47. Download away with FileZilla
By Mark Alberstat
If you work on websites or have any need to use FTP (file transfer
protocol) software, you know there are many Windows-based FTP programs
available for downloading. Like all software, some are better than others.
One of the most popular used to be WS-FTP but since the latest version
times out if it isn't paid for, a search for a new interface may be in
A relatively new player on this block is FileZilla. This open-source FTP
client has everything you would want, including security features, and is
being recommended by universities around the world to students and staff
who upload files to their servers. The current release, 2.2.9, works on
all versions of Windows since 95.
The software began as a university project for German computer science
student Tim Kosse. Today, the software has thousands of downloads each
week and is rated among the Top 15 projects from the hundreds on
SourceForge.net, home of
FileZilla and other open-source programs.
What has made FileZilla one of the most popular FTP programs around is its
speed, power, features and the low, low cost - nothing. That price isn't
the demo or a timed-out version. Downloaded and installed, it's the
latest, full version and there are no nag screens asking you to donate or
upgrade for some set price.
Its Windows-based interface means anyone who has any passing familiarity
with Windows Explorer will be able to use this program with next to no
knowledge of FTP and its sometimes arcane commands. FileZilla's main
window shows the user's computer and the remove server that the program
has logged into. Transferring files, the main duty of these programs, is
as easy as dragging a file from one side of the screen to the other.
A nice FileZilla feature is that files that you are uploading can go into
a queue. If you have dozens of files to upload, highlight them all, drag
them over and watch the queue work away at the list while you sip a
FileZilla's Keep Alive System will be a big help to anyone who is on an
unstable connection. This feature sends a few commands to the server at
random intervals. Without this feature, reconnecting and reloading files
would be a constant inconvenience.
FileZilla has SFTP (Secure FTP) built right in. The options for this
setting can be found under the Settings/Connections menu item and are as
easy to change as the program is to use. Along the same lines, FileZilla
also can work with SSL secured connections and has SOCKS4/5 and HTTP1.1
Proxy support. Although most users will not be aware of these security
measures, it is reassuring to know that the developers are security
The FileZilla developers are clearly looking for a wide range of users as
you can change the menu system to a variety of languages, including
Hungarian, Japanese, Czech and Bulgarian. With these types of features and
language support, there is no good reason not to move your ftp duties over
to FileZilla and begin using this robust and open source piece of
software. To download FileZilla or find out more, point your browser to:
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Originally published 21 November 2004