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    Home   //   Caplog   //   7 Best Free FTP Clients For 2021
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    7 Best Free FTP Clients For 2021

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    Simple FTP Clients do not cut it anymore. We need robust and dedicated connections over which our files can be transferred successfully, keeping our data secured.

    We have created a list of 7 secure free FTP clients, so there are plenty of options to choose from. Once you have decided on the software, you can download it (link provided).

    But, before getting into that, let’s take a look at what FTPS and SFTP mean.

    File Transfer Protocol Secure (FTPS) Vs SSH File Transfer Protocol (SFTP)

    Many are often confused between the File Transfer Protocol Secure and SSH File Transfer Protocol. Let us simplify it for you.

    • FTPS: FTPS clients transfer data over two connections – a data channel and a command channel. It is the main distinguishing factor for the two. Unlike FTP, FTPS clients provide an extra level of security. They provide proper user authentication in two ways, first with username & passwords and second, they check the SSL certificates. A user can choose to encrypt either one of the channels or both, which is why sometimes FTPS uses both to verify a secure connection.
    • SFTP: In the case of SFTP: S stands for Secure Shell, a network protocol. SFTP uses a single connection, and that connection can be verified using a username and password. The security is better, as it encrypts both the data files as well as authentication information being sent over the channel.

    Other verification methods include SSH keys, a public key, and private key. As a user, you have to send the public key to your partner, which they’ll load into their server and associate with your account. When they use their client software to connect with your SFTP server, it will send your public key, which can now be matched and checked with other authentication methods.

    There are several other advanced transfer protocols. Some of the free FTP clients support these protocols, whereas others have made those available in the PRO version. But the majority have covered at least SFTP or FTPS.

    Before we head over to the list of the best FTP clients, let’s take a look at how to install one.

    How To Install A FTP Client?

    We’ll be talking about the few Free FTP clients available to the masses. Before you decide to pick one, let’s have a look at how it is installed. Most of the FTP clients on this list follow the same installation process.

    • Before installation, you need to visit the provided download link for the respective FTP client.
    • Once it has been downloaded, run is as an administrator.

    Whenever you install a new program on windows, a dialogue box pops up. Asking if you want to allow the FTP client to modify/edit things. Hit enter and then start with the set-up.

    We have made a quick GIF to take you through the process.

    How To Install an FTP Client

    • Step 1: Install the software for all users by selecting the option.
    • Step 2: Read the License & Agreement. Once you have read it, click on the Accept button.
    • Step 3: Select the installation Type: As a new user, you should select the Typical Installation and hit next.
    • Step 4: Now, you have to select a User Interface Style. Between the two options – Commander and Explorer – a new user should pick Explorer. Commander is for users who have experience with tools such as Norton Commander. Select the Next button.
    • Step 5: The installer will show you the selections you have made till now. Once reviewed, you can either go back and make changes or click on the install button and start the process.
    • Step 6: The installation takes about a minute. After the installation is completed, you will see a Finish screen, from where you can select the Launch FTP Client options and then click on finish.
    • Step 7: This will launch the FTP client. Now you can enter your server information, such as hostname, username, and password in the appropriate fields.

    Quick Overview Of Best Free FTP Clients

    1. WinSCP

    WinSCP

    We have shared a GIF of WinSCP installation on Windows. It is currently the best FTP client for Windows 10 as it exclusively provides services for Windows. WinSCP has a myriad of beneficial features, ranging from an Integrated text editor to scripting and task automation. Also, it can be translated into several languages.

    Out of all the 7 FTP clients, WinSCP is amongst the top two to support a wide range of FTP protocols. As you browse through this list, you’ll come across a few that support a limited number of FTP protocols. That’s not the case with WinSCP FTP clients software.

    The only drawback is that you can use it only for Windows.

    Supports: Windows 7, 8, and 8.1

    Download Link: WinSCP

    Graphic User Interface

    WinSCP Graphic User Interface

    Image Credit: WinSCP

    File Transfer Protocols

    • FTP (File Transfer Protocol)
    • FTPS (File Transfer Protocol Secure)
    • SCP (Secure Copy Protocol)
    • SFTP (SSH File Transfer Protocol)
    • WebDAV (Web Distributed Authoring and Versioning)
    • Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3)

    2. FileZilla

    FileZilla

    FileZilla is one of the most well-known FTP clients in the industry. An open-source software, Filezilla is the first choice for many due to its quick speed. It can also handle multiple transactions simultaneously.

    Apart from that, FileZilla is a cross-platform free FTP site. It means FileZilla can be used with several operating systems. Similar to WinSCP, it is also available in numerous languages.

    The free version of FileZilla FTP software seems to have one drawback. You can only transfer files through a few select protocols. The Pro version covers Amazon s3, WebDav, Microsoft OneDrive, and several others.

    Supports: Windows, Mac OS, and Linux.

    Download Link: FileZilla

    Graphic User Interface

    FileZilla Graphic User Interface

    Image Credit: FileZilla

    File Transfer Protocols

    • SFTP (SSH File Transfer Protocol)
    • FTP (File Transfer Protocol)
    • FTPS (File Transfer Protocol Secure)

    3. Cyberduck

    Cyberduck

    Cyberduck, one of the best free FTP clients, has made it on this list not only because of its popularity but because of its high level of functionality. It offers users nine protocols, some familiar and some specific to a few Cloud storage hosts, such as Amazon and Microsoft OneDrive.

    These are similar to what WinSCP offers its clients. But with Cyberduck, there is more. You must have noticed the similarity between the GUI’s for all the FTP clients on this list. And yet, Cyberduck has one of the simplest GUI’s amongst these lot.

    Supports: Windows and Mac OS
    Download Link: Cyberduck

    Cyberduck Graphic User Interface

    Graphic User Interface

    Image Credit: Cyberduck

    File Transfer Protocols

    • FTP (File Transfer Protocol)
    • SFTP (SSH File Transfer Protocol)
    • WebDAV (Web Distributed Authoring and Versioning)
    • Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3)
    • OpenStack Swift
    • BackBlaze B2
    • Microsoft Azure & OneDrive
    • Google Drive
    • Dropbox

    4. Classic FTP

    Classic FTP

    If you need a free FTP client for business purposes, you might as well skip this one. Classic FTP is available for free only for non-commercial use, so you are out of luck here. For non-commercial users, it is pretty simple to use.

    Classic FTP has a compare directories feature, which allows users to check the difference between local files and remote ones. That is, it ensures that the files have been updated with the latest data on both ends. The plus factor seems to be its compatibility with several versions of Windows OS as well as the Mac operating system.

    Supports: Windows (Vista, 7, 8, 8.1 and 10) & Mac OS (10.5 and higher)

    Download Link: Classic FTP

    Classic FTP Graphic User Interface

    Graphic User Interface

    Image Credit: ClassicFTP

    File Transfer Protocols

    • FTP (File Transfer Protocol)
    • FTPS (File Transfer Protocol Secure)

    5. CoffeeCup FTP

    CoffeeCup FTP

    A Windows exclusive software, this is only one of the few that works as a great FTP client for Windows 7. As there aren’t many free FTP sites for Windows 7 and older versions, finding ones like CoffeeCup can be a treat.

    CoffeeCup free FTP software has this unique bookmark tool that allows you to save your work locally as well as on servers. Its modern interface makes CoffeeCup easier to use. Now combine all that with great speed. You can also drag your files from Windows folders and then drop inside this software.

    The only downside with this one is ads. We have all been on the internet long enough to understand how free software generates their incomes. One of those sources is ads. If you don’t mind a few ads now and then, CoffeeCup is decent free FTP software.

    Supports: Windows Vista, 7, and 8.

    Download Link: CoffeeCup FTP

    CoffeeCup FTP Graphic User Interface

    Graphic User Interface

    Image Credit: CoffeeCup FTP.

    File Transfer Protocols

    • FTP (File Transfer Protocol)
    • FTPS (File Transfer Protocol Secure)
    • SFTP (SSH File Transfer Protocol)

    6. Core FTP

    Core FTP

    Another Windows only free FTP software, Core FTP, has several secure network connections over which you can successfully transfer files. It has a simple UI, which is also pretty fast. And it is one of the best FTP clients at zero price.

    The best part is some of these free clients like Core FTP do not show ads, which makes transferring files to the server a smooth process. While using some of the FTP clients on this list, you’ll notice that once you move a file away, you cannot rename it. Core FTP has the option to rename those files as well.

    Supports: Windows

    Download Link: Core FTP

    Core FTP Graphic User Interface

    Graphic User Interface

    Image Credit: Core FTP

    File Transfer Protocols

    • FTP (File Transfer Protocol)
    • FTPS (File Transfer Protocol Secure)
    • SFTP (SSH File Transfer Protocol)

    7. FTP Voyager

    FTP Voyager

    A final addition to the list, FTP Voyager, is a free FTP client software provided by Solarwinds serv-u. Compatible with Windows, it is one of the few that allows users to drag and drop their files into the FTP client’s software. It also has a fully-feature scheduler that schedules transfer for custom times. It allows multiple file transfers at once, but unlike Filezilla, FTP Voyager can be a little slow at times. Another one of its significant features is automatic folder synchronization.

    Supports: Windows

    Download Link: FTP Voyager

    FTP Voyager Graphic User Interface

    Graphic User Interface

    Image Credit: FTP Voyager

    File Transfer Protocols

    • FTP (File Transfer Protocol)
    • FTPS (File Transfer Protocol Secure)
    • SFTP (SSH File Transfer Protocol)
    Blog Author
    Nirav Dave

    Nirav Dave is the Co-Founder & CTO at Capsicum Mediaworks, a Web Design & Development Agency based out of Mumbai, India that specializes in all things Web Design & WordPress Development. He Worships WordPress and Loves to read anything and everything about this exceptional CMS.

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