7 Useful Features of FileZilla and Why It Is the Best FTP Application

There are occasions when file transfer needs go beyond sending a couple of videos at a time. You might be looking to back up your entire laptop data to insure against possible theft. Or you may want to run a scheduled transfer of files in the background without interrupting your business hours. When it comes to high speed multiple transfers, nothing beats the comfort and familiarity of a desktop-based FTP application.

FileZilla continues to be one of the most trusted FTP agents in providing no-frills transfer between a server and clients. Most of its features are absolutely free, though recently there have been important upgrades in FileZilla Pro (only for Windows and Mac), a paid version.

If you are looking for a highly functional FTP application, here are seven reasons why you should consider, or get the best out of, FileZilla.

FTP applications are often criticized for taking security lightly with their default setting of plain text credentials. However, with SSH File Transfer Protocol (SFTP), the files in transit can be hidden under an encrypted Secure Shell (SSH) connection. There are plenty of applications for encrypted transfers. For example, FileZilla can help you securely connect to your WordPress account.

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In FileZilla versions 3.37.1 and above, the dashboard lets you select SFTP from a dropdown menu before you initiate file transfers. If you want to click “Quick Connect” on the main dashboard, remember to prefix “sftp” before the website, giving the server address (sftp.websiteURL.com) followed by port number.

Though only available with FileZilla Pro, you can now transfer your files to your favorite cloud provider with FileZilla. Currently, it supports Google Drive, DropBox, OneDrive, Amazon S3, Microsoft Azure File Storage service and Google Cloud Storage.

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Go to “General,” followed by “Protocol,” where you can additionally select the required Cloud provider from a dropdown menu. FileZilla will automatically build a hostname when you select one option.

For example, with Google Drive, simply use your Gmail account. You will go to your Google account and have to authorize FileZilla Pro access to your Google Drive, then close the browser window and let the file transfer begin.

One of the best purposes of FileZilla is that you can run multiple tabbed instances to connect with different servers at the same time. This is of course, subject to Internet speeds and the number of files being transferred. You can limit the number of simultaneous server connections from the “Transfer” menu.

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Simply create a new tab from “File.” You can assign to it a specific folder path, directory or an entire drive. Establish a new connection site manager for each tab (server).

One of the best ways to keep track of the ongoing transfers is viewing remote files in the Dashboard itself.  It is a steady improvement over having to minimize the window and frequently check server progress.

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Go to “Server” in FileZilla Client followed by Remote files. You can also use a shortcut menu, F3. Enter the keywords of your choice.

Searching for remote files has a very important application, most notably in editing files remotely. Visit “Edit,” followed by “Settings,” to handle the documents.

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Visit “Edit,” followed by “Settings,” to view various file edit options.

You can also allow FileZilla to work remotely with any VPN of your choice. For example, OpenVPN can be used to protect your IP tracks during the transfer. For this functionality, Windows users will be required to download the FileZilla server.

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Open the FileZilla server and go to “Settings” followed by “Passive mode settings.” You must first retrieve the host name from OpenVPN.

We already discussed the ability of FileZilla to run multiple tabbed instances of various servers. The best part is that it can transfer and resume very large files of 4GB and beyond. This is, in fact, a very essential feature of a good FTP application.

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If your download stops due to a reason – for example, Internet downtime – simply resume the transfer once it is back up. The speed of transfer can be changed from a default setting with a “0” value allowing for unlimited transfer rates.

Cloud backup solutions including DropBox, OneDrive and iCloud Drive have their perks, particularly in aspects of security. However, the sheer convenience of a desktop-based FTP application like FileZilla will ensure that it’s not becoming outdated anytime soon.

Which is your favorite FTP utility and why?

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