The Best FTP App For Mac

Mac OS X is, fortunately, blessed with a variety of really nice file transfer apps that support many services and protocols. Nonetheless, Transmit still manages to be the pick of the lot.


Platform: Mac OS X
Price: $US34
Download Page


  • Supports file transfers via FTP, SFTP, SSH, Amazon S3 and WebDAV
  • FXP support for direct server-to-server transfer
  • Very fast (much faster than previous versions)
  • Simple bookmarking system with history
  • Bandwidth-limiting options
  • Path bar navigation
  • Multitouch navigation
  • File sync with file size comparisons
  • Tabbed interface with tear-off tabs
  • Quick look for files
  • View images as thumbnails
  • Easily change file and folder permissions
  • Auto-updates
  • AppleScript support
  • Set complex file transfer rules to skip certain types of files or set specific permissions automatically
  • Mount servers like disks in the Mac OS X Finder
  • Access your bookmarks through a menubar item


Transmit does what few apps can do by combining a ton of useful functionality with a simple and intuitive user interface. Generally you get a minimalistic, easy-to-use app with a limited feature set or you get a bloated, complicated, but extremely powerful option. Transmit is the best of both worlds, plus it’s extremely fast. Even if you don’t like the interface, Transmit integrates with the OS X Finder so you can mount servers like disks. It supports pretty much every protocol you need, helps you sync files easily, updates itself, and just works very well on the whole.


It’s expensive considering you can get Cyberduck–another great option — for free. For many people, $US34 is going to be far too much for an file transfer application whether or not they feel it’s the best option or not. Panic did a wonderful job making Transmit, but when there’s plenty of cheaper, adequate competition it can be a tough purchase to justify.


Cyberduck is a wonderful file transfer client that’s completely free and runs on both Mac OS X and Windows. If you don’t want to pay to transfer your files to remote locations, Cyberduck is definitely the way to go.

Flow is another file transfer app on the pricy side of the spectrum, coming in at $US30. It offers many of the same features as Transmit but also offers a built-in code editor.

ForkLift is another $US30 file transfer client that does a lot more than transfer files. If you want some extra features that seem mildly out of place, such as like app deletion, it’ll provide those extras. You also get some other neat things like easy file renaming, the ability to move things into the Terminal with just a click, full keyboard support, and many other neat options.

Lifehacker’s App Directory is a new and growing directory of recommendations for the best applications and tools in a number of given categories.

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