Find the best file-sharing solution for your macOS devices with these seven FTP server/client solutions
There are a substantial number of filesharing solutions available on the market today, and as cloud-based filesharing expands, new avenues of sharing and collaborating within your business are opened. However, most of the options available on the market today cater to Windows environments—but what if your business heavily relies on Mac?
Fortunately, there are still plenty of options available for Mac businesses. This article discusses several tools that you can use for your Mac file-transferring needs. Though before you delve into the world of filesharing and FTP, you may want to spend some time determining what requirements you need from an FTP client/server.
You may only need a straightforward file-sharing platform that can allow you to share files within your network. Alternatively, security features might be a priority for your solution, collaboration tools, or integration options. Each of the FTP solutions featured in this article tends to specialize in one particular area over another, so your priorities should be the leading factor in what solution you eventually choose to implement.
Here is our list of the best FTP Clients for Mac:
- SolarWinds Serv-U MFT – FREE TRIAL SolarWinds Serv-U MFT provides a fantastic FTP server framework that offers a variety of security and collaboration features that shine, going above and beyond to provide a fantastic Mac-suitable FTP solution. Get a 14-day free trial.
- Transmit 5 One of the greatest MacOS-specific FTP client solutions, that provides a professional interface, with numerous features and a wide variety of server integrations.
- Hightail Its primary area of interest is file sharing as a form of creative collaboration on visual media projects—which is perfect for creative-focussed Mac-based businesses.
- Commander One A free file manager designed with macOS in mind, has a dual-pane interface that makes managing your files as easy and efficient as possible.
- Files.com A cloud-based file-sharing solution with several integrations. For more dependable access, it has an on-premises application that connects to desktop and mobile devices.
- ExaVault Cloud FTP A cloud-based file transfer solution that places a strong emphasis on automation and integrations.
- Egnyte Provides several security-focused products in addition to a comprehensive file collaboration solution with several built-in, secure file-sharing features.
Secure FTP (SFTP)
Ensuring your file sharing is secure is a vitally important requirement for your FTP client/server solutions. Since you’re looking for an FTP solution, you might already be aware of the usefulness that the SFTP protocol presents in regards to improving the overall security of your file sharing. While SFTP isn’t especially critical when dealing with internal file sharing—it is especially important if you plan to share data across the internet.
For this reason, all of the solutions in this article can also perform SFTP transfers. Whenever you see a reference to FTP within this article, you can presume it also means SFTP. When setting up your file-sharing solution, regardless of what service you decide to use, it’s worth weighing up the benefits that using SFTP can provide.
Server and Client
What is an FTP client without a server to manage your file transfers—this is why most of the solutions featured on this list are FTP server solutions that come with an integrative FTP client solution. While it’s possible to handle FTP transfers without a server, especially in a third-party cloud environment, having a manageable server provides a greater level of control.
For this reason, if you’re looking for a file-sharing solution for larger businesses, and have the infrastructure to support its deployment and maintenance, it is suggested to look through the various options that detail FTP server frameworks in addition to just the clients.
While choosing which solution is best for you, it’s also important to determine whether you need a cloud-based or on-premises solution. If you’re working specifically with FTP, then you’re probably already looking for an on-prem FTP server solution—but there are several options available that provide FTP support over the cloud through client integrations.
There’s also a chance that you’re looking for a file-transfer solution and therefore decided to look into FTP as it is the classic file-transfer method. However, if you’re flexible on the actual method of file transference, there are options available that aren’t strictly Mac-focused that can provide you with the perfect file transfer system.
While FTP is a mainstay of file transferring, the protocol is slowly becoming less and less prevalent in businesses, as alternative solutions present better methods of file transferring. Regardless, the core concept of simple, secure, file transferring within and without your network is present in all of the solutions listed within this article.
The Best FTP Clients for Mac
SolarWinds Serv-U MFT offers a great FTP server foundation with a range of security and collaboration features that excel as a Mac-based FTP service. Once it has been included in your network, Serv-U MFT is an on-premises solution that may be hosted to support an unlimited number of continuous connections.
- On-premises FTP server
- Ad hoc file sharing
- Centralized file transfer management
- Compliance reporting and regulation
- Security trigger responses
Ad hoc filesharing tools that significantly speed up file transmission are also provided, as well as quick, huge file transfer via the web and mobile devices. You may automate file-sharing processes with administrative control using the central dashboard portal, which also provides data logs and access activity for monitoring the security and architecture of your file network.
The software from SolarWinds comes with a free 14-day trial that can be accessed through the website, as well as a full-featured demo that may help you get acquainted with the capabilities. One perpetual server license for the entire product costs $3,192.
2. Transmit 5
Transmit 5 presents one of the best macOS-specific solutions available for your FTP services. The solution provides comprehensive integration options for several services, including Backblaze B2, Box, DreamObjects, Google Drive, Microsoft Azure, and Rackspace Cloud Files—but crucially also includes support for FTP. Other features include the ability to manage and distribute files from a dual-panel interface that is professionally presented.
- Purpose-built Mac FTP Client
- Dual-pane view
- Numerous server integrations
- Multithreaded downloads
- Batch rename and file management options
Additionally, Transmit goes to great lengths to enable you to set up your Servers for quick access, with a quick-to-install client and cloud-based hosting service. The solution also uses multithreading to increase the speed of your file transfers, especially when it comes to large or complex files. Transmit also includes integrations for several editors that allow you to seamlessly upload and update files on the network.
Transmit 5 has a full 7-day free trial available to download from the website. The product itself is a flat $45 per license, but the cost decreases with more copies of the product, for example paying for 100 licenses costs $30 per copy instead of the full price—this means you should take the time to accurately assess how many copies you will need, possibly adding additional licenses to your purchase to cut the cost down slightly.
Mac-based businesses are often focused on creative endeavors considering the focus that Mac presents when it comes to creativity. File sharing as a way of creative collaboration on multimedia projects is the exclusive focus of Hightail. It differs from many of the other solutions on our list due to its particular focus, but if you require a file-sharing solution for this precise use, then this solution is perfect. Create a project to centrally manage creative assets, feedback, decisions, and approval from a single solution to manage artistic projects utilizing technology created for visual material.
- Cloud-based file sharing
- Collaborative media-focused tools
- Adobe CC integration
- Visual project management
- Deadline management
Hightail puts the media project at the core of your collaborative creation and offers some of the best collaboration capabilities available in a file-sharing solution The solution can be integrated with several storage options and creative software programs like Adobe Creative Cloud (CC). The system is entirely cloud-based, and it supports both desktop access as a standard feature and mobile access as an optional feature.
Hightail offers four service tiers, with the more expensive tiers having progressively more features. There is, however, a free version of the program created for small teams; it supports individual file sizes of up to 100MB, but files expire seven days after being published.
You can test out all of the features and decide whether each tier of the product is appropriate for your company's needs by using the free trial that is offered with the solution's Business edition, which is the highest level that is currently offered. The Pro and Teams editions provide more features and cost $12 and $24 per user each month, respectively. Each user in the Business tier receives all the features and maximum individual file size of 500GB for a monthly fee of $36.
A cloud-based file-sharing service that has a lot of integration options, including an on-premises application that connects to Mac and mobile devices for more dependable access. To facilitate transfers, Files.com establishes a connection with your FTP program. Along the way, secure protocols like SFTP ensure data protection. The list of supported integrations for the solution is incredibly long and includes companies like Google, Amazon, Microsoft, Box, Dropbox, Amazon, Wasabi, Backblaze, Rackspace, and more.
- Cloud-based file sharing
- Comprehensive integration support
- API for custom integration
- Automated workflow support
- On-premises integration support
Because Files.com uses a SaaS revenue model and offers scalable storage and access, the solution may be completely customized to meet your unique business needs and software budget. You can manage your complete network storage from a single cloud-based solution because there is API support for third-party collaboration and even higher levels of supported integration.
On the platform, Files.com offers a 7-day free trial. The entire product is divided into three tiers of usage, each with minimal and maximum requirements. The Starter Tier has a 50k maximum daily API request limit and a 1TB monthly usage cap. 250k maximum daily API queries are increased to 5TB under the Power tier. Last but not least, the Premium Tier raises these ceilings to 10 TB and 2 million maximum daily API queries.
5. Commander One
A free file manager purpose-built specifically for macOS, Commander One offers a dual-pane interface that makes managing your files as simple and effective as possible. The program delivers the capabilities you need for seamless and complete management of your files and folders in addition to being simple to use. The interface seamlessly blends into your Mac environment and provides you with slick navigation tools to properly search and manipulate your files. Despite being free, note that you’ll need the premium version to manage FTP transfers and have better control over your network file sharing.
- Purpose-built Mac FTP Client
- Dual-pane view
- Configurable hotkeys
- File archiving
- Premium features available
Despite being a free tool, the solution also comes with a substantial number of additional features and is constantly being updated and worked on to provide new functionality. Create hotkeys for your most-used operations, open ZIP files as ordinary folders and archive and unarchive files, and computers that use the NetBIOS protocol can be easily identified over a network for faster sharing.
The program itself is completely free to download, but as mentioned above, there are some premium features available for purchase in an ungradable version. This premium version comes with features such as a built-in FTP, SFTP, and FTPS Manager, with the option to establish file permissions using these protocols; or for convenient access, set up Dropbox and Dropbox Business accounts as drives.
6. ExaVault Cloud FTP
ExaVault Cloud FTP is a cloud-based file transfer solution that focuses on automation and integrations but lacks any tools for direct collaboration. ExaVault is designed to integrate with a wide variety of widgets and webhooks to create a customized FTP solution that meets your precise third-party business requirements. With the ability to add distinct, entirely branded upload forms or even a full file-transfer interface directly to your website, the API takes integration to the next level.
- Cloud-based file sharing
- Expansive integration options
- Management interface for better control
- Real-time backup
- High-quality support
Although ExaVault can offer help, this does necessitate some more work on the part of your team since your company will be responsible for setting up such personalizations. Webhooks can also be used to launch internal automatic processes when files are downloaded or uploaded.
The Cloud FTP solution from ExaVault has a free trial available that can be viewed and used via the website. The product itself is divided into three subscription tiers, each of which requires you to obtain a customized estimate for pricing because there is no available public pricing. One global storage location and 50,000 daily API queries are the only restrictions on the Starter package. The Power plan includes up to 2 worldwide storage locations and has a daily API request cap of 250,000. Finally, the Premier package includes 2 million daily API requests at all of their international storage facilities in addition to more extensive integration options.
Egnyte offers several security-focused products, but they also offer a large file collaboration solution that comes with integrated collaboration and extensive secure file-sharing capabilities. You can collaborate on large files with others using the service and access them from any device or location. You can cooperate in places with poor or erratic connectivity by using low bandwidth connection requests.
- Cloud-based file sharing
- Hybrid choices for on-site use
- File caching and connection with low bandwidth
- Detailed collaborative tools
- Access control and security alerts for files
Performance issues will be resolved by automatically caching frequently seen files at far-off, low-bandwidth sites. Use upload folders to collect files from third parties securely; only the files in your partners' selected folders will be visible to them. Receiving alerts about unusual or forbidden file access or sharing is one of the security features. You can forbid external sharing or automatically restrict access to sensitive or risky data.
For testing purposes, Egnyte offers a 15-day free trial of their product. The solution is cloud-based, but for better connectivity and storage control, there is a hybrid cloud/on-premises option.
The Business subscription, which costs $20 per user per month and is ideal for the majority of enterprises, but deficient in several security and compliance capabilities that may be essential for others. These essential capabilities are included in the Enterprise and Enterprise Lite packages, which also offer adjustable storage and user needs. However, the price will be determined after receiving a customized quote from Egnyte.