A computer network exists to ease the transfer of data from one computer to another. Before networks became common in homes and offices, moving even a small file would require transferring the file to some temporary medium, often a floppy disk, taking that temporary storage to the other location, and then copying the file onto the new destination computer. It took more time and effort and moving a file to a computer in another building or location required someone to walk or drive the disk there. Now with the ubiquity of networks this task has become an almost transparent action. We routinely move files around our local networks with little more difficultt than moving files within on our computer.
This easy transfer still only holds in when the source and destination are two computers on a local network. Once you need to transfer a file over the Internet, that is to a computer somewhere else, things get more complicated. This is such a common need and over time several dedicated protocols such as FTP and SFTP arose for this task. Unlike the seemingly transparent transfers on the local network, transfers with these protocols require a specialized client such as Cyberduck or FileZilla to move files between the remote location and your local computer.
The ExpanDrive app seeks to bring the convenience of a local drive to remote storage normally accessed through FTP, SFTP, and on Amazon’s S3 service. It makes a FTP, SFTP, or Amazon S3 connection appear like a USB drive plugged into your computer and transfers to these remote systems as simple as moving a file to an external hard drive. Let’s look at how well it works. (more…)
FTP, or File Transfer Protocol, is the standard way of transferring files between your computer and your server, whether it be shared or dedicated. One of the nice things about FTP is the fact that you can view and edit the entire file structure of your website or file server remotely, without ever touching your server. In order to do this, you’ll need an FTP client. FTP clients allow you to connect your Mac to your remote server via the Internet.
While FTP clients are pretty basic applications, they’re not all created equally. Some feature different price-tags, feature lists and other important differences. There’s a number of well known paid FTP apps for the Mac, but what if you just want to upload a couple files and don’t want to spend a ton to do it? That’s why we’ve thrown together a list of the best free FTP clients for Mac OS X. At the end of the article, we’ll also show you a few paid alternatives which are sure to fit the needs of the power user, if you outgrown the free FTP options.
Despite being a relatively old system, File Transfer Protocol (FTP) still has great value to those of us who deal with uploading and downloading lots of data between servers. Some have argued that FTP is dying, along with hierarchical file systems. However, for anyone who has ever worked on a website or dealt with servers like Amazon’s S3, FTP is still the fastest way to manage all your files.
There are plenty of options out there for Mac users who need a solid FTP client. The most important factors for most users when deciding which is best tend to be speed, layout, and price. Today we are going to look a fresh look at the recently updated ForkLift from Binary Nights (version 2.5), and see how it stacks up against the competition.
When it comes to FTP clients, there are too many of them to count. You could go with FileZilla, since it’s free, but it’s really not the greatest solution out there since it lacks quite a few features that advanced users seek. Cyberduck, on the other hand, is another great client – and it’s open source, though you really should donate to help out the developers.
Up until now, I used Cyberduck for all my connections, assuming that it was the best free solution available. Well, if you’re willing to pay $9.99, then there’s something much better out there. It’s called Flow and it’s developed by Five Details. In my experience, this has been the best FTP client that I’ve ever used on the Mac. Read on to find out why.
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.
Despite there being a wide range of FTP applications for the Mac, only one or two really stand head and shoulders above the crowd. One of these is undoubtedly Forklift, which I’m proud to thank as this week’s site sponsor.
Now in a seasoned version 2 release, Forklift offers everything you could need from an FTP client. It’s capable of connecting to more or less any type of server imaginable, can split/combine large files, synchronise browsing, and remotely edit files – all with full keyboard control.
Two particularly handy features are Droplets, Synclets and Disklets – three unique ways to easily and quickly sync folders, upload files, or create virtual local drives of your remote connections. These alone may well be worth the purchase price of $29.95!
If you’re new to the Mac, haven’t yet settled on an FTP client, or just want to take advantage of the awesome features Forklift offers, you owe it to yourself to give it a try. You can download a free trial, or just go ahead and pick up a copy from the Mac App Store.
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…)
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?
Old Competition Post
Most Mac users will find a need for an FTP client from time to time, and there are plenty to choose from. Forklift is undoubtedly one of our favourites and the latest incarnation in version 2 brings a fantastic range of new functionality.
Forklift will connect to any server you can throw at it (FTP, SFTP, WebDAV, S3, iDisk, SMB, AFP and NIS), can synchronise browsing between local and remote folders, split/combine files, mount remote volumes as a local drive, and much more. Usually priced at $29.95, we’re giving three readers the chance to grab their own copy completely free!
All you need to do is leave a comment below, letting us know how you use your current FTP app. Is it to manage your website? Backup files to Amazon S3? Or to connect to other computers on your network?
The competition will run for one week, and I’ll pick three winning comments at random on Wednesday, 20th April. Best of luck, and happy FTPing!
Congratulations to the following three winners, who will shortly be receiving their Forklift license!
- Laurence Wilks
- Geoffrey Schumann
- Robert in SF
Congratulations on your ownership of a Mac! Because of that you have been blessed with a mammoth range of FTP (as well as SFTP, WebDav and Amazon S3) clients that you can use to browse and manage your files on a remote server.
One of the main players in the FTP game is Cyberduck – a free, open-source application that is quite possibly the best solution (for its price) currently available on Mac. It can connect to FTP, SFTP, WebDav, Cloud Files, Google Docs and Amazon S3. Cyberduck is written by David V. Kocher however as mentioned before, it’s an open-source software, so the application is constantly improved by many people around the world.
Read on to find out whether it fits the bill for you.