What to Look for in a Good FTP Client?
There are dozens of different FTP clients for Mac on the market, and users will find different options more useful depending on what kind of file transferring needs they have in mind. Each FTP client has its own strengths and weaknesses, although some options stand head and shoulders over the rest. However, as a rule, the best OSX FTP client should cover the following:
- File management options: Lots of FTP software Mac users can choose double up as file managers that can improve or replace other functions you might have relied on Finder for. Pick the best FTP program for Mac that has options to make it easier for you to move and organize your data.
- Security: Standard FTP connections aren’t especially secure with basic settings, so it’s important to find a FTP client for mac that offers end-to-end encryption when connecting with other servers.
- Speed: Some file managers can be bloated with too many features, and take a lot of processing power to work. If you really need the extra features then you can make the trade-off, but otherwise, pick the best FTP software for Mac that won’t slow your device down.
- Compatibility: Your file manager and FTP client should have good compatibility with your different storage solutions and other file transfer protocols. If you use cloud storage services like Google Drive, OneDrive and Amazon S3 then make sure your FTP client works with them. It’s also important to make sure that the right connections types are supported if you want to use the best SFTP for Mac and FTPS as well.
- User interface: It’s important to pick the best FTP app for Mac that’s comfortable and intuitive for you to use. With the best OSX FTP client that offers a lot of customization options, casual users can find the interface more complicated or intimidating.
Commander One Overview
There’s a lot of competition to be the best Mac FTP client, but Commander One has a lot to recommend it. As one of the best FTP clients OSX users can choose, it's packed with features that advanced users will be able to leverage for a highly customized experience. There’s a dual-panel interface that’s proven popular with a lot of users, that lets you quickly navigate the app without the endless windows that you have to handle in Finder.
The MacOS FTP client is robust, and comes with encryption as standard for all your file transfers. The file manager is something that many people will find especially useful: it allows you to mount all your cloud as local drives, allowing you to manage your data through Finder like a regular drive. Some compatible cloud services include Amazon S3, Google Drive, OneDrive, Dropbox, WebDAV, along with SFTP and FTPS connections.
When you’re using a single program like Commander One to access all your storage instead of having every proprietary cloud app open at once, you’ll find that your device will probably run faster.
In addition, you can preview and edit files without having to download them locally, which will help you save on harddrive space. Supported archive formats include RAR, Zip, TGZ, TBZ and 7z. There’s lots of folder options available, and a great search function that lets you find a file by searching for its contents. Hotkey customization is also excellent.
Despite the amount of options on offer, Commander One is a smooth and responsive MacOS FTP client that doesn’t make excessive demands on your device’s processing power. If you want to try it for yourself, the unpaid edition still counts among the best free FTP for Mac, so it’s worth checking out to see if you like the app. However, there are some advanced features like Terminal emulation and iOS device mounting that you will need to premium edition to access.
- Comprehensive cloud storage integration
- Good folder customization and search option
- Fast and intuitive FTP utility for Mac
- Multiple archive formats supported
- No option to synchronize directories
- Some of the most powerful features require premium edition
- Some users may prefer single-panel view
Alternative FTP Clients for Mac
Among FTP clients Mac users enjoy, CloudMounter stands out. This popular program does what its name suggests, allowing users to mount all their cloud storage solutions as local drives on their Mac device. This allows for easy file management and helps save disk space, since the app doesn’t require you to make copies of files on your local drive. Compatible services include Google Drive, Microsoft OneDrive, Amazon S3 and more. End-to-end encryption and Mac OS Keychain security make the app safe and reliable.
- Excellent Finder integration and drive mounting
- Highly secure
- Intuitive UI is a pleasure to use
- Many features relegated to premium edition
Transmit is a file manager and FTP client for anyone who needs top notch server integration, and some would say it’s the best SFTP client for Mac. There’s a massive range of supported data transfer protocols to take advantage of, and the FTP client is especially easy to recommend. Despite having a lot of customization options, Transmit runs surprisingly quickly and the user interface is less cluttered than other options. Overall, we would say that advanced users might find Transmit worth using.
- Responsive FTP client for Mac
- Great support for multiple connection types
- Integration with MacFuse
- Expensive compared to other options
- Connections suffer from timeouts occasionally
If you value an intuitive user interface in a Mac FTP client above all else, ForkLift will be an attractive option. It has a very streamlined approach to design that lets you manage large amounts of data very easily. You’ll find FTP and SFTP server support, bluetooth connections for smart devices, and a refined dual-panel interface. Overall, the program is pleasant to navigate and has some nice features to make it one of the best OS X FTP client programs.
- Good dual-panel interface
- Excellent folder synchronization options
- Rename files in batches
- Minimal Terminal integration
- Lack of keyboard navigation options
FileZilla has been a fan favorite ever since it was launched in 2001, and continues to be crowned the best free FTP client Mac option by many users. It’s compatible with Mac, Windows and Linux, and has proven to be one of the most popular FTP clients around. Best of all, it’s open-source, so the full version is completely free if you want to try it out. Many people would say that FileZilla is the best free FTP client for Mac.
- Multiple connections supported including FTP, FTPS and SFTP
- Useful drag-and-drop feature
- Filter files by name and details
- Synchronized directory browsing
- Interface can be intimidating for casual users, too many functions can slow navigation
A clean and efficient FTP client for Mac and Windows, Cyberduck nevertheless offers lots of support for different connection types and cloud services. The combination of speed and functionality has made it a popular choice with MacOS FTP users over the years, and can also be utilized with a dashboard widget.
- Clean, streamlined UI
- Great connection options
- Broad file extension support
- Lets you view network server history
- Single-panel view only
FTP is the standard for server connections, so it’s worth taking the time to find the best Mac FTP clients that suit our particular needs. As we’ve seen, there’s a huge amount of FTP software Mac users can choose from.
We recommend giving the trial versions on offer a go (where available), and then upgrading the premium program if you like what you find. Just be sure that the best Mac FTP client you choose is compatible with your other storage solutions, and that it’ll keep your files secure when making transfers.