Great Free FTP Software

When it comes to software, I am a firm believer in the maxim that less is more.

I prefer software that has a small footprint (uses less not more disk space and active memory or RAM). I like software that does the job and nothing more. I’m a big fan of software that loads and runs quickly without trickery — preloading is trickery in my book. And naturally, I like software that costs less, not more.

So when I got the “invitation” to buy yet another upgrade of the FTP client software we use on the Webshop’s five machines, I decided to go slow. I’ve been using WS_FTP Pro and regularly upgrading for seven or eight years. It’s reliable, competent software that really doesn’t need to be improved, except to accomodate hardware or operating system changes — or to pump up Ipswitch profits.

So instead of putting another nickel in Ipswitch’s meter, I checked out the alternatives. Last time out, I’d found reasonable alternatives in SmartFTP and CuteFTP. SmartFTP is more than most home users will ever need, has a small footprint, is quick, and is free. I’m not fond of its interface, but then I’m a right-brained, linear-thinking compulsive. CuteFTP, whose “Home” edition has escalated to $60, has a slicker interface than SmartFTP, twice the footprint, and does little more. I passed on the “Pro” edition altogether.

My choice for a terrific WS_FTP alternative and the winner of this week’s PC News Digest Best Choice Award is CoreFTP, PC News Digest Best Choice Award. available in a Lite freeware edition and a Pro edition for $35. It boasts a small footprint (a third the size of WS_FTP), all the features needed to handle website design and development quickly and securely, clean, intuitive interface, and no excess baggage. And this puppy even works nicely on older PCs. It needs just 16MB memory, 4MB disk space, and Windows 95B with IE 4.1 or later. I’m already using it regularly on an older laptop we use for backups. You can bet CoreFTP will be installed on each new machine I build and any I upgrade.

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