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10 of the Best Free FTP Clients

Graham Cook  — May 8, 2019

FTP is short for File Transfer Protocol. It’s used to transfer files from one computer to another over a network such as an Internet connection. For example, you can use an FTP client to upload files and transfer them to a website. If you need to transfer large files among hosts, then you’ll need an FTP client.

What is an FTP client? It’s specialized software that allows you to access and manage those files via your computer. You can use it to connect your computer to your professional website.

What to Look for in an FTP Client

Choosing the right FTP client for large file transfers isn’t always easy. While there are so many options to choose from, FTP has its share of disadvantages. It’s important to understand what FTP before choosing from the list of the best free FTP clients.

Capable of Large File Transfers

Your file transfer has to move beyond your computer’s host or Microsoft Word document. It’ll be impossible to send files if it doesn’t move beyond that point. You might find that you will have to be responsible for sending hundreds of data at once.

An FTP client makes it easier to facilitate those larger file transfers in a shorter amount of time. You’ll also benefit from this increased rate of transfer since it sends files quickly and easily.

Workflow Is Improved

Since you can send larger files, your workflow is dramatically improved. It allows you to transfer to multiple directories at once. If you transfer files on a regular basis, you’ll know this is a key advantage. This allows you to focus on your work and not have to worry about using the FTP client that’s in front of you.

Instead of sending single directories or single files one by one, you can send multiple directories at once. You can continue work while files are being transferred, and you can work on transferred files even faster. The last thing you need is an FTP client that doesn’t work or has constant interruptions, both of which can dramatically decrease your workflow.

Can Resume Transfers

In the event that your file transfer has been interrupted, you don’t have to worry about anything. You don’t need to force your FTP client to continue transferring files.

With a free FTP client, you can resume the interrupted file transfer if your Internet connection was lost or your computer was in the middle of a reboot. That means you don’t have to start the transfer all over again. It just picks up where you left off without having to go back to the beginning.

Can Schedule Transfers

Maybe you don’t like to interrupt your workday by having to transfer multiple files at once. You don’t have to sit around and wait for them to get transferred. With a free FTP client, you can schedule transfers to take place during the night or weekend.

While this will have the smallest impact on your workflow, it will dramatically improve it. You won’t have to sit around wondering if the file transfer made it through or not. Since your productivity isn’t affected, you can automate these transfers for added convenience.

Recovers Lost Data

Your data will never get lost, even when emergencies and other unexpected events arise. Most FTP clients come with data recovery to ensure that your files are automatically and regularly backed up, so you don’t have to worry about losing your files during a fire, flood, or power outage. You’re always prepared in the event of a cybersecurity threat or natural disaster.

Best Free FTP Clients

For most users, some of the best FTP clients will get work done quickly and easily. You don’t need to invest in a solid FTP program. While the free clients don’t always look pretty on the surface, they provide you with the features and functions that you do need to improve your workflow. A free FTP client should give you the ability to do everything you want and then some.

Even when it comes to managing large files from one host to another, it shouldn’t be a cumbersome task. There’s a reason why most computer users rely on FTP clients for uploading and transferring files. These programs make it too easy since you can simply download and upload a huge file without checking off all kinds of boxes. FTP clients are very safe and secure to use as well.

Using a free FTP client makes sense, especially if you want to use the best one. No matter if it’s free, it’s important to choose one that’s most appropriate to your needs. Below is a list of the top 10 free FTP clients along with its notable features.

1. FileZilla

FileZilla is a multi-platform FTP client that’s available for Mac and Windows operating systems. This free FTP client provides plenty of features, such as an interactive User Interface. It’s considered one of the best FTP clients out there. Other notable features include the ability to pause and resume, drag-and-drop support, compare two directories, and more.

2. Cyberduck

Cyberduck is another free open-source FTP client that’s compatible with Mac and Windows. You’ll love this one for its impressive and slick design. It also offers support for Google Cloud Storage and Rackspace Cloud Files. Compared to other FTP clients, it has features such as a Spotlight Importer and history, which makes bookmarking and organizing easier.

3. FireFTP

FireFTP is an FTP client that’s installed on the Mozilla Firefox browser. It may be the right client for you if you don’t want to install software to your computer. It’s a feature-rich Firefox add-on that works on Windows and Mac computers. It comes with features such as drag-and-drop support, file compression, timestamp synchronization, and more.

4. WinSCP

WinSCP has been considered as an alternative to FileZilla. It’s another free FTP client that’s only available for Windows and Mac users. It has an interface that’s similar to Windows operating systems, making it easy to use when it comes time to use WinSCP. It comes with features such as drag-and-drop file transfer, a Graphic User Interface, and integration with Windows.

5. SmartFTP

SmartFTP is one of the best free FTP clients on this list. It provides support for Amazon S3, FTP, FTPS, Google Drive, OneDrive, SFTP, and WebDAV. Aside from uploading and transferring files, SmartFTP can be used to backup files. Aside from the free plan, SmartFTP also has premium plans based on the number of users.

6. Free FTP

Free FTP is a free version of Direct FTP. It performs just as well as the premium version with its drag-and-drop support and easy-to-use interface. It provides support for multiple files, such as FTP, FTPS, HTTPS, and SFTP. Aside from its User Interface, you can also feel good from the level of security you’ll receive from Free FTP.

7. WS_FTP Professional

This free FTP client allows you to download and upload files quickly and easily. Since it works with data encryption, all of your files are safe and secure. It comes with other features such as drag-and-drop transfers and customization. It transfers files faster than the other competitors on this list.

8. Transmit

Transmit is an FTP client that was made with Mac users in mind. It’s known for its impressive speeds and reliable transfers. It comes with plenty of features, such as drag-and-drop uploading, cloud connections, multiple languages, transmit shortcuts and more. Even though it’s popular among Mac users, there’s no version for Windows or Linux users.

9. FOFF

FOFF is an acronym for Free Open FTP Face. It’s one of the best free FTP clients that works with Windows only. It’s one of the simplest and easiest FTP clients you’ll ever use in your life. Its UI is the best when it comes to knowing the difference between the local directory and the remote directory.

10. CuteFTP

CuteFTP is one of the best free FTP clients since it offers plenty of features and functions. It immediately loads on any Mac or Windows computer. It’s a great FTP client for those who want additional features such as accessibility and sharing files from a desktop computer or mobile device. It’s a good alternative if you have to transfer huge files that otherwise hog a network connection.

The Bottom Line on Free FTP Clients

When it comes to choosing the right FTP client, you have to keep your platform and operating system in mind. It doesn’t matter if you like the software if it’s not compatible with your computer. While these FTP clients are free, you may want to upgrade or invest in the premium solutions if you want more built-in capabilities.

Thankfully with free solutions such as FileZilla, you can get adware and download files without ads, which can be distracting. The other FTP clients on this list offer have editing, speed, and security options, which can make them worth the investment. But if you want something in-between, then this list of free FTP clients can give you the features and power you’re looking for.