A FTP Client is the software program you use to transfer files to and from your server or web host. Other more secure alternatives can include FTPS and SFTP.
What to look for in a FTP Client:
Having a GUI: This is a big plus when it comes to FTP clients. Some FTP clients offer a regular command-line interface but a graphical user interface is the norm nowadays – it’s also much easier to use and faster.
Supporting secure file transfer protocols: Plain FTP isn’t really secure – it doesn’t encrypt the data you’re transferring. As such, your data can become compromised en route to the server or web host. If that happens, just about anyone can read your username and password.
SFTP or SHH File Transfer Protocol is a more secure alternative to plain old FTP.
FileZilla is a free open source FTP client. FileZilla is fast and able to handle multi-threaded transfers or simultaneous transmissions. If security is your thing, FileZilla also supports FTPS and SFTP. This free FTP client is also available on all operating systems – Linux, Mac OS and Windows.
Cyberduck can handle tons of simultaneous file transferring: Amazon S3, WebDav, SFTP and more. This FTP client features a minimalist UI, making it very easy to use. It’s available on Mac OS and Windows.
FireFTP is a Mozilla Firefox add-on with a strong SFTP/FTP client right in your browser. FireFTP is available on all platforms which run FireFox, including Linux, Mac OS and Windows.
4. Classic FTP
Classic FTP is free for non-commercial use. It features a very simple and intuitive interface, making it easy to use even for beginners. This file transfer client also features a “Compare Directories” feature which is quite useful – this feature helps you see any differences between your remote files and your local files. Classic FTP is available on Mac OS and Windows.
WinSCP is a very popular FTP client simply due to its long list of features. WinSCP can handle multiple file transfer protocols such as WebDav, FTP, SCP and SFTP. You can also make quick text edits with WinSCP’s built in text editor. Scripting support is available for power users on this Windows-only FTP client.
Transmit is a very popular FTP client used by most developers on Mac OS. Although all of the FTP clients included in this list are free, Transit will set you back around $35 – it might not be the best choice for everyone but it does offer quite a few innovative features along with its user friendliness.