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That may be over the top praise for WS_FTP produced by Ipswitch, but I've tried a couple of different products over the years and have always returned to WS_FTP. I use the product at home and at work and it's always fast and reliable and doesn't take up lots of system resources.
~~ So What is it?
Its an FTP (File Transfer Protocol) client, which is an essential utility for anyone transferring files via the internet. In Ipswitch's own words:
Transfer Files Quickly and Reliably.
========================= WS_FTP Pro is a Windows-based file transfer client application that is used to transfer files between your local PC and a remote FTP server. With WS_FTP Pro, you can connect to any FTP server, browse through directories and files, and transfer files (upload or download) in either direction.
Intuitive, Easy-to-Use Interfaces. =========================== WS_FTP Pro provides two user interfaces: the classic user interface and the Windows Explorer interface. With the option to install either or both interfaces, you can choose the one that's right for you, or you can install both and use them interchangeably. "
You have the option of the "classic user interface" which consists of two windows (one on the home PC , one on the remote server) in which you select files using a windows type file chooser and transfer files between PC and Server by selecting the appropriate button.
Alternatively there is the Windows Explorer interface that looks and acts like Windows Explorer, so you can choose which environment is most suited to you.
~~ How do I Get It?
WS_FTP is available free to home users (although there are a few , non essential functionality limitations) or as a professional edition for around $40. Their website is at
This contains a tutorial and explanations about FTP. It has multilingual downloads including Japanese, French , German and Spanish. It also explains the benefits of purchasing the professional version, but the enhancements are not required for most home users.
~~ So Why Would I Want IT
I use it for maintaining my websites, and web development in my work. It's also quicker to transfer files via FTP rather than send them as an e-mail attachment. It's very annoying if you have a 2 Mb file to take home. It wont fit on a floppy (unless you use Winzip with a span option) and e-mail can take an age to send and receive. FTP is very quick at both ends , with the advantage that WS_FTP can resume failed downloads.
~~ Is it Easy To Install?
A doddle , and you get a list of useful FTP sites included with the setup including Microsoft and ID Software. Adding new sites is very simple, basically you just fill in the boxes and then connect up, and that's it.
~~ In Conclusion
As I've said I've used WS_FTP for years in various incarnations and it's never let me down. It's free for home users and is fast and efficient. The download is 2.5 Mb and there is a PDF version of the user manual, so not only do you get the product , but you get documentation as well, and it's free!!! If you are dissatisfied with your current FTP client, or just looking for one you could do worse that try this out.