What is an FTP?
An FTP stands for File Transfer Protocol, and its function is pretty much as its namesake. Its a protocol used to transfer files across a network safely and securely. FTPs use a client-server model. What this means is the server will host the files needed to be transferred, and the clients can then connect, download, upload, and rename files.
From architects sharing building diagrams to accountants transferring their company’s accounting logs, FTPs are widely used throughout a plethora of professional industries.
And this is what FileZilla does.
What is FileZilla?
FileZilla is an open-source software that uses the FTP method to transfer files easily across the network. It runs on Windows, Linux, and even Mac OS.
FileZilla has become a staple for easy-to-use file transfer software, but FileZilla is not the only player in the game. Over the years a variety of other software are making a name for themselves. Here are 5 of the best alternatives to FileZilla for safe file transfer.
1. SolarWinds Serv-U Managed File Transfer (MFT)
Safety is this software’s top priority. SolarWinds Serv-U Managed File Transfer (MFT) offers centralised control over file transfers. It also goes above and beyond to ensure your files are secure and safe by having the capability to encrypt both in-transit and at-rest files. This enables you to send and receive file transfers safely. It also helps meet the standards of security of any organization.
Just like FileZilla, Serv-U MFT keeps things simple with drag-and-drop functionality and an easy-to-use web console.
But one thing that sets Serve-U MFT apart from FileZilla is its ability to track your file server’s configuration and domain activity logs, This enables troubleshooting issues to be done faster. You can even configure the software to send emails, delete files or run specific programs when certain events occur—making it a suitable alternative to FileZilla.
If you search “list of best FTP clients”, you would probably find Cyberduck on there. This 20-year-old file transferring software is another popular free and open-source FTP client for both Mac and Windows.
This FTP client gives you more agency in your file transfers and ensures they are safe and secure across various transfer protocols and platforms.
Cyberduck prides itself on being simple and easy to use. It has an easy file management system with cut and paste as well as drag and drop functionalities. Aesthetically, unlike FileZilla, Cyberduck has a more modern sleek look to it with a fresh stylish interface that somehow welcomes the user, so first-timers won't feel so intimidated when using it.
You can get connected to an FTP server with literally a click of one button. Cyberduck’s new connection button immediately prompts you to enter a few details like “protocol”, “server”, “username”, and “password”. After that, once you click ‘Connect’, you can now start transferring files. It's that easy.
Other features include file previews so you can view the files before downloading, and a password-less authentication with SSH keys.
For those who particularly prefer the MacOs, Cyberduck is often described as a top-rated file transfer software, as it works with Finder and other Mac features—making it a preferred choice for a FileZilla alternative.
Multicommader is truly a professional’s go-to software when it comes to file-sharing. Setting this software apart from others is its efficient dual-panel layout. So instead of opening two explorer windows to transfer files between folders, you can use two panes to display file contents of two different folders, and then transfer files in mere seconds.
Multi Commander has all of the typical features that a file manager has for organizational works like copy, move, rename, and view. But its special features like Auto-unpacking , Auto-sorting , browsing inside archives, registry and FTP, searching for files, view files, etc are its biggest advantages. It also has built-in scripting support that allows you to automate tasks or take advantage of its powerful filtering capabilities to quickly find the files you need. FileZilla also offers similar filtering capabilities, though it is not automated.
Multicommander also allows you to easily customize its behavior or appearance by configuring its panel settings, allowing you to modify the application’s functionalities to fit your liking.
Other features include the ability to compress and decompress files into zip files, functional buttons that can launch notepad and calculator, and buttons that will show the file exploration history, and allow you to save your “favorite file paths.
Widely used in companies that focus on network management and web development, Multicommander is truly an FTP tool that once you get used to it, you will find it hard to go back and use others.
4. Core FTP Pro
This next FileZilla alternative is a widely used low-cost software that offers great features for personal, educational, non-profit, and business use. This platform is especially popular amongst Windows users with its easy-to-use file transfer window.
Core FTP Pro also features a user-friendly session log which means that all the FTP protocol commands and responses between client and server can be analyzed easily—allowing you to identify any protocol problems that may arise.
It also includes automatic file encryption for transfers. This means that it's virtually impossible for hackers to gain access to your files. Core FTP Pro also has full zip file compression and decompression for faster transfers that take up less FTP server space.
You can also schedule transfers for automation without scripting and perform file synchronization which is especially useful for organizations working in teams as all members are able to access the same file at the same time. This is especially useful for teams that primarily work from home. You can find other software that are best suited for remote teams here.
Both the paid and free version supports FTPs, TLS-SSL, SFTP, auto-retry/resume, drag and drop, and more — allowing you to update and maintain your website in a fast, easy and reliable way. There is also a free version that is similar to FileZilla but is only compatible with Windows users only.
With the paid version, FTP pro supports encryption and decryption of files, file compression, password protection, and backup. It also has a thumbnail view of remote directories and is able to schedule FTP transfers. All in all, this tool gives webmasters the chance to fulfill their current and future FTP client needs at a very reasonable price.
The compatibility of Core FTP Pro with advanced network security protocol makes your file-sharing process extremely safe and efficient. Its advanced features make it more suitable for the more adept and experienced user. Despite that, its unique interface and easy-to-use accessibility allow it to be useful for beginners as well.
5. CoffeeCup Free FTP
CoffeeCup Free FTP focuses on users looking to perform simple and fast uploads and file transfers. Web admins across all industries rely on this platform daily as it includes all the common basic features of a typical FTP client.
Despite it being designed to fit the needs of web administrators, it is not exclusive to them. Anyone can use the platform as it keeps things simple and easy to understand with an extremely accessible drag-and-drop interface between local and remote files.
Just like the other platforms listed here, CofeeCup can also support SFTP, FTPS, and their different methods of encryption. It can even handle HTTP. This software supports Windows XP, Vista, and Mac.
It also features an Easy File Management tool that allows you to add, move, and launch files all from inside the program itself, with quick and easy archival of files with The ‘Make ZIP Archive’ feature.
CoffeeCup keeps your FTP server settings all in one accessible place and allows you to easily monitor, pause and also cancel transfers. You can also view the list of file transfer statuses by watching the status bar in the main window of the application. Other than knowing the file status, you can also view your log history for browsing and transfers. You can get even more processing power and editing capabilities with the paid version called Direct FTP.
Whatever software you choose, the main goal is the make sure your files are transferred safely and securely. An efficient organization can only function properly if its day-to-day systems are optimized properly to meet current industry demands.
So take your time when selecting the FTP client of your choice, try multiple platforms out, and see which fits your needs best. Make sure you do your due diligence as your company may depend on it heavily for the transfer of its important files.