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   ► KBIT Water-Coo...Windows UsersCool Windows...   Print This     
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  From the December 2008 Issue of Prestwood eMag
Cool Windows Tools:
FileZilla: A Great FTP Program
Posted 12 years ago on 12/12/2008
Take Away: File Transfer Protocol (FTP) has many uses, and there are a host of good FTP programs, both commercial and free. FileZilla is a free, open-source solution that rivals, and even exceeds, some of the best commercial FTP programs.


Working on web projects requires a mechanism for transferring files.  Although many web authoring tools include a "publish" feaure, FTP file transfer remains king.

Beyond web publishing, File Transfer Protocol is useful for uploading and downloading other kinds of Internet-hosted information.

Available FTP programs range from Windows Explorer (sort of) to expensive commercial offerings.

Without denegrating any of the great commercial FTP programs, it would be a mistake to ignore FileZilla, a free, open-source, cross-platform FTP solution.

I've been testing the FileZilla FTP client program, v3.1.6, for the past few days, and I must say that I am impressed.  (The FileZilla project also includes a FTP server, which I haven't tried).

Getting FileZilla is a simple as visiting the project site, downloading the installer, and running it. I had my copy up and running - and transferring files within about 6 minutes.

FileZilla includes a very comprehensive "site manager" with which you can configure it to connect to virutally any existing FTP server:  Here's a screen shot:

Screen-shot of FileZilla site dialog

You can create as many sites as you like, even organize them into "folders."

Compared to some other FTP client programs, the FileZilla main screen may seem a little cluttered and complex.  In practice, though, it turns out to be a near-perfect user interface.

One of the things that makes FileZilla so easy to use is its complete, two-way drag-and-drop feature. 

You can drag files from Windows Explorer to FileZilla's "target" pane, which initiates the file transfer.  Multi-file drag-n-drop works, too.

And you can do the exact reverse: drag files from you target Internet FTP area to Windows explorer.  That initiates file transfers from the Internet to your file system.

Another very handy feature is the pair of folder navigation panes.  Instead of having to double-click on the usual "up" or "parent folder" icon to navigate around, you simply click the desired folders in the folder panes.  Compared to my usual FTP program, this is a sweet, time-saving bonus.

For this screen-shot, I've "squished" the FileZilla main screen to a reasonably small size for this article.  In practical use, it is much more generous than it appears here.

FileZilla Main Screen

"Live" file editing is another nice FileZilla touch.  It's not something I often want to do, but it's nice to have that ability.

If you're looking for a professionally-featured FPT client at the right price, give FileZilla a try!


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KB Post Contributed By Wes Peterson:

Wes Peterson is a Senior Programmer Analyst with Prestwood IT Solutions where he develops custom Windows software and custom websites using .Net and Delphi. When Wes is not coding for clients, he participates in this online community. Prior to his 10-year love-affair with Delphi, he worked with several other tools and databases. Currently he specializes in VS.Net using C# and VB.Net. To Wes, the .NET revolution is as exciting as the birth of Delphi.

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