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Top 5 Secure FTP Clients for Free


When transferring files between your server or web host, it is much easier and faster to use software designed for this known as FTP clients, which stands for File Transfer Protocol. However, because of the original FTP methods having security risks, it is recommended to use FTPS or SFTP.

The classic FTP clients did not encrypt information being transferred, which left sensitive data vulnerable while being transferred, including FTP login details. However, SFTP (SHH File Transfer Protocol) and others are more secure options.

For the following list, the two main factors were security and ease of use. While some of these clients offer a command-line interface certain people enjoy, most people prefer a visually appealing and straightforward GUI.





At the top of the FTP list is FileZilla, one of the oldest and most popular open-source clients. It is known for reliability and being fast while transferring multiple things at once with the multi-threaded transfers. If those weren’t nice enough, it offers support for FTPS (FTP Over SSL) and SFTP.

While some FTP clients are only available on certain platforms, FileZilla has been released for all platforms, making it easy to work with various computers at work, home, or multiple office locations. There’s also an app available for mobile transfers.

Available on: Windows, Linux, Mac OS





If Firefox is your browser of choice, FireFTP is a free add-on that provides secure file transferring directly from your browser. If your operating system is compatible with Firefox, it will work with FireFTP.

Available on: Windows, Linux, Mac OS





The overall design of Cyberduck is minimalist, but what it lacks in visual appeal it gains in speed and usability. It supports SFTP and easily handles Amazon S3, WebDav, and others.

Available on: Windows, Mac OS





There are many different features available for WinSCP, but it is only available on Windows operating systems. If you’re using Windows, it’s worth looking into, but if you commonly work across multiple platforms, others on the list may be better suited.

It offers multiple file transfer options, including FTP, SFTP, WebDav, and SCP. With a text editor and scripting support build-in, you can quickly edit text and scripting for more advanced users.

Available on: Windows


Classic FTP



Another client with a minimalist design is Classic FTP. It is available for free (non-commercial use) and offers many intuitive features. The Compare Directories tool can help detect variations that exist between local and remote files.

Available on: Windows, Mac OS





Transmit is another powerful and reliable FTP client, but it did not make the list above due to costing $34. However, it is worth mentioning in case the free clients above do not work for your needs. It is only available for Mac OS, but many web developers prefer Transmit because of its user-friendly GUI and the innovative features combined with security. If you have a little to invest, it’s well worth checking out.

Available on: Mac OS

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