10 Mac FTP Apps for Every Budget

Transferring files to and from other computers, particularly web servers, is usually achieved through a system called FTP (File Transfer Protocol). At the most basic, an application needs to connect to a remote server and allow you to perform file operations – copying, moving, editing and deleting – with both remote and local files. There are a huge range of different FTP applications for the Mac, many which aren’t that well known.

This roundup will showcase both the well-polished commercial FTP apps, as well as a number of open source alternatives which have very similar levels of functionality.

Transmit

Transmit

Transmit

Transmit is probably the best known FTP client for the Mac, with good reason – it packs a great deal of functionality and is notoriously well designed. Recent updates add Amazon S3 support and easy remote file previewing. Not the cheapest offering, but definitely good value for money.

Price: $29.95
Requires: Requires Mac OS X 10.3.9+
Developer: Panic

Interarchy

Interarchy

Interarchy

A fairly advanced client, reflected by the big price tag. It supports a range of SSH functionality, mirroring, Dashboard and Automator integration, and downloading of entire websites. Great for power users, over-kill for the regular web user.

Price: $59
Requires: Mac OS X 10.4.11 or later. Mac OS X 10.5 is recommended.
Developer: Nolobe

Cyberduck

Cyberduck

Cyberduck

Probably the most full-featured open source client available, Cyberduck packs a decent punch. It supports transferring to anything – including Mosso and Amazon S3 servers. It also offers Quick Look functionality, synchronization and Growl integration.

Price: Free (Open Source)
Requires: Mac OS X 10.4 or later
Developer: David V. Kocher

Fetch

Fetch

Fetch

Support for FTP, SFTP, and FTP with TLS/SSL. It offers a fairly basic feature set, with a few new Leopard-centric features in the latest release. Not a bad deal at $25, but it’s probably worth shelling out an extra $5 for Transmit if you’re looking for a commercial app.

Price: $25
Requires: Mac OS X 10.3.9 or later
Developer: Fetch Softworks

Yummy FTP

Yummy FTP

Yummy FTP

Yummy FTP has a few notable features including auto-recovery of failed transfers, filtering of upload synchronization, robust scheduling and FTP alias support for integration with the Finder. Fairly unique, and not badly priced.

Price: $25
Requires: OS X 10.3.9 or later
Developer: Yummy Software

FileZilla

FileZilla

FileZilla

A fairly basic open source app, FileZilla lacks some of the impressive OS X integration of other apps but is a solid basic solution. It’s cross-platform, so could be good for staying consistent if you regularly swap to Windows or Linux.

Price: Free (Open Source)
Requires: OS X 10.5 or later
Developer: FileZilla

Captain FTP

Captain FTP

Captain FTP

Despite the awful name, this is a fairly well featured app. It’s fast for downloading large files, also supports Aliases, and provides a backup solution when used to schedule and synchronize uploads. It might be a touch expensive for what’s on offer.

Price: $29
Requires: OS X version 10.4 & higher
Developer: Captain FTP

Speed Download

Speed Download

Speed Download

Traditionally a download manager (as the name implies), it has recently added FTP support. It’s great if you need a simple FTP client but would also like a tool to manage and organize the download of files. A good combination!

Price: $25
Requires: Mac OS X 10.4.11 or later
Developer: Yazsoft

Net Finder

Net Finder

Netfinder

A solid feature set covering all the important requirements, but with a slightly more dated interface than Transmit. Undo support is interesting, as is the integration of meta data to files and bookmarks.

Price: $24.95
Requires: OS X version 10.4 & higher
Developer: Ortabe

Forklift

Forklift

Forklift

A decent interface makes Forklift an attractive app to use, and it covers a similar feature set to previous tools. At $44.95, it’s arguably overpriced unless you’re able to get a student license. You may prefer the interface to other applications.

Price: $44.95 ($24.95 Student)
Requires: Mac OS X 10.5 or later
Developer: Binary Nights

Conclusion

I hope that I’ve managed to showcase a few applications you may not have been aware of previously, along with drawing your attention to tools such as CyberDuck which replicate commercial functionality for free. If you regularly transfer files to and from the web, using an FTP app which meets you needs is important – it’s worth experimenting with the free trials on offer to find one which works for you.

As ever, do let me know if I’ve missed an app which you use!


  • http://www.treiber.cc Nik Treiber

    Is it a unwritten rule for FTP-Clients to have uncommonly useless homepages?

  • Istvan

    Forklift is not an FTP app but a Finder replacement like PathFinder.

  • http://www.mellowbusiness.com David Turnbull

    I use Transmit myself although Cyberduck is an awesome free offering and Yummy FTP works very well but the interface was a bit cluttered for my taste. Nice that the Mac has a such a wide range of FTP apps though – practically something for everyone.

  • http://lecklider.com Thomas Evan Lecklider

    I’ve been using Expandrive lately and that seems pretty feature-packed as well neat because it integrates into your filesystem using MacFUSE.

    • http://eric.ferraiuolo.name Eric Ferraiuolo

      Agreed. I also use ExpandDrive exclusively. I’ve recently helped the ExpandDrive guys beta test their [upcoming] Amazon S3 integration. It’s very nice to have mounted drives on my filesystem that interact seamlessly with the remote host.

  • http://pixelgraphics.us Douglas Neiner

    Transmit has served me well. I purchased it after using Cyberduck for a while. I greatly prefer Transmit to Cyberduck, but for being free Cyberduck was really nice.

  • http://otherskies.net Kim

    So, a question – as somebody who uses an FTP maybe once or twice a week, but certainly not daily, is there anything really great offered by the paid ones that I can’t get with Cyberduck? Because I’ve been using Cyberduck for a while, and have no quarrel with it, but would be more than willing to upgrade if my mind was blown.

    • Leland Clemmons

      Transmit is the poster child of FTP apps. If you want something akin to mind-blowing, get Transmit. It’s easy to use, etc., etc.

  • http://www.totushi.com totushi

    i use CODA all the time, it has a great interface and very easy to use.

    • http://mediumjones.com/blog Cody

      Yeah CODA/Transmit is a great team. I primarily use CODA for my FTP, but if say I want to just quick drop something on the server Transmit has a sweet Dasboard widget you can set to drag and drop files!

  • Leland Clemmons

    I’m put in my vote for Flow. Very purty, and feature laden.
    http://extendmac.com/flow/

    • http://imjustcreative.com Graham Smith

      I have been tempted to try Flow myself, and was expecting it to be on this list as I have heard some positive reviews about it.

      Def going to check it out.

      Graham

    • Jeff

      I’m a Coda/Transmit user, but also curious why Flow didn’t make the cut…

    • http://kobak.org kobak

      Flow is great, but does not support ftp-tls, which I need.

  • http://autumn.welles.name/ Autumn

    You can get Fetch for free for educational use if you’re a student of any kind. I was using it while I was in high school before I bought Coda. The link is below.

    http://fetchsoftworks.com/Licensing/edustore.application.html

  • http://didats.net didats

    i don’t need all of those apps. because i have coda! :D

    • http://imjustcreative.com Graham Smith

      Yes, I was going to add a comment saying that I have tried most of the above, but since purchasing CODA, this fullfills most of my FTP needs.

      Just handy to have around.

      Although the new Espresso has a neat FTP client as well, which I can see myself preferring over CODA

  • Nathan

    Now sure why people use Cyberduck. It’s ugly, slow and cumbersome. I just use Coda’s built in FTP. Works brilliantly.

  • http://www.isoladipasqua.it Gianluca

    Transmit almost everytime. The other times Coda or Dreamweaver

  • http://www.myspace.com/warp2600 Epsilon

    I used to use ClassicFTP, an overly simple app, then I switched to the FTP plugin in Firefox. That does everything for me. Both are free of course.

  • http://www.sanneterpstra.com Sanne Terpstra

    What? Did you forgot Flow?!

    I use Flow all the time. Great FTP app, but not well-known yet.

    http://extendmac.com/flow/

  • http://www.movetoiceland.com/ Icelander

    I rarely use FTP anymore, unless I’m connecting to a server that doesn’t support rsync or ssh, so I just use the ftp Unix command. FTP just feels old fashioned and not very secure to me. Plus I can put the ftp command into Bash scripts.

  • http://www.servethesong.net Serve The Song

    NOTE: Transmit is packed into Panic Coda… which is an awesome coding / FTP combo.

  • http://www.digitalskraps.com David Sparks

    I use fireFTP. its a FireFox addon and free. i like it bc its one less app to have open when im working and easier to flip between tabs and upload for me in this way.

  • Lonnie

    Flow? I too am surprised it didn’t make the cut. http://extendmac.com/flow/

  • http://dezinerfolio.com Navdeep

    I use both FileZilla & Cyberduck. Nice apps!

  • jhkjh

    FLOW!!!!!!! ok… probably not the most stable ftp app but probably the best looking…

  • http://www.afulki.com Gary Thom

    Transmit all the way, I love the Sync functionality with the ability to restrict the age of the files it tests. Makes maintaining large photo sites a breeze. If there is one thing I could fault, its the way it handles drag and drop file transfers, say you drag 2 folders (with files, subfolders etc.) and drop them on the destination. If one folder finishes much sooner than the other, I’d like to see Transmit use the other thread to help finish the remaining transfer.

  • http://www.shoregeek.com Eric Montgomery

    I have been a Transmit user for a long long time — Love it! And although I will always recommend Cyberduck to my clients … Transmit is worth every penny of registration (the crew at Panic Rock!). :)

    Transmit integrates throughout my systems (across a plethora of Macs and servers) with serious ease and great icons. :)

    FileZilla is also a great app, but I mostly recommend it to Windows users.

  • exAppl088

    I recently found a reference to an FTP app on a web hosting site; they recommended
    Fugu, an open source FTP app with a nice Mac centric UI and it works well for the few
    FTP’s i have done with it. Check it out at http://rsug.itd.umich.edu/software/fugu

    Fugu: An Open-Source Mac OS X Frontend for OpenSSH’s sftp client

    Fugu: The Edible Part of the Blowfish

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  • http://www.cartogaia.com Adam

    I tried to use Cyberduck, but ended up deleting it because of its icon. I know that’s a really lame reason to not use an app, but its the truth. I couldn’t stand that stupid duck in my dock. Probably some repressed bath time nightmare from my childhood or something.

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  • http://www.leostart.com leostart

    that is great software.

  • Danijel

    i use Flow :) and i like it alot..

    http://extendmac.com/flow/

  • http://www.iamaaronmartin.com Aaron

    I’ve found that the FTP functionality in Speed Downloader is decent as well.

  • Manny

    Thanks for this roundup! I was looking for a new FTP app since moving from Windows. After trying some of these for a couple of weeks, my vote goes to Yummy FTP. By far the most reliable of the bunch in my experience. Great find! :)

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  • gatorhall

    I’d vote for CrossFTP Pro, a reliable FTP client supporting SFTP, FXP, WebDav, and S3. I find that it has the best queue management for transfers, when comparing with other clients on Mac.
    http://www.crossftp.com/

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  • http://www.m65jacket.com m65

    everyone should try using expand drive

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  • http://www.martinvaresio.com.ar/alicia-varesio-esmaltadora.html Martín

    By far the most reliable of the bunch in my experience

  • http://adsense-tricks.us/xrumer-2/ultimate-xrumer-mods-pack/ xas_ai

    Truly very excellent data web page. I have to admit that we’re undoubtedly warm the notion

  • CP

    Dear Appstorm:

    My Mac is a PowerPC, OS X 10.4.11.

    I’m in need of FTP Client software.

    I downloaded Transmit from your site, which states that the system requirement is: Mac OS X 10.3.9+.

    When I opened it, I got the message that Transmit will not work with my version of OS X.

    My Mac meets the system requirements, so why doesn’t the software work?

    Thanks in advance.

    CP

  • http://www.bridalbride.com bridalbride

    i have tried transmit and cyberduck. transmit is slow cyberduck need long time before upload get ready for files. filezilla is best all the time i changed host and i uploaded 70k images without problem. it’s my wedding fashion

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