Best Free FTP Clients for Windows and Mac (2021)

In this article, we will be creating a list of some of the best free FTP clients for Windows and Mac which will be helpful for you.

Our list of FTP clients will be helpful for those who are seeking a suitable way of managing and handling the files on your server. Or you want to explore the functionality that isn’t available in the control panel’s file manager.

Now, let’s dive deep into the crucial features and protocols of free FTP clients.

What is an FTP Client?

FTP or full form as file transfer protocol is a piece of software that we utilize to transfer data among devices on a network.

In hosting, we generally use FTP clients to transfer data among local computers and servers. This incorporates listing, viewing, copying, editing, moving, uploading, downloading, compressing, and comparing files.

Some of the Free FTP Clients


FileZilla is an open-source FTP client and is the most famous client. FileZilla was first released in 2001. It’s also the most recommended client. Filezilla is compatible with both Windows and Mac.

Supported Protocols

  • FTP
  • FTP over SSH
  • SFTP
  • FTPS

Supported Features

  • Passive Mode
  • Resume Download

Special Features

  • Tabbed interface for an enhanced workflow
  • Active and huge online community


Cyberduck’s makers describe it as a libre server and a cloud storage browser. It is open-source and is compatible with both Mac and Windows. It brings a vital feature like support for cloud servers such as Google, Amazon S3, Microsoft Azure, OneDrive, Dropbox, etc.

Supported Protocols

  • FTP
  • SFTP
  • FTPS

Supported Features

  • Compression
  • Passive mode
  • Resume download

Unique Features

  • Enables you to set your own text editor

Classic FTP

Classic FTP is one of the simple day to day usage type tool built by NCH software. Though it does not have multiple features or protocol support as Filezilla and CyberDuck, it does its job considering its size and interface.

Supported Protocols

  • FTP
  • FTPS

Supported Features

  • Passive mode

Unique Features

  • Simple and easy to use
  • Part of a set of useful everyday tools by NCH Software


Last in our list of free FTP clients is WinSCP which is available for windows only. WinSCP is open source and quite popular with the Windows community. It is the only client that lets you completely rearrange its visual interface, this is a huge plus point if you use FTP regularly. Likewise to Cyberduck, it supports cloud services such as Google Drive, Amazon S3, Microsoft Azure, OneDrive, Dropbox, etc.

Supported Protocols

  • FTP
  • FTP over SSH
  • SFTP
  • FTPS

Supported Features

  • Compression
  • Passive mode
  • Resume download

Unique Features

  • Has its own text editor
  • The user interface can be highly configured
  • Enables sorting of search results

Knowing the Major Features


FTP stands for file transfer protocol and basically runs on port 21 and passwords are sent over the network in text form. Considering today’s security needs and the intensity of cyber threats, we won’t suggest you using this unsecured version of the protocol.

FTP over SSH

FTP over SSH is similar to FTP protocol however adds in an SSH tunnel among the client and server. This way, it gets benefits from SSH encryption and adds an extra layer of security.

Also Read: How to Use OpenSSH on Linux


SFTP stands for SSH File Transfer Protocol and also known as Secure FTP. It is totally distinct protocol and has nothing to do with FTP. Port is 22, which is also the default port of SSH port.


FTPS or FTP/SSL can be identified as the simple FTP protocol over a TLS/SSL channel. Its data transfers are encrypted. It also uses port 21 like an SFTP. This protocol’s second default port is 990 which is also described as the implicit port. We utilize it to begin an SSL handshake automatically.

As this protocol uses various ports for data transfer and password authentication, it makes it challenging to manage from a security point of view.

Suggested For Further Reading:


The FTP client’s compression feature is generally indicated to its on-the-fly compression capability. This feature enables a faster transfer process as the file compression is done during the file transfer process.

Also Read: How To Compress Website Content Using cPanel

Resume Download

Through this feature, you can resume or pause the downloads if a connection is lost before the download is finished. Losing the internet connection in the middle of the FTP download can be quite irritating.

Hence you must pick an FTP download that lets you resume a download once it’s paused abruptly or stucked.

Additionally, with resume download you can quite easily pause the downloads to mange the bandwidth. It is quite useful for doing multitasks when working with more than one file or servers.


We hope through this blog post, you got to know the best free FTP clients and the FTP features. It’s time to choose one and begin using it. Pick the one that best fits you.

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