client for Mac. You can use it to connect, search and manage the content stored via SFTP, WebDAV, Dropbox, OneDrive, Amazon S3, Backblaze B2 and more. The user interface works like a file browser and mimics general navigation and sorting functions.
First click on Open connection Icon in the toolbar. Or choose File> Open Connection from the menu bar. Select your connection type from the drop-down box and enter your network credentials. Then press the button Connect Button. Your directory and list of files will be displayed.
When you are in the connection type you want, click Upload Icon in the toolbar and navigate to the file or folder you want to upload. When you start the transfer, a dialog box will appear showing the progress.
Unique features of Cyberduck
The app can be integrated into Cryptomator to encrypt the files / folders before they are uploaded to a cloud service.
The main window works like the macOS Finder. It offers tabs, drag and drop, filters and sorting. You will find it easy to customize with the app.
The built-in command line interface can be run in your shell on any platform. For this integration, see our guides on getting started with Homebrew for Mac or Chocolatey for Windows.
You can drag and drop files between any two servers. Just open two browser windows side by side and copy your files.
Download: Cyberduck (free)
Filezilla is an intuitive, cross-platform app that supports FTP protocols and cloud storage services like Dropbox, OneDrive, Amazon S3, Backblaze B2, Google Cloud Storage and more in the professional version.
The app has a familiar dual pane interface. The left column shows the local files / folders and the right column shows the list on the remote server. Both columns have a directory tree at the top with a detailed listing of a folder at the bottom.
Enter the host Server address, username, password and port number. Then click Fast connection. Navigate to the file / folder you want to upload in the local area and the destination directory in the remote column. Then drag and drop the data into one of the columns. Transfers are logged and a detailed message is displayed at the bottom of the screen.
Unique features of FileZilla
Compare the local and remote server directories by file size or modification date and synchronize all changes to keep the list up to date.
Filter out files and folders for visibility and transfer. For example, you can exclude .DS_store, thumbs.db, and configuration files. All filter conditions are available.
Limit the number of simultaneous server connections. You can even configure the transfer speed limits for each connection.
Move files between two remote servers in a single session. It is also possible to save the session.
Set a master password to save the authorization token from various cloud storage services. They are never stored in a local folder.
. Download: FileZilla (free), FileZilla Pro ($ 20)
When you need to manage multiple files / folders and cloud storage services, switching between different windows can hamper your workflow. While you can find apps that can help you manage multiple windows, the Finder is still an inefficient file manager. ForkLift is based on the principles of Finder, but offers superior features.
The two-pane user interface has left and right panels and a sidebar with items like drives, folders, and remote connections. Click on one of these items to open the volume in the active area (highlighted in blue). First, drag and drop the elements from one of the columns or press the key command Button to move your files / folders.
What does ForkLift offer?
Connects to multiple server connections at the same time and uses concurrent transfer to upload / download files at high speed.
- Synchronize browsing links the navigation of one window to another. Press the Synchronize Click the button to compare and additionally filter the changes according to size and modification date.
Built-in Git Support for adding, committing, moving, and getting changes from the Commands Menu. The Multi-Rename tool lets you replace characters, add or change dates, change the case, and much more.
Open a saved remote connection as a droplet and upload your files directly from the Finder. Activate ForkLift Mini and choose Open as a droplet.
Built-in app uninstaller to properly uninstall support files and their settings.
Download: ForkLift (14-day trial, $ 30)
CrossFTP is an easy-to-use, cross-platform FTP client based on Java. It supports FTP protocols and cloud storage services, especially Amazon S3, Microsoft Azure, Amazon Glacier, Openstack Swift, and more.
The app has a classic user interface based on the same principles as FileZilla. The two-column surface is customizable. You can resize each window and even hide them. For example, click View> Queue to show or hide the area of the transmission queue. There is no directory tree. Double-click a folder to see the full list of files.
Enter the host Server address, username, password and port number and click on Connect. Then drag and drop the file / folder into one of the columns. Transfers are logged and a detailed message is displayed at the bottom of the screen.
Main features of CrossFTP
Supports multiple simultaneous transfers to process items at the same time. It is also possible to schedule the broadcast as you wish.
Synchronize files / folders between local, remote or the zip archive file. Choose Tools> Synchronize Directories to get started.
Extensive options for overwriting files when there is a file with the same name on the server that you are transferring. Choose Settings, then click Broadcasts> Website Overwrite Rules optimize the rules.
A number of settings that are not shown in any FTP app. It's best for businesses that want to customize their workflow with options like connection limit, certificate setting, port range, proxy, and more.
Download: CrossFTP (Free, Pro: $ 25)
Transmit is a beautiful FTP client that allows you to manage files on a variety of different servers. In addition to processing classic FTP protocols (SFTP, WebDAV), the app establishes a connection to cloud services such as S3, Backblaze B2, Rackspace, Microsoft Azure and others.
The dual pane surface contains some interesting design elements. Above the browser Path bar is highlighted in black and blue. The focused file browser shows the directory in blue text. Click on the left disc Icon for switching between a file browser and a connection window.
To upload a file / folder, drag and drop it from the local file browser to any remote server. If you put items in a subfolder, they will be uploaded to that folder. You can also drag an item from the Finder into Submit.
Unique features of Transmit
Save any server as a droplet in the Finder. Then drag and drop the file / folder onto the icon to upload it to the server.
DropSend allows you to send a file / folder to the correct destination. Enter the local and remote directory path and drag and drop your file onto the transfer icon in the dock.
Synchronize files / folders between a local directory and a remote server. Open the appropriate folder in each area and select Transfer> Synchronize to get started.
The built-in Panic Sync Sync your servers and accounts across multiple Macs.
Set up rules to describe the type of files and folders that will be excluded during a transfer. For example, you can use them to avoid transferring source control files.
Download: Submit (7-day trial, $ 45)
Why do you need an FTP server?
For most users, Cyberduck and Filezilla can do all the functions you need from an FTP client. However, their user interface is not designed for macOS. It can feel slow or clunky at times.
Transmit and Forklift feel a lot more like traditional Mac apps, but they cost money. It all comes down to what you're looking for in an app and how often you transfer files via FTP.
What is FTP and why do you need an FTP server?
FTP is the File Transfer Protocol and enables content to be uploaded and downloaded to and from a server. But why do you need your own FTP server?
About the author
(142 articles published)
With his M.Optom Degree in Eye Care Specialty, Rahul worked for many years as a lecturer at the college. Writing and teaching others is always his passion. He's now writing about technology and making it digestible for readers who don't understand it well.
From Rahul Saigal
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