What is FTP (File Transfer Protocol)?
The File Transfer Protocol was one of the earliest ways to exchange data between computers over a TCP/IP network. It is very convenient for uploading and downloading large files. The protocol operates in a client-server model, where an FTP server and an FTP client perform data transfer operations.
An FTP server is configured on the network and is the location for storing files. Mac users access it using special software, called FTP clients for Mac, to start the process of copying or uploading data to the server. Several decades ago, FTP clients were just command-line interface (CLI) applications. Now they have their own easy-to-use, intuitive interfaces to make transferring files easy and simple, available as standalone applications, web clients, and simple web browser extensions.
Checklist - what to look for in the best FTP client for Mac?
Most FTP clients have the same functionality and are quite similar, but sometimes you find a tiny feature in one of them that changes the whole idea of FTP and makes it more useful to you. These are the features that you should take into consideration when looking for the best OSX FTP client.
- Look for intuitive interfaces with drag and drop functionality.
- Security should be on the top of the list when choosing an FTP client.
- The best OS X FTP client has bookmarks and search tools for your files.
- Automatic reconnection to the server.
- Support for parallel downloading or queuing of the files.
- FTP client should also support the ability to pause file transfer and resume it when needed.
- Check which clients are connecting to certain types of servers. Some of them can only transfer from local servers to online servers. Others support connection to third-party storage servers like Dropbox and Google Drive.
- Make sure the client supports different types of protocols.
- Fast file transfer is a must in each decent macOS FTP client.
- Check whether your FTP client supports side-by-side directory comparison mode.
- Most users had to deal with transferring large files using an FTP client. So it is worth checking whether the chosen FTP utility for Mac supports dealing with large files.
- Ability to change/rename files directly on the server.
Definitely, this list can be longer and it’s all up to you to decide which Mac FTP client is perfect for you and satisfies all your needs.