Perhaps, before Peer to Peer Networks came about, the fastest and easiest way of sharing files is through FTP or File Transfer Protocol.  FTP is a protocol that runs exclusively over TCP or Transmission Control Protocol.

Over the years, the increasing need for remote hostings has made FTP very popular.  Not that there aren't other ways to transfer files, but its the most usable and easily implemented protocol.  Though there may be a lot of caveats in using FTP, its still the simplest to use of all means of data transfer.

I must admit, that I myself do not advocate the use of FTP for file transfers, but if you have a team who shares with the same host and uses the same space for different purposes, FTP is the simplest solution.  I've only used a few FTP clients, but I do know a lot that are good and really easy to use.

Since my switch to Ubuntu, I've loved every bit of discovery that I encounter.  I'm loving the new "default" environment and really getting to know more of the opensource stuffs.  I have tried gFTP, KFTPGraber, FileZilla, kasablanca for Linux, cuteFTP, WinSCP, SmartFTP, ALFTP and of course, even the Internet Explorer as FTP clients.  All of them had one great quality over the other, but you just can't have everything in one.

Lately, since I have been trying to equip my small windowed environment–my so-called workspace in the office, I've discovered something that can break apart the usual "install-me" programs.  How I love add-ons!  I've found an FTP client that can sit inside your ever flexible, feature-rich browser–Mozilla Firefox.  Its called FireFTP.. just like FTP on Fire!

What I really loved about it, is the ease of use. It has a lot of the features that I'm trying to look for for every client that I used.  Finally, I've found something that suit anyone running on two different worlds.  Its free, and its cross platform because it can sit inside your browser.  No more window switching! :D

To quote all the features of FireFTP:

  • It's free!
  • Cross-platform: Works on Windows, Mac OS X, Linux
  • Secure: SSL/TLS support, same encryption used with online banking and shopping
  • Synchronization: Keep directories in sync while navigating
  • Directory Comparison: Compare directory content (compares subdirectories too!)
  • International: Available in over 20 languages
  • Character Set Support:UTF8 and just about any other character encoding supported
  • Automatic reconnect and resuming of tranfers
  • Search/Filtering
  • Integrity Checks of transfers (XMD5, XSHA1)
  • Export/Import accounts
  • Remote Editing
  • File Hashing: Generate hashes of files (MD5, various SHA's)
  • Drag & Drop
  • Timestamp Synchronization
  • Proxy support
  • Advanced properties (CHMOD, recursive CHMOD, thumbnails)
  • Tutorials and help files available along with personalized support
  • IPv6 support
  • Open Source!
  • Seamless integration with Mozilla Firefox
  • …did we mention it's free? :-)

I like that fact that it makes my workspace much neater and easier to handle.  Its hard to keep your FTP client sitting in another window, while you hastily switch through the other applications during its activity.  Sometimes, a wrong Alt+Tab with the combination of ESC and other keys can disrupt the transfer, and its really annoying.  At worst, a quick Alt+F4 can be sent to the FTP window instead of the intended recepient.  Aside from this, it feels like I'm almost connected to my server infinitely.  That means, I don't get kicked out when the number of users has been reached for that server.  Really great for me. :)

In fact, I'm really considering donating for the kids in Sarajevo! Check them out.