FTP is an acronym for file transfer protocol. FTP (file transfer protocol) is a mechanism for transferring files from one computer to another. It was developed in 1971.

FTP allows users to upload and download files and information without utilizing a web browser. It is a streaming protocol, which means data is delivered in smaller pieces to complete the process at a faster rate.

Uploading files to a web server is the most typical use of FTP. It’s also used to keep files on a web server up to date. In a nutshell, FTP is a safe and secure means to download, upload, and transfer files across the internet.

An FTP software allows a company to move massive amounts of data on a regular basis. SMB or large enterprises employ managed file transfer (MFT) solutions to protect sensitive data from the server. FTP is predicted to grow in the future since it allows businesses to transport massive amounts of data while also securing internal, external, and ad-hoc data transfers via networks.

According to one research, the global managed file transfer software market was worth USD 1.58 billion in 2020 and is expected to reach USD 2.99 billion by 2028, with a CAGR of 9.59 percent between 2021 and 2028.

FTP software is client-server; it has two parts: an FTP server and an FTP client. Downloading or uploading files that are too large to deliver through email is a popular application for FTP.

What is an FTP client?

An FTP client connects to the server and performs operations such as upload, download, rename, delete, etc.

Earlier, FTP clients only had a command-line interface, but now they include a feature-rich, user-friendly interface that makes the file transfer procedure much easier. FTP clients are available as standalone programs, web browser extensions, and online clients. FTP clients can be installed on desktops, servers, and mobile devices.

What is an FTP server?

FTP Server is a software that enables users to download and upload files from servers using the FTP protocol. This server can run on any machine with File Transfer Protocol Server software installed.

Benefits of using FTP

Large file transfers are possible: File transfer requirements for many firms go beyond sending a single Microsoft Word document. FTP simplifies large transfers and necessitates a faster file transfer rate. FTP allows you to send hundreds of megabytes of data at once.

Enhanced transfer flow: Instead of waiting to transfer each directory or file one by one, many directories or files can be moved at once with a few simple clicks.

Uninterrupted file transfer: If your file transfer is interrupted due to a failed connection, you will not lose your progress. If you lose your connection, FTP will restart the transfer from where you left off rather than starting over.

Increased productivity: If you need to transfer large amounts of data or wish to send data later, you can schedule the transfer for a later day and time without breaking your schedule. Furthermore, you will not be required to sit and wait while these transactions are completed.

Data security: Normally, FTP is not regarded as secure because it employs a bare username and password, making it easy for hackers to gain access to the data. FTP offers secure data transfer protocols such as FTP over TLS (FTPS) and SFTP.

Data backup: Even in the event of unforeseen situations, the best FTP services ensure that data is never lost. Your files are backed up often and automatically with disaster recovery so that you won’t lose data in the event of a calamity.

Let’s now look at some of the best FTP server software.

Filezilla

Filezilla is a free and open-source FTP client. The FileZilla Client provides a secure FTP connection through FTPS and SFTP.

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FileZilla offers help through its forums, wiki, and bug and feature request trackers.

If you are looking for secure protocol support like FTPS and SFTP, then Filezilla Pro is recommended. It even supports WebDAV, Amazon S3, Dropbox, Microsoft OneDrive, Google Drive, Microsoft Azure Blob, Google Cloud Storage, etc.

For debugging purposes, events are logged to a file and saved at a specific place.

Features

  • FTP and encrypted FTP, such as FTPS (server and client) and SFTP, are used to transfer files.
  • The latest version of internet protocol, IPv6, is supported
  • Transfer speed limitations can be set to limit the pace at which files are transferred, which helps to reduce file transfer errors.
  • HTTP/1.1, SOCKS5, and FTP-Proxy are all supported.

It comes in client and server versions. Server edition can be utilized if you want to share your data with others.

Wing FTP Server

Wing FTP Server is FTP software for Windows, Linux, and Mac OS that is simple to use, secure, and powerful. It supports a variety of file transfer protocols, including FTP, FTPS, HTTP, HTTPS, and SFTP, allowing users to connect to the server in a variety of ways.

It gives administrators access to the server via a web-based interface from anywhere. You can also keep track of server performance and online sessions and receive email notifications regarding important server events.

Features

  • The Android/iOS app allows you to easily transfer and manage remote FTP files while you’re on the go.
  • Event manager to execute Lua script, send an email notification, or run a 3rd party program.
  • Windows AD/LDAP authentication is supported, and data is stored in XML files or an ODBC/MySQL database.
  • Wing Gateway provides high availability via a cluster.

The free version of Wing FTP solutions has limited functionality, whereas the commercial versions are more secure, robust, and handle numerous domains and users.

Titan FTP Server

Titan FTP Server offers the industry’s most secure file transfers. It is the most comprehensive FTP Server accessible, with powerful security features and top-tier technical support.

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Cisco Systems recommends it as one of the few SFTP Server solutions for backing up their full Unified Communications (UC) Suite.

Titan FTP Server has a WebUI that allows users to upload and download files quickly without any additional software or plugins. It has simple administrator and configuration settings that allow administrators to oversee and administer at granular levels.

Its management console, which includes real-time monitoring, disc quotas, and other features, may be managed remotely to control server settings, events, and users.

Features

  • Windows, Linux, and Mac platforms are all supported.
  • Compatibility with several browsers
  • For secure file transfer, HTTPS protocol is used.
  • Multiple files and folders can be transferred with a single drag and drop.

Titan FTP Server supports FTP, FTPS, and SFTP and is available as an Azure or AWS-based application or as an on-premises license.”

Serv-U FTP

SolarWinds offers an on-premise collaboration solution called Serv-U File Transfer Protocol (FTP) Server that allows businesses to share files with their commercial partners.

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File management, user group formation, and rights management are all important aspects of this software. Serv-U offers to upload, browse, and download files through a mobile device interface and a web client through robust security.

It also has a drag-and-drop feature for transferring files and creating user groups. The solution includes a built-in plugin called Web Client Pro that allows users to send huge files. Users can also send multiple files at once.

It is possible to set a number of sessions on the server to avoid bandwidth throttling. It also aids file transfer administration by allowing users to watch and monitor sessions in real-time.

Features

  • File transfer over IPv4 and IPv6 networks using FTP and FTPS
  • To avoid data loss during transfer, encrypt files using SSL/TLS protocols.
  • Transfer multiple and huge files larger than 3GB.
  • Corporate sensitive files can be automatically transferred or erased after transfer.

Serv-U Managed File Transfer Server is the next upgraded version, with greater security, management controls, and compliance.

Cerberus FTP

Cerberus is a file transfer protocol server that has been around for 20 years. For the challenging environment, it ensures data is transferred through a trustworthy and encrypted medium.

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It can authenticate with Active Directory and LDAP and supports SFTP, FTP/S, and HTTPS. It also comes with a comprehensive set of integrity and security features and an easy-to-use manager for managing user access to files and file activities.

Because it includes two-factor authentication and strong SSL encryption, small to large businesses may entirely rely on this software for secure data transfer.

IP allowlist/blocklist and automated account lockout can also be used to help users control access to files and operations.

Compliance, notifications, ad hoc file sharing, event support, automation, and virtual directories, are just a few of the other features offered by Cerberus FTP Server.

Features

  • Full customization and control to admins to safeguard and control data
  • Its report manager features allow full audit trails and comprehensive reporting
  • Its scalability nature supports cloud and hybrid computing environments
  • File Retention Policies

Cerberus FTP Server is available in three different editions: Standard, Professional, and Enterprise. The classification is based on capacity, security, the number of connections, and integration, among other factors.

FTPShell

FTPShell server is an SSH2-based secure shell server program for the Windows operating system. SFTP, Secure Shell, FTPS, FTP, and Telnet are all options available for account access.

Administrators can utilize either existing Windows user accounts or new accounts created by the FTPShell server to authenticate users.

The application is simple to administer and customize using the administration panel or the Windows management interface. SSH2-based public key authentication and SSL certificate creation are also supported.

Features

  • Active Directory authentication and Windows NTLM authentication are supported.
  • Anonymous and password-protected accounts.
  • FTPshell Server works with secure FTP via SSL/TLS, both implicit and explicit (FTPS)
  • It can be set to start automatically when the computer boots up

The free personal edition is for personal use only and allows unlimited account creation and up to two simultaneous users.

Syncplify

Syncplify is a famous and award-winning FTP and SFTP server software ideal for deploying a robust, fast, reliable, and secure file transfer server.

The server has the most sophisticated High Availability (HA) functional model available today on the market.

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Syncplify is a well-known and award-winning FTP and SFTP server software that is suitable for deploying a dependable, quick, and secure file transfer server.

It’s a Windows-based secure FTP, FTPS (implicit and explicit TLS), and SFTP server. It allows the transfer of huge files (> 4GB) and virtual folders and supports PKI authentication. The software has both a graphical user interface and a command-line interface.

The software analyses real-time traffic and provides global and per-user protection. Its distinctive feature is that it may be extended using scripting languages such as JavaScript, Basic, C++Script, or Pascal.

Its increased security model assists in automatically detecting and blocking attacks, and its AI architecture blocklists hackers before they break in.

Features

  • Active Directory (AD) users and groups are supported.
  • Delegate administrative duties and run many isolated instances of the SFTP service on a single computer or virtual machine.
  • With a few easy clicks, you can easily adjust security parameters.
  • Controls at the granular level for accurate management and control

Syncplify has the added benefit of being a HIPAA-compliant file transfer server that can be used to backup Cisco UCM safely.

Xlight FTP

Xlight FTP Server is a high-performance, user-friendly FTP server for Windows. It’s built to handle thousands of FTP clients simultaneously while using minimal CPU and memory.

It is meant to run on all versions of Windows, and user authentication can be done via Active Directory, LDAP, or an external database with ODBC connections.

It’s made to provide you with complete control over your FTP server and help you get the most out of it. Whether you want to share your data with the world or keep them private, Xlight makes it simple.

Features

  • Adding FTP and SFTP features to Active Directory users is simple by using Xlight.
  • Users’ FTP settings can be stored in the LDAP server using an expanded schema.
  • Email notification after completion of the task.
  • IP6 integration in all server functionalities

There are three editions of Xlight FTP Server: personal, standard, and professional. The personal edition is free for home users and personal usage.

Conclusion 🖥️

When selecting FTP software, consider factors such as data security, access limitations, cloud support, regulatory compliance, and so on. Check for granular controls, encryption, protocols supported, and other security compliance from a security standpoint.