Just like email, the file transfer protocol (FTP) has been around for a long time, making it indispensable for those dabbling with web servers. Now that the entire World is swearing by the cloud, the significance of FTP has gone up exponentially. Tons of FTP clients – free, open source and premium ones – are available in the market, making it tough to choose which is right for your needs.
For almost two decades now, Interarchy has been a reliable, innovative file transfer application for Mac OS X. Interarchy is both easy to use and incredibly powerful. Every aspect of your file transfer operations – from listing a remote directory to deploying a full blown website – can be performed elegantly. Let’s go take it for a spin.
Interarchy is a comprehensive file transfer client and can be used to maintain your website, upload photos, perform backups and share files. The app supports almost all protocols known to mankind right from the basics FTP, SFTP, SCP, WebDAV to Amazon S3, Google Storage and Rackspace Cloud Files. You can download a free trial or buy it for $29.99 from their online store.
Interarchy is designed to be simple and intuitive. It looks a whole lot like a web browser with the bookmarks pane open. There is an address bar at the top to add to the effect too! Getting started is real simple – just enter the FTP server credentials and off you go. The default List view isn’t really awe inspiring and is in fact a bit dull looking. But there are three more views for you to pick from.
I tried to get a view where I can have the local and remote files side by side, but couldn’t figure it out. That would have made my life a lot easier. Instead, I settled with the multi-column view, which at least helps me see the folder structure of the web server precisely.
Accessing the Web Server
Interachy was incredibly fast in both connecting and transferring files to the web server. The developers promise that with their turbo charged file transfer engine the app can transfer your files at over 80 MB/second. This might not be a big deal if you are using it from your home or office, but for those working on FTPS (server to server transfer), things should be done in a heartbeat.
The Places section of the side pane allows for one click access to the file system in your Mac. However, there is no way to get that side by side view of remote folders from here too. After connecting to your server if you try to access any other option, you won’t be able to access the server view anymore. To avoid this, try using multiple tabs and switch between them. Else use the History section which lists all the connections you have made so far and take it from there.
For those who have a bunch of connections in the History section, Bookmarks option and the Bookmarks bar should be a welcome addition. After connecting to the server, use the + sign near the address bar to add it to the list. And if everything else fails, start typing in the address bar and the app will list all previous connections for you.
Taking advantage of the advanced scripting support, you can integrate your own custom workflows too. Extend Interarchy and execute commands directly on the server via the plugin architecture. You can find a bunch of ready to use plugins from the menu bar, but you can write your own plug-ins, file templates, and file converters too.
Still not convinced that the app is advanced enough to your tastes? Install and try the command line tool from the Preferences screen and that should clear all your doubts!
After discovering the FireFTP plugin for Mozilla Firefox, I haven’t bothered to use a desktop app for transferring files. Price wasn’t a problem, but the absence of intuitiveness was. I’m not sure how many of us will be using all the ninja features that are more suited for a network admin. Standard FTP operations, the ability to remember the addresses for quick access and easy access to popular cloud storage services are what I look for in a FTP client.
Keeping those factors as benchmark, I would say Interachy looks like a file transfer client that will fit the bill perfectly. That doesn’t mean it’s a stripped down version that is anaemic in features. On the contrary, it is incredibly powerful and comes with a ton of features, but a simple and intuitive user interface makes it far less intimidating to use.
Interarchy provides everything you need to transfer files across the Internet. To be frank, I have not looked past Transmit all this time, but after trying out Interachy, it won’t be as easy to make decision before opening my wallet for a future upgrade.