While I was writing this article, about halfway through, I realized that it would be unfair to tell my readers about Filezilla without also mentioning another very good FTP client called WSftp. So, I backtracked and browsed over to ipswitch.com website to take a look at the latest version. The fact is, when I first started building websites, WSftp was actually the first FTP client that I used. I don't know if Filezilla was even around back then. So I got me a perfectly legal, not illegally copied, and not using a serial that someone else was using (because that is wrong and illegal) copy, of Wsftp , and the next thing I knew I was listening to "uh-oh" as I often lost connection on my super fast dial up AO -Hell connection. (I swear I used that ISP against my will and my better judgment!)
Wsftp is really a great FTP client though. I Used it for a long time, and the only thing that I really did not like was were the sound effects; but I had the option of turning those off. So, all was good.
So, Who Should Use Wsftp?
Wsftp is stable, comes with a lot of features (other than the uh oh), and it offers a lot of support and security options that you will not find in open source free software. Here are a few Basic features:
Transfer files over FTP, SSL, SSH, and HTTP/S transfer protocols.
Protect files before, during, and after transfer. Unmatched security is provided through 256-bit AES encryption, FIPS 140-2 validated cryptography, OpenPGP file encryption, and file integrity validation up to SHA-512.
Honestly, the biggest differences between WSftp and Filezilla, are Encryption options, support, and the fact that ipswitch (the creators of WSftp) offer services that allow the customer to user ipswitch servers for secure file transmission. This is an option that one would find in use on a government network. Having worked with government networks myself, I can tell you that this is where you are likely to find a service like that in use.
Oh Yeah -- Wsftp does not port to Linux!
Shame! Shame! On you Wsftp! Such a huge, money making company does not port it's software to Linux! "In bed with Mega-Microsoft, I suspect!"
Even though this page is about the FTP client-it is only fitting to mention that ipswitch has an FTP server also. An FTP server, of course, is a peice of software that lets the admin setup a folder that can be accessed from other places on their network, or on the Internet. An FTP server usually comes with the ability to set up several users, each one having his/her own login credentials and default folder. This technology is largely found on hosting company websites.
Filezilla is a free open source Ftp client and Ftp server. This FTP Client and FTP server offer web designers and other IT professionals the ability to upload and download files from their web servers or other remote locations on the Internet or on a Local intranet. File Transfer Protocol, otherwise called FTP, does exactly what the name implies. It is a protocol for moving files between machines.
Easy to use
Supports FTP, FTP over SSL/TLS (FTPS) and SSH File Transfer Protocol (SFTP)
Cross-platform. Runs on Windows, Linux, *BSD, Mac OS X and more
Available in many languages
Supports resume and transfer of large files > 4GB
Tabbed user interface
Powerful Site Manager and transfer queue
Drag & drop support
Configurable transfer speed limits
F ilename filters
Network configuration wizard
Remote file editing
HTTP/1.1, SOCKS5 and FTP-Proxy support
Logging to file
Synchronized directory browsing
Remote file search
One day, after using Wsftp for several years; and running on the same old license and version (version four I think), my hard drive crashed, and I had to re-image my machine. I did not have a good backup of all the software that was installed on that box, so I was doomed to reinstalling everything that I needed. Well, I could not find the original serial key, or version of WSftp that I had been using, so I sat out on Google searching first for another Wsftp installation, and later for something more cost effective. You see my older version was given to me as a gift, costing me nothing. But after running through the trial period of the latest WSftp, I simply could not bring myself to pay the prices that Ipswich was asking. I was, after all, more of a hobbyist at the time, not Bill Gates!
Lo and behold, as I browsed the hallowed pages of Google results (otherwise known as serps I think?), I found Filezilla. At first, after reading about the features, I thought " yeah... I bet this thing is a trial that is going to require me to buy later." But, hey, I had already been through coffee cup Ftp, which at the time sucked and locked up my Windtendo, and few other free software packages that were either less than free or did not work, or some combination of both! Just as I was about to pull out the remainder of my already thinning hair -- Google served me up a big mess of Sourceforge which happened to be hosting Filezilla. I forget what all the features of Filezilla where at the time, but after downloading it, I knew that it gave me the same basic connectivity and file transfer capabilities as my old friend Wsftp had for a long time.
So, Like any sane consumer with an eye for a great bargain, I converted to Filezilla and never went back. With a tear in my eye, I took one final look at ipswitch and said goodbye, forever abandoning expensive, hidden code software for its' free, open source nemesis. What can I say? I gave up ASP and learned PHP, quit Wintendo (which is NOT XP Pro), and became a Linux man. I quit using IIS, and converted to Apache Web server. Generally, I started using every open source and especially the FREE open source software that I could find that fit my needs.
I want to make clear though, that open source, free software is not appropriate for every environment. Even though the software is often free, sometimes it is not cost efficient to run a Linux environment and a bunch of other software that requires specialized technicians. Although the company may save money on license fees, they must also consider the prices of qualified IT professionals. In general a Linux administrator will expect higher pay than most Windows administrators. Most people, I think, will agree that Linux (being a Unix like clone system) is more stable than Windows, and gives its users total control over his/her operating system in ways that you could never get from Windows. Linux is more stable and less prone to virus attacks as well as others; but that does not make it invincible. The security of a system is only as good as the people who make the policies. Open source and free are for the the geeks and geeks-up-and-coming who do not mind learning computers on a deeper level. We are able to figure out how to make this stuff work just as good and often better than the paid-for stuff, and we save a lot of money doing it. The trade off usually is that it may take a little extra time, and may require that the user understand command line.
I hope you find my review of these two softwares useful and informative, and you are able to decide which one is right for you.
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