The FTP protocol is still used in companies to allow employees to access the central file archive or data server created by the company, but it is also used by webmasters to manage, upload and modify the files that make up a website .
If we need to access a corporate FTP server or have shared a network disk via FTP and want to access it remotely, in the following guide we will show you the best FTP programs to access files remotely on any Windows computer.
READ ALSO -> Connect a disk to the router to share files on the network
The FTP client that we recommend you try now is WinSCP, one of the best for accessing remote resources.
This program allows you to access remote servers via protocol FTP e FTPS (i.e. encrypted FTP), but also allows you to configure remote accesses via SFTP (SSH File Transfer Protocol), SCP (Secure Copy) e WebDAV.
Its main purpose is to copy files between computers in absolute safety, through a window divided into two areas: local files on the left (i.e. the files on the computer) and remote files on the right (i.e. the files on the server to which we have access. ). With WinSCP you can too work on files remotely, modifying or deleting them also because there is a built-in editor to open text documents and save them after modifications.
To configure access to the FTP server, open the program, click on New site, we select as protocol file FTP, we choose the encryption level (basic is Explicit TLS / SSL encryption), enter the server name or host address, select the port number (basic is 21), enter the username and password and finally press on Log in.
Another very valid program for accessing files remotely via FTP is Cyberduck, a free downloadable open source program for Windows and Mac.
The app is one of the most complete for accessing the remote files of a corporate server, a personal web server or a cloud service, since it supports a large number of protocols: FTP, SFTP, WebDAV, Amazon S3, OpenStack Swift, Backblaze B2, Microsoft Azure / OneDrive, Google Drive and Dropbox.
As seen above Cyberduck allows you to access and manage the files stored in Amazon S3 and lets upload files from desktop to Google Docs without having to download the appropriate Google client.
Using this program is very simple: after opening it, press up on Open connection, we choose the protocol we want to configure (FTP), enter the server name or IP address in our possession and finally the access credentials (username and password). After insertion the server will be available in the program interface, ready for remote access.
One of the most used programs in the world when it comes to FTP is FileZilla, free to download for Windows, Mac and Linux.
FileZilla can be downloaded either in client version and in server version, it’s free and opensource and it’s available for Windows, Linux and Mac.
Of Filezilla exists the portable version downloadable on the PortableApps site, a reference point for free programs without installation.
Filezilla supporta i file transfers via FTP, SFTP, and FTPS (FTP over SSL / TLS). Even if this program has a very 90s interface, it remains one of the points of reference for those who want to connect to an FTP server in a simple and fast way.
To use FileZilla and connect to any FTP server we recommend that you read our guide on how connect FTP on Windows.
4) Client FTP alternativi
Those seen above are undoubtedly the best programs to manage FTP servers on Windows, but those who want to experiment or want to try something else can download one of the alternative FTP clients in the following list:
- FTP Rush it comes with an interface very similar to FileZilla but more graphically accurate, so you can quickly connect to any FTP server.
- Total Commander: a professional separate windowed file explorer that integrates a good FTP client that is easy to set up.
- Multi Commander: Another alternative two-window explorer that allows you to configure access to an FTP server.
- Classic FTP: a classic FTP client to access shared resources via remote server.
Let’s try them all until we find the one that best suits our needs.
Even if FTP is not the best protocol for transferring files remotely, it remains one of the most reliable for moving files from a remote server to the PC (and vice versa), whatever the size of the files we intend to move or copy. Thanks to FTP we can access all remote folders, edit files where possible and copy them to your computer using an encrypted connection (highly recommended these days).
If we feel that FTP is too outdated for our purposes we can quickly sync two folders remotely by reading our guides on how synchronize and upload folders to OneDrive without moving them and how synchronize any online folder in the Cloud with symbolic links.
If, on the other hand, we need to create a personal data server, we can continue reading our guide on how turn your computer into a limitless “cloud” file server.