Three free alternatives to SmartFTP

James Thornton


Not so smartWhen I started my favorite file transfer app, SmartFTP this morning I discovered to my horror that the software is no longer free. Now, I’ve been something of a loyalist to the program for years now so I thought about paying for a full licence. However, I then remembered how much I begrudge paying for something that I’ve been getting for free for years. So I decided to look elsewhere for my FTP needs and came across three cracking alternatives that won’t cost you a bean (for now, at least).

I imagine most SmartFTP users will flock to Filezilla as their first choice replacement. The open source software has built something of a reputation for its reliability, speed, and ability to manage large file transfers. What’s great about the program is that you can set both local and remote filters for things like images, explorer files or CVS and SVN directories or even create your own. FileZilla also includes a tool to compare directories in terms of file size or modification time.

Core FTP Lite is another popular free FTP client. It’s pretty easy to handle thanks to its straightforward drag-and-drop interface, and there’s a bunch of cool features such as auto retry of failed transfers, bandwidth control throttle, remote file searching and .htaccess/.htpasswd editing. Core FTP is probably best known for its superb security features though, and the free app supports a wide range of security protocols.

Both of these aforementioned tools make for decent alternatives to SmartFTP. However, for sheer convenience I ended up plumping for FireFTP, a neat Firefox plug-in that gives you handy access to FTP servers from within your browser. While perhaps not as fully-featured as the other two stand-alone apps, I reckon FireFTP has more than enough for the average home user and the ability to call upon it at any time from your Bookmarks Toolbar makes it a real winner for me.

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