FileZilla is free, cross-platform FTP, FTPS, and SFTP software, consisting of the FileZilla Client and FileZilla Server. Being FTP software, or File Transfer Protocol (acting as the server for the Windows OS), FileZilla operates on the standard network protocol used to transfer files from one host to another over a TCP-based network: the most forthwith example being the internet.
A network protocol is the rules that govern communication over a network so as to ensure clearly defined sending and response.
An FTPS network protocol is an extension to the common File Transfer Protocol (FTP) adding support for the Transport Layer Security (TLS) and the Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) cryptographic protocols. Lastly, an SFTP network protocol (Secure File Transfer Protocol) is a network protocol that provides file access, file transfer, and file management functionalities over any reliable data stream, an extension of the Secure Shell protocol (SSH).
In summary, there are a dizzying amount of protocols, and so rules and subsets of rules and so on that make possible the transfer of data between computers over a network. Filezilla is reliable software that does this exceptionally well (though the GUI has been called intimidating to novices).
Filezilla is open source and comes with all of the perks this entails. The open source community has the source code freely accessible, so plug-ins and other forms of modification or improvement can be pulled from thousands of other minds. As with many now popular open source projects, Filezilla was birthed in a clandestine programming manger by a trio of students for a class project in college.
Beginning as a computer science project in January 2001 by Tim Kosse and two fellow classmates, the three had already decided on publishing the software, the only quandary being under what license. By unfounded modesty, but perhaps ultimately the best choice, Filezilla was first made public under the open source license due to the fact none of the creators thought people would actually pay for their product.
There are a number of features which contribute to the cohesive, wholesome feel of the FileZilla client and the FileZilla server. The FileZilla client’s features as highlighted on FileZilla’s website include the subsequent:
- Easy to use
- Supports FTP, FTP over SSL/TLS (FTPS) and SSH File Transfer Protocol (SFTP)
- Cross-platform. Runs on Windows, Linux, *BSD, Mac OS X and more
- IPv6 support
- Available in many languages
- Supports resume and transfer of large files >4GB
- Tabbed user interface
- Powerful Site Manager and transfer queue
- Drag & drop support
- Configurable transfer speed limits
- Filename filters
- Directory comparison
- Network configuration wizard
- Remote file editing
- HTTP/1.1, SOCKS5 and FTP-Proxy support
- Logging to file
- Synchronized directory browsing
- Remote file search
The FileZilla server has bathed in much of the same praise awarded to the FileZilla client, and a sizeable chunk of the users implementing the client also unite it with the server.
FileZilla supports SSL, the same level of encryption supported by your web browser, to protect your data. When using SSL your data is encrypted so that prying eyes cannot see it, and your confidential information is protected. It also supports on-the-fly data compression, which can improve the transfer rates.
Unfortunately, the compression setting can have mixed results, so it is advised to use it with care. It is possible for files that are already compressed to be transferred over the network using more than their original data size.
Support for SFTP (SSH File Transfer Protocol) is not implemented in Filezilla Server.
Surprisingly, the SFTP network protocol remains outside of FileZilla server’s capabilities, but still is compatible with the client. To most, anything besides an FTP protocol is superfluous, so this should raise no major concerns.
Over 250 million downloads
FileZilla has been downloaded over 250 million times off its sourceforge open source free download page. The prestigious cnet.com has bestowed the software with a perfect 5 star rating, has gained a 4 star user rating, and is ranked as the #1 FTP software.
In all likelihood, if one were to ask someone in IT or most who are familiar with the network protocol out on the market today, FileZilla would come highly recommended for price, ease of use, and its constant updates and innovations.
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