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The Best FTP Client  

post #1 of 135
Thread Starter 
Hi there,

I am looking for a good FTP client, which can also handle SFTP. I have used Transit on the Mac, and WS_FTP on Windows which were both good. I was just wondering if there is anything better before I part with my money for Transit.

Thanks!
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post #2 of 135
Try Fugu. As far as I know, it's just a really good GUI wrapping for the Terminal's built in FTP (which is fine, if you don't mind the CLI).

I used Fetch, free because I'm a student, for quite a while before I discovered Fugu and I haven't looked back! Fetch is fine for my older systems running various iterations of the Classic OS, but it's kind of dated for OS X.

EDIT: Also, if you want more information, there have been lots of threads about this subject so you could do a search and find a bunch of different responses from people.
post #3 of 135
I tried Fugu, but it didn't really do SFTP that I could tell. (It had "SCP" which didn't work for me.) All I can say is that I liked Transit well enough after two weeks to pay the fee, and it's been nothing but smooth every time I've used it. And I do a lot of SFTP.
post #4 of 135
transmit. use it everyday without a hitch.
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post #5 of 135
http://www.macworld.com/2003/09/reviews/ftpclients/ Macworld's FTP client shootout. Transmit and Ftp Client from Vicomsoft were the best.
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post #6 of 135
Thread Starter 
Excellent. Thanks for the link and feedback people.
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post #7 of 135
Until Apple gets with the program about Finder and FTP Transmit is the only choice. This is the 50th FTp thread though!
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post #8 of 135
Quote:
Originally posted by Aquatic
Until Apple gets with the program about Finder and FTP Transmit is the only choice. This is the 50th FTp thread though!

You're not kidding. It seems this thread comes up more often than any other in this forum. Maybe the "definitive" one here should be stickied but that one's in the OS X forum for some reason (mods falling asleep on the job again.... tsk tsk).

But Transmit is the only FTP software I've ever paid for.
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post #9 of 135
Transmit. Hands-down.

Also, it should be noted that we've had a "few" threads of this nature before. Next time try the search button on your top right.

Best FTP Client
Best OSX FTP
Whats The Best FTP for X?
Good simple reliable FTP client?
Ftp Program for free
FTP Software reccomendations ?
post #10 of 135
Thread Starter 
apologies for another FTP thread. Lock away!
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post #11 of 135
Quote:
Originally posted by Brad
Transmit. Hands-down.

Also, it should be noted that we've had a "few" threads of this nature before. Next time try the search button on your top right.

1/100000 of the FTP thread links edited out

Brad, why don't you make it a sticky or FAQ of some sort on top so that people can see it and not make another FTP thread?
What the problem is?
What the problem is?
post #12 of 135
Hah. I've never actually seen Transmit although I've seen many people mention it in these FTP threads. Well, I just went to the website and looked at some screenshots... it's nearly the exact same as Fugu! Is there something about Transmit that's so much better that it's worth $25 vs. $0?
post #13 of 135
Quote:
Originally posted by Luca Rescigno
Hah. I've never actually seen Transmit although I've seen many people mention it in these FTP threads. Well, I just went to the website and looked at some screenshots... it's nearly the exact same as Fugu! Is there something about Transmit that's so much better that it's worth $25 vs. $0?

Is there SFTP support in Fugu that I didn't see?
post #14 of 135
Quote:
Originally posted by oniongirl
Is there SFTP support in Fugu that I didn't see?



I guess not... but I don't need SFTP so Fugu's fine for me.
post #15 of 135
Am I missing something here? The whole point of Fugu is that it's an frontend GUI to SFTP.

From the Fugu page (http://rsug.itd.umich.edu/software/fugu/ ):
Quote:
Fugu - A Mac OS X SFTP, SCP and SSH Frontend.
What the problem is?
What the problem is?
post #16 of 135
Okay, I have NO IDEA what SFTP is. I know that there is a thing called File Transfer Protocol, aka FTP. Fugu is a good, free application much like Transmit to use it. Outside of that, I don't really know anything about how FTP works.
post #17 of 135
Quote:
Originally posted by Luca Rescigno
Okay, I have NO IDEA what SFTP is.

The S is for Secure. Like in SSH.

Basically, it just runs FTP through an SSH tunnel. Most FTP servers I've run across do not support this. In fact, I have yet to use one that does because, simply, the server must allow SSH login and a sysadmin typically won't make you an SSH account unless you're a really trusted client/user.

What's the big deal about it? FTP sends your login information across the network unencrypted. That means any nefarious user between you and the server can snag your login and password and other information in transit.
post #18 of 135
So if you can't usually get an SFTP client anyway, why is having SFTP such a big deal? I can understand why some people would want a client like Transmit, but wouldn't most be suited just as well with Fugu, which is free? Or is there something else I'm missing?
post #19 of 135
After just a few minutes, I already despise like Fugu's interface.

On the surface, sure, it looks a bit like Transmit. IMO, Fugu's toolbar icons are pretty ugly next to Transmit's, but I'll let that slide since a determined soul could just copy Transmit's icons into Fugu.

As I tinker with it, though, I realize that they're two different beasts. Here are the differences/problems I notice with Fugu:
  • In Fugu, you have to show both local and remote sides. In Transmit, I simply drag the vertical separator to the left and the local side disappears. I almost never browse locally; I just drag and drop straight from the Finder or from the proxy icon of whatever file I'm working on.
  • In Fugu, menu items are bizarro. apple-1 to bring up a connection window? What happened to the de-facto standard apple-n? Not only are items placed in a weird layout, Fugu also breaks a number of "standard" shortcut conventions.
  • In Fugu, I can't have multiple FTP connection windows open. In Transmit, I can. If I can, it's just too well hidden in the menu hell.
  • Clicking Fugu's dock icon doesn't recreate the main window. Another break from Apple's HIG. This works as it should in Transmit.
  • In Fugu, I spent several minutes struggling to figure out why the Connect button was greyed out. I entered a server, login, port number, and directory... no dice. Looks like a quit and restart fixes it. Strange.
  • Fugu doesn't appear to have a way to show a log of the session's activity. Transmit does.
  • Fugu's included documentation is out of date. The pictures don't match the interface.
  • In Fugu, when I downloaded a selection of files, after transferring it presented me with an error saying it couldn't launch BBEdit to rename something. WTF?
  • For some strange reason, when I make a multiple selection and move up a level in the directory, the selection carries over to the new listing.
  • In Fugu, drag-and-drop support is from the server is nonexistent outside of the app itself. As a longtime Mac user, I live by drag-and-drop in my daily activities. This one seals the deal for me. No more Fugu on this computer.
Ugh!

Of course, that doesn't even take into consideration the fact that the ONLY way I could test this was to connect to my own machine. Being an SFTP-only app, I couldn't figure out how to get it to connect with any of my regular FTP servers.
post #20 of 135
Quote:
Originally posted by Luca Rescigno
So if you can't usually get an SFTP client anyway, why is having SFTP such a big deal? I can understand why some people would want a client like Transmit, but wouldn't most be suited just as well with Fugu, which is free? Or is there something else I'm missing?

If you want to get stuff off your own computer via FTP, if you have SSH turned on, you can use SFTP. If I can't do SFTP on other servers, at least I can do it with the one that counts: mine.
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post #21 of 135
My account at the university runs *only* an SFTP server, not an FTP server. Since people can borrow laptops and listen for passwords in a number of buildings here, they trying to minimize the number of plain FTP servers. What this means is that I have almost no use for FTP at all, and I played around with Fugu for a couple of days and couldn't find any way to do the quick and easy FTP-like interface to SFTP that Transmit provided.

Fugu might be free, but so is gum laying on the sidewalk. Either way, it was useless to me.
post #22 of 135
Why does everyone always ignore RBrowser?
http://www.rbrowser.com

I use the free Rbrowser Lite just because I don't need SFTP, and I think it's clearly superior to Transmit.
http://www.rbrowserlite.com

See also:
http://www.rbrowser.com/RBrowserLite...owserLite.html

RBrowser has been available forever...started out as a NeXT app.

It also makes a nice Finder replacement.
-=:[T]:=-
-=:[T]:=-
post #23 of 135
Oh man, I hate RBrowser! The interface is so complicated and kludgy. People are now saying shit about Fugu but at least it has an easy to understand interface if all you're doing is uploading stuff to a website (which is all I use FTP for).
post #24 of 135
Quote:
Oh man, I hate RBrowser! The interface is so complicated and kludgy. People are now saying shit about Fugu but at least it has an easy to understand interface if all you're doing is uploading stuff to a website (which is all I use FTP for).


Errr... okay.

http://www.th0r.com/misc/rbrowse1.jpg

edit: changed image to link, too big for the page
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post #25 of 135
Quote:
Originally posted by Th0r
Errr... okay.

http://www.th0r.com/misc/rbrowse1.jpg

I take it you meant that image as a counterexample, saying that RBrowsers's interface isn't so bad, yes?

Here's my take on it. I just downloaded RBrowser Lite for the first time in ages. I didn't like its interface when I tried it about a year ago. I didn't like it when I tried it a year before that. I figured maybe in that span of time since my last trial it might have gotten better. Well, this is my play-by-play as I test it for about 10 minutes. I'd say that's more than enough time to evaluate the interface of what should be a fairly simple app. In that short a trial, I should run into any major problems or glitches.

The first thing I noticed, no joke, was the strangest interface glitch I've seen in a while. Words do it no justice. Watch the movie (only 120 KiB). Yes, the icons are actually bouncing up and down as I resize the window. Weird. Not only that, but resizing has this odd snapping behavior. I guess this is to force the window to fit with the path icons in the upper part, but I can think of several better ways to do this.

The second thing I noticed was how it still tries mimicking the Finder. It feels almost Microsoftian in how it tries desperately to copy the look of Finder but fails miserably in copying the behavior of Finder. I could go on about all the problems here ranging from weird drag-and-drop to selection to renaming -- each of these use some nonstandard, custom behavior. It gets the font wrong. It breaks practically every one of the years-old standard keyboard shortcuts for navigation. Other menu shortcuts are different too. It can't even highlight names properly. You can't rearrange files spacially like you can in the Finder. Icon drawing is inconsistent; some icons sporadically go from being normal to being grayed out like hidden files, only they're not hidden files.

I don't like that. If you're going to try to copy something like the Finder, either get it right or go for something else. Don't half-ass it.

There are other oddities too. It has NeXTSTEP graphics and colors scattered about. The preferences window annoyingly throws a modal dialog when I try to close it even if I haven't changed anything. Windows sometimes don't remember their positions. You can only spawn new viewers if there's already one open. Clicking the Dock icon doesn't bring a new window to the front if there are none. Oh, and I see the developer stole Omni's reload icon. I wonder if Omni was given credit or asked permission for this.

Et cetera ad infinitum.

All in all, this app just doesn't "feel" right. After all these years, it still acts like it's just a quick port of an ancient NeXT app.
post #26 of 135
Brad,
That's pretty good feedback that the developer should definitely get.

I'm also kind of a stickler when it comes to gui/interface issues and apps, but my impression of this app is quite different than yours.

Some reasons might be:

1) I only use RBrowser (and the Finder) in column view.
I think this is an important point, because my interaction with the app is pretty much just having one or more FTP browser(s) open and dragging and dropping files from the Finder to my FTP server(s).

2) I've honestly never noticed some of the issues that you mention. ie:
You can only spawn new viewers if there's already one open. ??
I can spawn a new viewer at any time.

It breaks practically every one of the years-old standard keyboard shortcuts for navigation. ??
Arrow key navigation is the same as the Finder.

from weird drag-and-drop to selection to renaming ??
To upload/download files I (like you) like to simply use drag & drop. This works as expected for me.
Selecting- Shift/cmd selecting works for me.
Renaming- Click once to select the name, click once more to edit. Same as Finder, no?

The preferences window annoyingly throws a modal dialog when I try to close it even if I haven't changed anything. ??
I've never seen this behavior.

Windows sometimes don't remember their positions. ??
Never seen this either.

some icons sporadically go from being normal to being grayed out like hidden files, only they're not hidden files. ??
The only thing I can think of here is that you are looking at files that you do not own. (The icons of other users files are lighter in appearance, but it's not sporadic.)

Clicking the Dock icon doesn't bring a new window to the front if there are none.
I HATE the way TextEdit and the Finder do this.

Quote:
The second thing I noticed was how it still tries mimicking the Finder.

I find this amusing because in a way the Mac OS X Finder actually tried to copy the RBrowser (NeXT) interface.
...and the Finder STILL doesn't let you:

Sort in column view (!!)
Have a shelf
Let you copy file paths (!)
Let you see or edit type/creator codes
Let you see hidden files/folders
Let you create a new empty file (!)
Let you filter your view of files by criteria (!)

...like RBrowser does.

I guess the bottom line for me is that as an FTP app:
RBrowser Lite is free
RBrowser Lite is powerful
RBrowser Lite does everything that I believe an FTP app should do.

Obviously, ymmv.

I also must note that RBrowser does address EVERY issue that you mentioned about Fugu.

I'm going to redownload Transmit and give it another go.
BTW, Transmit was my preferred FTP client in Mac OS 9... (Vicomsoft's) FTP Client was a close second.
-=:[T]:=-
-=:[T]:=-
post #27 of 135
I had just downloaded a fresh copy of the latest version of RBrowser Lite from its home page. It's version 3.3.2 and I'm using it on Mac OS X 10.3.1.
Quote:
Originally posted by Th0r
You can only spawn new viewers if there's already one open. ??
I can spawn a new viewer at any time.

It's strange and definitely a bug, but it's also reproducible. Open the app, press command-w twice to close the two window. Choose New Viewer from File menu. Close it. Try opening another new one. I can't; the menu item it grayed out.

Quote:
It breaks practically every one of the years-old standard keyboard shortcuts for navigation. ??
Arrow key navigation is the same as the Finder.

command-down: move one layer deeper/open file.
command-up: move one layer up.
shift-left/right/up/down: add file to selection.
any letter(s): select the file starting with that letter(s).
hold the arrow key: move through files. RBrowser only moves the selection when you release the arrow key; so, key repeat is broken.

That's what I mean by it doesn't follow the standard navigation Apple's used for many years.

Quote:
The preferences window annoyingly throws a modal dialog when I try to close it even if I haven't changed anything. ??
I've never seen this behavior.

I open the preferences. I click the close widget. It throws a modal dialog saying "Alert: Connection Preferences have been edited. Do you want to save these changes?". I didn't edit anything! This is reproducible.

Quote:
Windows sometimes don't remember their positions. ??
Never seen this either.

This is in reference to the no-new-viewer problem I mentioned before. Open the app. Close both windows. Create a new viewer. For me, it's *always* positioned in the same spot in the lower half of the screen.

Quote:
some icons sporadically go from being normal to being grayed out like hidden files, only they're not hidden files. ??
The only thing I can think of here is that you are looking at files that you do not own. (The icons of other users files are lighter in appearance, but it's not sporadic.

Case in point as to why you should not stray from standard, accepted behaviors. You're going to confuse the user as I was here. grayed out icon should indicate invisibility. A badge with the circle-slash should indicate non-readability. A badge with a pencil and slash should indicate non-writability. That's how it's been for years in the Finder.

Quote:
Clicking the Dock icon doesn't bring a new window to the front if there are none.
I HATE the way TextEdit and the Finder do this.

I like it and I think nearly every single other app I have does this. Plus, this is included in Apple's HIG. So, it not only breaks conformity with all other apps, it also breaks Apple's official HIG.

Quote:
I find this amusing because in a way the Mac OS X Finder actually tried to copy the RBrowser (NeXT) interface.
...and the Finder STILL doesn't let you:

Perhaps, but how many Mac OS X users were NeXTSTEP users? A very small minority. Writing an app to behave like a ten-year-old operating system that almost no one in your audience has used makes little sense. You write an app for today's operating system.

Quote:
I guess the bottom line for me is that as an FTP app:
RBrowser Lite is free

And that's where I'll stop my rant. Since RBrowser Lite is free, I can excuse some weirdness. The regular RBrowser that you must pay for, however, should not have all these problems. I suspect it's identical, overall, to Lite, though.

*plink plink* My 2 cents.
post #28 of 135
Quote:
Originally posted by oniongirl
Is there SFTP support in Fugu that I didn't see?

Hmm. I have no problem at all using Fugu to log in to my school's servers via SFTP. In fact, Fugu proudly displays "SFTP" as one of the menu bar menus. It didn't even ask what protocol to use, so I assume it must default to SFTP. This is Fugu 0.9.0.

I haven't used either Fugu or Transmit in a while, though, since I became a CLI SSH/SFTP junky. My favorite is SSH'ing into the remote host and then SFTP'ing back into my Mac to transfer files. Just because I can (and to work around an awkward directory structure for web hosted files). I feel so powerfully geeky. Or geekily powerful.
post #29 of 135
As requested, I'm sticking this thread for future reference so new threads aren't spawned regularly asking for FTP advice.
post #30 of 135
Quote:
Originally posted by Brad
As requested, I'm sticking this thread for future reference so new threads aren't spawned regularly asking for FTP advice.

thank you, oh wise and mighty one.
post #31 of 135
RBrowser lite is my current unique ftp client, because Transxx sucks on most of ftpz I worked on!
post #32 of 135
I purchaced RBrowser and I am very pleased with it. I usually connect using ssh, and it works great. Like other programs I can drag and drop files, but what I like is that I can double click an icon, it opens, I edit it, I save it, and I'm done. I also use it for ftp and sftp and it works just fine. I'm looking forward to future versions that will allow me to mount my ssh directory, because that is really what I want. I've never noticed any GUI glitches. I'm sure it has some, but that's fine with me because it works just like I want it to and it does what other file browsers can't. I found RBrowser while looking for something like LUFS (Linux user file system) for Mac OS X.

Alexander the Great
Please ask me to clarify what I have said if it doesn't make sense.
Please ask me to clarify what I have said if it doesn't make sense.
post #33 of 135
Transmit. Transmit. Transmit.
post #34 of 135
Transmit
post #35 of 135
Ok I've tried many different GUI FTP clients but I currently don't have any installed. I use the command line one. The command line SFTP is a bit lacking but I don't use it. The command line ftp program has worked on all servers I've tried (can't say the same for all the GUI ones I've used), it supports resuming downloads and also supports customisable bandwidth throttling. It is about as easy to use as a command line app can get with tab completion of filenames etc. Does what I want and it's free. The worst thing about it is that you can't up/download a whole directory structure, which I can understand would be an issue for some. Of the GUI ones I think transmit is the nicest but it still had issues last time I tried it and I never found it quite good enough to warrant paying for it.
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post #36 of 135
If you don't mind using the command line, drop Fink and FinkCommander into your Mac, and use them to install 'wget'. it's a command line client that can download from FTP, SFTP, HTTP and HTTPS servers. It'll also do entire directory downloads, such as grabbing everything X levels deep on a website.

There's a GUI client called SimpleWget available as well, once the command line program is installed.
post #37 of 135
Quote:
Originally posted by Kesh
If you don't mind using the command line, drop Fink and FinkCommander into your Mac, and use them to install 'wget'. it's a command line client that can download from FTP, SFTP, HTTP and HTTPS servers. It'll also do entire directory downloads, such as grabbing everything X levels deep on a website.

There's a GUI client called SimpleWget available as well, once the command line program is installed.

If you only need to do ftp downloads, (which is unlikely but anyway) the built in ftp client will handle ftp:// URLs. Otherwise wget is certainly a very useful program.
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post #38 of 135
whats wrong with fetch?
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post #39 of 135
Quote:
Originally posted by Paul
whats wrong with fetch?

I found it to be a bit flakey at times and it is not particularly pretty either...

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post #40 of 135
Quote:
Originally posted by WJMoore
I found it to be a bit flakey at times and it is not particularly pretty either...

Kind words.

To me it feels like it's still trying to act like a System 6 app.
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