Looking for an FTP client?

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Back in the old days
Back in the early nineties, were transferred to the web using the ftp command of UNIX. Windows users usually had to telnet to their accounts and then run ftp commands. Around the late 90's, a freeware called WS_FTP appeared in the market. This was a very useful tools since it allowed users to access their server directories through a graphical user interface. This tool offered file management functions along with ftp functions.

CuteFTP & ZillaFTP
Sometime around the .com bust, WS_FTP became a paying software. By this time, however, several other ftp software such as CuteFTP and ZillaFTP had appeared in the market. CuteFTP is not a free software but ZillaFTP is free. It usually comes bundled with several other nice tools like download manager. I had been a frequent user of ZillaFTP but was always annoyed by the way ZillaFTP used my computer's resources. If you choose to use ZillaFTP, be sure to go to http://www.zillaftp.com. I once downloaded ZillaFTP from some download website and the software came bundled with PUPs (Potentially Unwanted Programs). Unfortunately, I can't recall the address of the download site.

Another useful program which I have been using since year 2000 is Editplus. This software is actually an editor. I allows you to go edit and manage your local and remote files. To open a remote file:
File >> Open

To open a remote file:
File >> FTP >> Open Remote

You can also upload file(s) with:
File >> FTP >> Upload


File >> FTP >> Upload Multiple

Editplus also allows its users to manage files through a directory window. Editplus is a lightweight yet powerful software which support customizable syntaxes, regular expressions, and much more. See editplus wiki for more information.

Firefox is a extensible browser which can be extended by installing plug-ins. Among all the cool and useful plug-ins, FireFTP is my favorite. It is an easy to install plugin which is free, of course. It offers most of the features offered by WS_FTP and is very easy to use. Besides, since it is a Firefox plugin, you would get automatic patches and upgrades without ever having to visit their website.

There really is no need to buy an FTP client. Use FireFTP for massive downloads, uploads, backups, etc. Use editplus to editing if you are not using another editor. Do drop a line in the comments if you know or find something better.
Happy FTP'ing!
Printed with permission from http://molecularsciences.org

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