Weekly Poll: What’s Your FTP App of Choice?

Whatever profession you’re in, there’s a strong chance that as a Mac.AppStorm reader you occasionally need to delve into a FTP client. Whether that’s to transfer a file to someone, update your website, or access a service such as Amazon S3 – there are a multitude of reasons why an FTP app might come in handy.

Personally, I’m a big fan of Transmit 4. It’s a beautiful app with a very thorough feature set – two selling points that make it hard to ignore. In fact, it was one of the apps that originally made me want to switch across to the Mac (along with everything else designed by Panic at the time…)

There are plenty of other contenders, though – Forklift, Interarchy, and YummyFTP to name a few!

These all have their own unique selling points and features – you’d be amazed at how much scope there is for individuality in such a theoretically mundane niche of software. From disks that mount on your desktop to Automator support and “Droplets” – software can actually make FTP fun!

I’d be interested to hear which application you use – feel free to share your thoughts in the comments. Which FTP app do you use, how often do you need to open it, and why?


  • Andrew S.

    Currently I am using Transmit. I have only used cyberduck, filezilla, and fugu. Transmit is definitely much more polished and has (imo) a better interface, which is to expected since the other ones I have used were free. I also love that I can mount the FTP as a drive. Cannot comment on any of the other choices since I have not used them.

  • Franko

    another Transmit user here, but i’ve also use and like Cyberduck.

  • http://thefreelancepinoy.com/ Stephanie

    I feel like I’ve seen and read a post similar to this before… didn’t you guys already touch on the topic of FTP clients? :/

    But anyway, I use Filezilla because of my Windows 7 history and because its free. It’s done what I need it to do, so I don’t have any intention of upgrading to a paid app like Transmit 4 yet.

  • http://www.perezfox.com Prescott Perez-Fox

    I use Transmit, but I sometimes find little things annoying. For example, if you double-click something in a sub-folder, it won’t sync to the remote sub-folder of the same name, but will put in the parent folder. (which happened to me today). Also, I wish there was a Dashboard widget for drag-and-drop uploading. I created a shortcut/droplet, but I’d rather have it in Dashboard than on my desktop. I’m being picky, yes I know.

    • Richard Testani

      There is a full syncing option built into Transmit even with exclude options.

      I believe there is a Transmit Dashboard widget as well.

  • http://blog.otherskies.net Kim

    Flow. Used to use Cyberduck, but I think I got Flow in a bundle of some sort?

    When actually working on websites, I tend to just upload straight from Espresso.

    • http://jden.me Jden Redden

      Ditto, on the Espresso.

    • Matt

      Ditto, on the Flow. I also got it at some point in a bundle. I had been using YummyFTP but found myself opting for Flow more and more until I just went with it exclusively. Nice app.

  • http://www.tyssendesign.com.au John Faulds

    I use Transmit but do find it a bit unreliable sometimes. If I’m uploading folders with lots of files, Transmit quite often won’t upload everything properly, and often I’ll have to repeat the process or sometimes I’ll have to use FileZilla to do it instead.

  • http://www.sansan-cottage.com Andrew

    Used to use captain FTP & Flow but the GUI seem a bit slow. Change back to CyberDuck and was amazed that it has improved so much! A happy user now.

  • http://www.davidroessli.com David Roessli

    I have tried most of the available  FTP clients and have stuck with Interarchy (former Anarchy) since day one.

    I am not a big fan of dual pane windows and loves the way you can customise Interarchy’s window to mimic a Finder’s one in size and placement. I usually have several connections open in multiple tabs and drag and drop files directy from Textmate’s project draw. 

    Its bookmark management fits my needs nicely and its early S3 and ssh/sftp support were a game winner for me eventhough I don’t use most of its advanced features.

    I use Interarchy on a daily basis.

  • http://www.vm-expert.com Thomas

    For everyday work i normally use Forklift and sometimes Transmit. When it comes to SFTP and more heavy server work, there is nothing better than WinSCP. Unfortunately there is nothing like this on Mac.

  • Sean

    ncftp ftw!

  • http://petshopboxstudio.com Kuswanto

    At home for my freelancing use Forklift. It has nice features, and I think it’s good investment.

    At office I use Cyberduck, it only used for uploading couple of files and I rarely use FTP at office.

  • http://dev0.de murphy

    I use mostly Cyberduck, but the Bookmark Interface sucks. It runs fine.

    Otherwise i got YummiFTP and try sometimes to use it, but i’m not completely good with it.

  • http://nataliav.me Natalia Ventre

    I’m a web designer, so I use FTP clients very often. I used Cyberduck for a couple of months, then I started getting errors and switched to Trasmit. It has many features, I like “places” to have quick access to a specific folder inside the server.

    When I’m modifying existing websites, I use the save and upload function of Espresso.

  • http://www.pobox.com/~meta/ mathew

    Another Interarchy user here. I don’t like dual-pane interfaces, I already have the Finder for manipulating local files and directories. And I want my FTP client to be absolutely 100% reliable, which in my experience Interarchy is.

    It’s a bit pricier than the other options, and some of its newer features (like quick look) are still buggy, but the core file transfer stuff just works, solidly, day in and day out, GB of data.

  • Matt

    I don’t think a generic poll such as this is really useful. Its very dependent on what you use ftp/sftp for. I use some form of sftp nearly everyday but for my uses I can’t imagine paying for an ftp client. If I’m on Windows I use Filezilla but on my Mac or Linux boxes most of the time I just use scp from the command line or perhaps rsync. When I do need a gui on the Mac I use Filezilla.

    It may be more interesting to break this down by profession or perhaps get a better understanding of what features tip the scales for paying for one of the products. Some of this is hinted at in the comments by users but its certainly not representative. Perhaps take the information from the comments and create a poll of what feature[s] justify the cost of an ftp client?

  • jeezus

    I just can’t understand paying extra for an FTP client when FTP is a pretty standard OS function designed by very competent people… I see this like buying spinners for your ride.

    If you need GUI and a cocoa app to make you happy, use Cyberduck – it’s free and works just fine.

  • Josh

    I personally use and love Forklift 2. I use it mainly for uploading websites/scripts & live syncing.

    I also use several synclets one for mirroring my dropbox onto my webserver and I use Droplets for backing up photos to my Amazon S3 bucket.

  • http://iaian7.com Iaian7

    Really surprised at the overwhelming votes for Transmit! I’ve used YummyFTP for years, and finally took a look at Transmit and Forklift recently. Transmit was the slowest of all three, by a decent margin. Yes, YummyFTP is in dire need of a UI overhaul, but I hear from the developer that’s already underway. Forklift has a few UI inconsistencies, but overall is a joy to use (and in some ways, better designed than Transmit). I can easily recommend either one (Forklift or YummyFTP), certainly over Transmit’s significantly slower speed. Though I’m certainly tempted by Transmit’s disk mode, I’m not sure worth it at the cost of overall speed (especially since the latest update to ExpanDrive which upgraded to 64bit and drops the outdated MacFuse core).

  • http://www.wa-arch.com Philip Wheelock

    I use Interarchy and YummyFTP (mostly Interarchy); both provide reliable one-click upload mirror functions from the Apple menu bar. Transmit has a lovely GUI, but is so slow that I rarely use it. ForkLift is attractive, but isn’t precise enough in determining time differences of files to mirror: if you mirror a local directory to the remote server, then make changes to local files a short time later, ForkLift doesn’t pick up the changes and the files don’t get mirrored. Also, the Cover Flow view is too slow with a large folder to be useful.

  • bugz

    (lame)

  • Vlad

    For website updates, I use SVN + deployment scripts. It lets me keep everything versioned and available for rollback, and I use Springloops, so I get issue tracking to remind myself of things to do. Very handy. I can also deploy to different servers easily, and have different servers for development and production, ready to use in no time at all.

    For file transfers, I use scp nowadays. It’s just convenient and uses already built-in technologies. I don’t need fancy graphics, but I do have Transmit installed and ready to use, just in case.

  • Andrew

    I use Trasmit… I think it’s the best FTP software for OSX.

  • Chris

    I use MacFusion because I like the Finder interface and because it just feels very natural too interact with files this way. I recently got a license for TotalFinder and it works just so well with the mounted servers in Finder. You can just switch from one tab with your local files to another tab containing the files on your server. Sweet!

  • http://www.mobilizestudios.com Eric Skram

    For my web development purposes, I constantly find myself returning to Dreamweaver for my FTP needs, as well as my code editing.

    I’ve tried many of the others on this list, but they just aren’t as seamless as the FTP process is within Dreamweaver.

  • Kevin

    I used to use CyberDuck but I also got Flow in a bundle like some others above me. Absolutely fell in love with it.

  • http://jlist.com Peter Payne

    Using Transmit which I like, though there are some weirdnesses the dev won’t fix — why should every upload to a directory need to re-download the contents of that directory? It wastes bandwidth, and since I have 30K+ files in directories on my server, it’s not efficient.

    Cyberduck looked nice, but wtf, remove Applescript?

    Interarchy is ancient, I used i t for a while, still isokay.

    Fetch is even more ancient. Gads.

theatre-aglow
theatre-aglow
theatre-aglow
theatre-aglow