Whether it’s an application, manual, or driver, sooner or later everyone FTPs; you may not even know you are doing it. Standard browsers can download from FTP servers, but if you download often, you’ll be better off with a true FTP client. These useful tools allow you to navigate FTP servers quicker and easier than your standard browser. Unlike bulky browsers, FTP clients are smaller applications with smaller system requirements that are almost exclusively used for downloading and uploading files to and from FTP servers.
We looked at Anarchie, Fetch, NetFinder (pictured below), and HeftyFTP. All these clients are easy to set up and install. We found NetFinder to be the easiest to use — the interface looks and acts like a standard Mac Finder window. Hefty FTP, on the other hand, has a nonstandard interface and many buttons that aren’t very intuitive. However, Hefty FTP does play MP3s.
All the clients support the drag and drop capability and come with a bookmark list of FTP sites. With a built-in bookmark list, you can immediately jump to the preset sites (for example the Apple support site) with just the click of your mouse. To find FTP sites that are not bookmarked, you type in either the IP address of the server, or enter a name similar to a Web site name (for example, type ftp://ftp.company.com).
All four clients are shareware and can be easily downloaded and registered online for a fee between $25 and $35.