Commander One – convenient way to access FTP on Mac

In macOS, you can connect to an FTP server using various tools both built-in and third-party apps. However, full work is possible only through special applications called FTP Mac clients. We recommend you to take a closer look at Commander One – file manager with built-in FTP client supporting encryption feature for even more secure file management.

Cloud management: key points and top tools

FTP is the protocol used for transferring data. In fact, it is a set of rules and standards, guided by which apps on remote computers can download and upload various files to/from an FTP server. The protocol works due to the presence of a server and a macOS FTP client.

The most common use of FTP is for hosting files. However, its capabilities are not limited to only this function. FTP is a good alternative to the usual storage media providing fast and convenient file transfer between users of the global network. Thanks to it, you can forget about disks and flash drives, because all files are easier to upload to an FTP server, where they will be available to users from different parts of the world.

How to connect to FTP on Mac computer

To connect to an FTP server on Mac using Finder, follow these steps:
From the Finder Menu Bar, select Go> Connect to server.
 Connect to server
Enter the name or IP address of your server in the Server address line, click the [+] button to add it to the Favorites list for quick access, and click the Connect button.
 click the Connect button
Enter the username, password in the corresponding fields and check the box so that the system will remember it for the next connections. Click the Connect button.

It is worth mentioning that, built-in Mac OS X solutions provide access to FTP without recording capability. If you need to upload something on the server, you will have to use third-party products.

How to FTP on Mac using a browser

You can also connect to the FTP server through a browser. However, in this case, only part of the functions will be available for use. To enable FTP on Mac through a browser follow these steps:
You must enter the IP address of the host in the address bar, only with the addition of the "ftp: //" prefix. Press the Enter button.
Next, you will need to enter your username and password and then click on the Login button.

How to access FTP on Mac through Terminal

Also, you can perform basic operations directly from the Terminal command line. Here is a step-by-step instruction on how to use FTP in Mac Terminal:

Find / Applications /Utilities), launch it.
 Terminal Mac
Connect to FTP server by typing the server address in the following format:
After a few seconds, you will be asked to insert a password. Please note that asterisks (dots or other characters) are not displayed during input, so it is better to type it immediately without errors.

Is FTP Mac connection secure or not

By itself, the technology of file transfer over the Internet (FTP) is quite vulnerable and does not provide complete security (the protocol was initially unprotected, and it was assumed that the data transmission channel is always reliable). Now, by default, it is assumed that each channel is unreliable and that the data needs to be further encrypted. Unfortunately, FTP, itself, does not support this feature.

A hacker can intercept certain data by connecting to your connection and for this, they do not need to know either a username or a password. There is also the issue of login security: by default, the FTP protocol has no protection against password guessing and login attempts, so someone can simply iterate over the available passwords to gain access to folders.

How to improve FTP connection functions via macOS FTP clients

For all the convenience of using Finder as a Mac OS X FTP client, it is worth noting the ability to access the server in read-only mode. In other words, files can be downloaded from a server to a computer, but not vice versa. If you still need to host something on the server, you will have to use third-party products.

Using FTP on Mac via Terminal opens up a bit more functionality, however, it is not so convenient to use it and not all users feel confident when dealing with Terminal. Some of them are dashed with terror only by the word itself not mentioning the fact that they need to execute certain commands. To set FTP server Mac users can also use different browsers, but again, the functionality is limited and it is not so practical. That is why Mac users are in search for third-parties apps with a wide range of functionality to fully satisfy all their needs.

Commander One – the best FTP for Mac software option

Price: $29.99
Free version: Download
Mac App Store version: Available here
Commander One interface

Commander One is a convenient FTP/SFTP/FTPS client for Mac. The app makes it possible to access FTP server on Mac with a couple of clicks and offers the same file operations for remote files as for the ones stored locally, namely copying, deleting, moving, editing. Besides that, it is a straightforward file manager with a wide range of enhanced features: work with archives, MTP devices, iOS devices, task manager, process viewer, encryption on online connections, and way more. Thanks to the dual-pane interface interaction with files and folders is done in the slickest way.

icon pros Pros:

  • multiple tabs support;
  • support for cloud computing services;
  • built-in FTP/SFTP/FTPS client;
  • encryption on online connections;
  • Terminal emulator;
  • hotkey support.

icon cons Cons:

  • no multi-rename feature;
  • no synchronize directories feature.


Connecting to an FTP server is very simple and there are several ways to do it. Many of them are relevant for all popular operating systems. But it all depends on the goal because the functionality of some programs is very limited.

Frequently Asked Questions

FTP or also known as File Transfer Protocol is one of the basic protocols for transferring files over a network between computers. With its help, you can connect to FTP servers, view the contents of their directories, and upload files from or to a server.
To connect to FTP Mac users need to know its domain name or IP-address, as well as the username and password for authorization. Launch Terminal and type After a few seconds, you will be prompted for a password.
There are a lot of decent Mac OS X FTP clients. Some of them are absolutely free of charge, some of them are paid but they are all different in terms of features they provide the users. Here is the list of best FTP software for Mac: Commander One, CloudMounter, CyberDuck, FileZilla, ClassicFTP, Transmit, Yummy, Flow.
You can access FTP server on Mac using built-in solutions. However, uploading to an FTP site on Mac is possible via third-party programs.
By default, FTP is configured with 20 and 21 ports. The most important is port 21, to open the server and send commands to it. Whereas port 20 is needed mainly for active mode.
FTP client is a program that uses the FTP protocol to transfer files to and from a remote computer.
Top choice

Commander One

  • Rank 4.5 based on 90+ users, Write a review
  • Requirements: Mac (Mac OS X) 58.68MB of free space.
  • Version 3.3(3508). (8 Sep, 2021). Release notes
  • Category: Other solutions