CrossFTP Review

excellent
key review info
application features
  • Download and Upload speed limiting control.
  • (7 more, see all...)

Have you ever wanted to transfer some files to a server and wondered what the best app for the job was? If that's the case, you'd better take a look at CrossFTP, a simple to install, reliable FTP client. This is a must-have type of tool if you often need to move files between remote locations and you don't have the time to deal with errors or crashes, CrossFTP proving to be truly versatile.

Not too long ago, I had no clue as to what FTP exactly was or what was it good for but, in my second year of college, I attended a class called Communications Protocols which, among other important/quasi-boring stuff, explained the basics of the FTP (File Transfer Protocol). I'm sure you can always check out the really technical part on whatever documentation you like, as there is plenty of that on the net alone (called RFC-request for comments), not to mention books, but basically this protocol has a quite simple task and implementation. Without getting into details, we generally refer to an FTP as a protocol that allows data transfer between two hosts through a network. And, since the Internet is the biggest network of them all, where but here would FTP reach its highest potential and popularity.

Of course, there is a lot more to say about FTP in order to fully explain the whole concept, but that doesn't concern us here. All I would like to add before I start telling you about this software is that for a connection from one computer to another to be established, much work has to be done, and it really isn't a lot of fun doing it every time you need to transfer some files. It goes without saying that, by now, someone had figured out how to automate this procedures and to add some user-friendly interface. And, to conclude, this is how the FTP client program appeared, a top representative being CrossFTP.

In order to connect to an FTP server, you have to follow a few simple steps and then you will be on your way to handle all your transfers without any further complicated commands. First, you have to create a new record with the features of the site you want to connect to, this being achieved by going to Sites -> Site Manager and creating a new site. You are now given the option to either create a new category in which to add future sites, or simply create a new site in one of the two categories already provided, Quick and Site.

After you fill in the label you wish to remember the site by, a whole lot of settings are available, from the really important ones such as host, user name, password or protocol (which can be, aside from FTP, FTPS/SSL, FTPS/TLS, SFTP/SSH), to the advanced ones, like file name case conversion or security options (available if you use SFTP). All this may appear somewhat overwhelming for a newbie but, trust me, I'm not an expert either and I managed everything quite easily. In fact, for the first time I setup CrossFTP I wanted to quickly test it on the FTP server of a friend of mine, and I did nothing more than to kindly ask him for the host name, user and password and there it was - when I hit connect, I had access to all the files stored on his server. It was a very simple FTP server, but all I needed was to store some e-books, so I created a new folder and drag-and-dropped all the files there.

Do not think that, just because I did not use its entire arsenal of options, they aren't useful. They come in quite handy in a lot of scenarios. For example, I discovered a very interesting feature called queue, which can save precious time when there are many different files to transfer. I'm saying it saves you time, because you can just put the files in a queue and then start the transfer (the queue transfer), and you don't have to worry about the connection being lost, because it will try to reconnect after a given interval and, when it establishes again, the remaining files in the queue resume their transfer.

Another perk I noticed was the filter capability, which allows a full customized transfer, in so providing different handling according to the file type. All the files are transferred in binary mode, but you can choose to transfer them in ASCII mode, if they're ended in a list of extensions. You can also set the priority of transfer, or skip some files that have a given extension. A nice thing here is that it's possible to add some of your own extensions in those lists, giving you the possibility to transfer numerous kinds of files, each one with its particular operations.

The veritable control center of this java-based FTP client is the global options window, which you can reach by selecting Tools -> Global Options. This is really where you can change just about everything regarding general options, connection, transfer, behavior, and even sound or display. Just to name a few, here are the most important settings as I see them: server encoding, download and upload speed limit, CRC checksums, drag & drop support and transfer mode.

The Good:

It's easy to understand/use even by a non-expert and has a full set of available options which can be put to good use. It provides the basics, but also many more features that can satisfy anyone in need of this sort of tool.

The Bad:

There's nothing really bad about it, but maybe just that some shortcut keys would have been nice to speed things up a bit. Also, the interface looks rather antiquated, but that's just a matter of personal taste and it doesn't really have to be a graphical wonder to do its job properly.

The Truth:

It's a reliable app, the kind that extensively helps your work without crashing or becoming unresponsive. It really is a very useful tool for advanced users and beginners alike.
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user interface 4
features 5
ease of use 4
pricing / value 5


final rating 5
Editor's review
excellent
 
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