Killer Download: The best free FTP clients

Check out some great FTP clients that won't cost you a penny.

Killer Download

If you maintain a Web site or blog, you need a File Transfer Protocol (FTP) client. Mainly used for uploading and downloading files to and from a Web server, FTP clients can also download obscure files and documents from any number of servers around the world. The good ones make the process of uploading and downloading fast and painless with features that eliminate unnecessary steps and offer common security protocols.

I've tried a number of different clients and found many that work quite nicely. But the things I look for in an FTP client, like drag-and-drop support and user friendly bookmark management might not be as high on your priority list. What's most important is finding one that offers the best features for your specific needs.

There are plenty of FTP clients you can buy with all the features you need, but why pay if you don't have to? Here are a couple of free ones I've found that make the process a little easier.

Right-clicking a file brings up a contextual menu giving you multiple options for your transfer (Credit: CNET Networks)

FileZilla offers a paned, side-by-side interface in which you can drag-and-drop files to and from a specified server. It has all the advanced features you might need, like timeout detection and SSL secured connections. The site manager makes it easy to sift through your sites (if you have more than one) so updating specific pages is easy. You can also run multiple simultaneous transfers.

The side-by-side interface makes it easy to pick files that need an update (Credit: CNET Networks)

Core FTP LE is a feature-packed FTP client that's free to home users and students. This one offers drag-and-drop transfers, a session manager, auto-transfers, and much more with an easy to understand interface. It's a wonder this one costs nothing.

If you need a good FTP client or are looking to switch from your old one, check out one of these free programs. As always, let me know in the comments if you have a FTP client you like better (so I can use it!).

About Jason Parker

Jason Parker has been at CNET for more than 13 years. He is the Senior Editor in charge iOS software and has become an expert reviewer of the software that runs on each new Apple device. He now spends most of his time covering Apple iOS releases and third-party apps.