I have question about FTP clients. Could anybody assist me with it? Which FTP client do you prefer and why?

  • I can not add new tags, but anybody who have rights, please add, ftp-client tag into my question. – Syed Tayyab Ali Jul 7 '09 at 16:09
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    Can you define "best" a little more? What are you looking for: fast, powerful, small, a GUI, some specific feature? – lc. Jul 7 '09 at 16:12
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    Done. You should be able to edit your question. – stukelly Jul 7 '09 at 16:13
  • Because there is no right or wrong answer to this question, but rather you are asking for an opinion, this question should probably be made Community Wiki. – eleven81 Jul 7 '09 at 16:30
  • now community wiki – Syed Tayyab Ali Jul 7 '09 at 16:39

23 Answers 23


Contrary to other opinions I'm not happy with Filezilla.

I prefer WinSCP on Windows (not pretty but full-featured) and Cyberduck on OS X.

WinSCP is nice because of it's decent SFTP and SCP integration, and synchronised browsing. Also, it integrates with Pageant so I can login to all my server via my ssh keys.

Cyberduck is also full featured, but with quite an OS X interface. Nice is the support for Amazon S3 and CloudFiles cloudstorage services.

  • your answer is make sense to me. But I have no rights to vote you. – Syed Tayyab Ali Jul 7 '09 at 16:42
  • Now I'll have to go try this out, thanks for the detail. – Kara Marfia Jul 7 '09 at 17:04
  • @Kara Marfia: I like WinSCP features. – Syed Tayyab Ali Jul 7 '09 at 17:43
  • I use WinSCP as well- it's got a better UI by default, and is self-contained, as well. – SilentW Jul 7 '09 at 18:28
  • @SilentW: It is also secure client. – Syed Tayyab Ali Jul 16 '09 at 20:51

I use filezilla

  • I prefer this because it's feature-rich, it's free, it's updated frequently, and the interface isn't bad. If there are additional ftp client features to be desired, I've never needed em. – Kara Marfia Jul 7 '09 at 17:03
  • Possibly most importantly, my users can figure it out. – Kara Marfia Jul 7 '09 at 17:05

Total Commander - The one and only.

If you're looking for SFTP / SCP support, go for WinSCP.


If you use Firefox, take a look at the FireFTP plugin. I love it.


For command line ftp clients, there's a few options:

  • ftp - The original FTP client. It works, but it's not the most friendly or featureful.
  • lftp - Included by default on Red Hat based systems, it adds lots of useful features like tab completion for filenames/directories, and lots of other stuff.
  • ncftp - Popular command line ftp client that also offers a 'visual' mode using the curses library.
  • wget/curl - Not technically ftp clients, but they can handle ftp downloads. Handy for scripting and one-off pulls where you know the URL (although lftp and ncftp can also handle one-off ftp pulls).

For GUI clients there's dozens of options, but most people will just use their web browser, which has an ftp client built in, for convenience.

  • +1 for lftp, and i wished i could vote twice for curl. – petrus Dec 3 '10 at 17:35

Presumably the "best" ftp program would read your mind and get the file for you.

I like to use scp (in *nix or Cygwin) because it works like a copy command; there's no session where you have to log in, then change directory, then ask for the file, etc. Being secure is a bonus, if that matters to you.


I prefer WinSCP over Filezilla on Windows. I use Cyberduck on OSX and gFTP on Linux for GUI-based FTP clients.


ftp - file transfer program

man 1 ftp

Which platform?

On MacOS, I like Transmit (it's not free though), on Linux (and MacOS) I often use ncftp (CLI), otherwise Filezilla on every platform.


I am a big fan of Core FTP. http://www.coreftp.com/

Note, this is non-commerical only for the free version, they do offer a paid version for around 24.95

I also believe it is Windows Only.


Filezilla is a good one, wget may be usefull.


tnftp - small, yet comfortable. (Similar to NcFTP but without the annoying bits.)


Like others here, Cyberduck on MacOS and FileZilla on Windows. I haven't found a better free one for Windows, and Cyberduck is really fully-featured and talks to a bunch of stuff. For example you can synchronize against WebDAV repositories including Sharepoint which is pretty cool.


I know most will frown on this as its better to have a dedicated client really

If I am being lazy and using a web browser (firefox) then i normally use fireftp which can just be used as a firefox tool


web based version like net2ftp if im on someone elses computer who dont normally do any ftp transfers

WinSCP is great when you need to secure access


Filezilla has the nicest support for multiple connections / protocols, though I wish the interface was a bit more customizable. I'd rather no local view, just a remote view within filezilla and drag/drop from my own explorer windows. As it stands right now, the only way I've found to hide the local view is to drag the separator to the far left, which isn't quite adequate.


Konqueror is pretty good, if you're using KDE. It integrates with KWallet to save passwords. Using Konqueror with Kate you can seamlessly edit files on a remote server.

For console there is ncftp or mc.


Currently I use two for the majority of things I do:

  1. Filezilla as a general purpose FTP client (though there are some interesting alternatives with high very high levels of windows integraton).
  2. FTPSync link text - this is absolutely brilliant for keeping local and remote folders in Sync.



If you want a CLI, then lftp is hands down the winner in my opinion. It includes support for ftp, ftps, http, https, hftp, fish, sftp and file. More importantly it has good built-in scripting capabilities. You can easily automate sftp transfers using password authentication - something which is normally difficult to do without resorting to expert or something similar.


Yeah, define best... I don't use ftp that much, and when I do:

  • I use Internet Explorer internally because it's already on my PC and I can drag and drop files easily.

  • I use Firefox for most ftp downloading.

  • I use the command line ftp on windows as much as I use either of the others because it works fine for a couple files here and there and I can use it to get firefox if I don't have it for some reason.


I haven't seen WebDrive here yet, so I will add it. I like it because it's easy to set up and use, and you can map persistent drives. Also, for sysadmins, you can create settings and push them out to all of your users which really saves time.

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