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10 Best Free And Premium FTP Clients Of 2017

Every web designer and developer has a favorite FTP client. Some have been using the same FTP client for years.

However, there are plenty of new FTP clients available today. FileZilla is not the best anymore. Now, there are way better FTP clients that are more suitable for modern server management tasks, like managing your files on cloud-based servers.

If you’ve been looking to upgrade your old FTP client for a better app, you’ve come to the right place. In this article, we’ll tell you about the 10 best FTP clients you can find on the web.

But first, let’s find some answers. What are these FTP clients? Do you really need one to upload files to your server?

What Is An FTP Client?

A File Transfer Protocol client, or FTP client, is a software that once installed on your computer allows you to access and explore the server where your website is hosted directly from your computer.

You can use an FTP client to browse your website files on the server as if you’re browsing files on your own computer. Edit the files to make changes, copy files to different folders, create backups, upload files into your server, and even download files from the server to your computer.

You can do all this and more quite easily with an FTP client.

How (And Why) To Use One

If your website is on a hosting plan that uses CPanel, then you’ll be able to browse, upload, and download your website files using the File Manager integrated into the CPanel.

However, the CPanel File Manager has upload limits. Usually, you can’t upload large files using the File Manager. Some web hosting providers set upload limits for CPanel File Manager and even if it supports unlimited file sizes hosting platforms don’t recommend using it to upload files of large sizes as the transfer may time out and corrupt the file.

Using an FTP client is the safest and the easiest way to manage your website files on the server. And it can prove useful in many cases. Especially, when you have to edit or make changes to your website files, upload a new plugin to your WordPress website, create a manual backup file of your website, and even when transferring your website to a new server.

Let’s take a look at some of the best FTP clients and find out which one’s the best for your needs.

#1 WinSCP

  • Price: Free
  • Platform: Windows
  • Best For: Beginners and advanced users

WinSCP is the most popular FTP client among Windows users. It’s a completely free open-source software that comes with a beginner-friendly user interface and it even supports drag-and-drop file uploading and downloading.

Best Features

In addition to the simple Explorer and Commander interfaces, WinSCP also has an integrated text editor for editing your website files directly from the FTP client without having to launch a separate app.

Also, WinSCP allows you to safely store and manage each website you login through the FTP client with a master password. This makes things much easier for you to quickly and safely login to your websites at a later time.

#2 Cyberduck

  • Price: Free
  • Platform: Windows, Mac
  • Best For: Advanced users

Cyberduck is a new contender in the FTP client world. However, many developers are already falling in love with it. Unlike most other FTP clients, Cyberduck features a beautiful user interface and comes with more advanced features for getting things done easily.

Best Features

Cyberduck describes itself as an FTP, SFTP, WebDAV, S3, Backblaze B2, Azure and OpenStack Swift browser. That’s a whole lot of stuff you can do with one app. As you can see from the screenshot above, Cyberduck also plays well with cloud-based servers like Amazon S3. It even seamlessly integrates with external text editors for editing your website files in your favorite code editing app.

#3 Transmit

  • Price: $34
  • Platform: Mac
  • Best For: Beginners and advanced users

Transmit is the favorite FTP client among Mac users. The beautiful user interface and smooth explorer in this app make it truly one of a kind. Hence the premium price tag. Luckily Transmit comes with a few special features to live up to its price.

Best Features

One of the key features of Transmit is its speed. The latest version of Transmit features a technology called Transmit Twin-Turbo engine, which allows you to upload, download, and delete files on servers at up to 25 times faster. The app also has another useful feature named Transmit Disk where you can mount your favorite volumes for easier access.

#4 FileZilla

  • Price: Free
  • Platform: Windows, Mac, Linux
  • Best For: Beginners and advanced users

FileZilla used to be the best FTP client out there, especially with support for Linux PCs. However, recently the app turned out to be a malware infested nightmare for Windows users. So, we highly recommend Windows users to avoid using this FTP client or at least avoid downloading the app from Sourceforge.

Best Features

Other than the malware issue, FileZilla is a decent FTP client you can use to transfer and manage your files. Linux and Mac users don’t have to worry about the malware and FileZilla is still a favorite among many developers who use Linux PCs.

#5 SmartFTP

  • Price: $69.95 – $169.95
  • Platform: Windows
  • Best For: Advanced users

SmartFTP is one of the most expensive FTP clients out there, which also comes with extended features mostly suitable for advanced developers. SmartFTP is an all-in-one FTP, FTPS, SFTP, WebDAV, Amazon S3, Backblaze B2, Google Drive, OneDrive, SSH, Terminal client.

Best Features

The features you get with SmartFTP depends on which version you buy, the Enterprise edition, which is the most expensive version of the software comes with several unique features like scheduled file transfers, file encryption, and even email notifications. There’s a reason why it’s called “smart”.

#6 Free FTP

  • Price: Free / $39
  • Platform: Windows
  • Best For: Beginners and advanced users

Free FTP is a simple and an elegant FTP, SFTP, and FTPS client that does the job of server file management quite perfectly. Although, Free FTP client is not completely “free”. The full version of the app costs $39.

Best Features

Free FTP features pretty much the same basic features you see on any other FTP client, including a beginner-friendly user interface, browsing history, and more. The full version of Free FTP, which is called Direct FTP, comes with additional features like a smooth text editor, image editing, faster uploading, and bookmarks.

#7 CuteFTP

  • Price: $59.99 for Windows / $39.99 for Mac
  • Platform: Windows, Mac
  • Best For: Advanced users

CuteFTP is expensive for a reason. Because it’s more than just an FTP client. It also comes with a secure mobile file sharing system called TappIn, which allows you to safely share files on your computer between your mobile devices such as iPhones, Android phones, and laptops.

Best Features

In addition, CuteFTP also supports scheduling for fully-automated transfers, OpenPGP encryption, a built-in text editor, and much more. Given its advanced features and the price tag, this app is mostly suitable for experienced developers.

#8 WebDrive

  • Price: $39.95
  • Platform: Windows, Mac, iOS
  • Best For: Beginners and advanced users

WebDrive is a file transfer client that you can use to access and manage all your cloud-based servers and accounts in one place, including Amazon S3, Dropbox, Google Drive, OneDrive and more.

Best Features

WebDrive comes with a beautiful user interface and it’s easy to use. But, the app also offers several advanced features, like the ability to resume interrupted downloads, a simple backup utility, password encryption, and even has apps for iPhone and iPad.

#9 FireFTP

  • Price: Free
  • Platform: Firefox
  • Best For: Beginners

FireFTP is a different kind of an FTP client. It’s actually an add-on for Firefox that works on the browser, allowing you to use the FTP client without having to install any software on your computer.

Best Features

The main benefit of FireFTP is that it’s cross-platform. As long as you have Firefox on your computer, you’ll be able to use FireFTP. However, since this is a browser extension, you should expect your file transfers to be slower than a dedicated FTP client.

Having said that, FireFTP is still a fairly good FTP client, especially during emergency situations, like when you’re trying to access your server using a friend’s laptop or a public computer.

#10 File Manager

  • Price: Free
  • Platform: WordPress
  • Best For: Beginners and WordPress users

File Manager is a free WordPress plugin that lets you access and explores your core WordPress system files directly from your WordPress dashboard without having to use an FTP client.

Best Features

Even though it’s technically not an FTP client, File Manager plugin provides WordPress beginners an easier way to upload, delete, copy, move, and extract files on their WordPress server without needing any technical experience or having to install an FTP client on their computer.

Our Top Pick

While Cyberduck is a great FTP client for advanced users, we recommend WinSCP for  Windows users and Transmit for Mac users. Both WinSCP and Transmit are beginner-friendly and comes with easy-to-understand user interfaces for managing files.

Feel free to test apps to find one that’s most suitable for your needs. Even the premium apps provide free trials with enough time for you to test the apps and make a decision.

We hope you enjoyed our article on free premium FTP clients. If you did, you may also want to check out our article on best Firefox add-ons for designers.

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