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.

Transmit

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.


Comments

    How is FileZilla not on this list? Lift your game LH!

      Agree with this. I use Filezilla for all of my FTP needs. It's a name that I just remember no matter what box I'm on (Mac or Windows). Too easy.

        Agree with this too. I use Filezilla across all 3 platforms (Windows,Mac and Linux)

      Agree. Very negligent not to include Filezilla

      I agree too. Used Filezilla for years now crossplatform! :D

      +1 for filezilla

    I use Transmit (got it on one of those macheist bundles years ago) and am happy with it for basic needs.

    For heavy lifting, the lack of a multi-segmenting FTP client for mac is a real issue. CuteFTP does it on Windows, doesn't on mac. I don't understand why no-one wants to segment :(

      Captain ftp (http://captainftp.xdsnet.de/) is a mac client that does multi-segmenting for OSX. Good one too, though it costs about US$30

    I used the trial transmit and it was great until I checked my monthly usage and found out that transmit decided it would be great to download via http go figure...

    Needless to say, 1/2 of my monthly download limit was kissed goodbye and I've switched back to cyberduck.

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