Although its main use is that of an FTP client, FlashFXP is more than this, as it comes with FTPS, SFTP and FXP support.
Transferring files from one computer to another has never been easier than it is today. The multitude of solutions enables even beginner users to send and receive data over the network in a comfortable fashion.
FlashFXP can be installed on your system but the developer also makes available a portable version of the application which can be carried around on a removable storage device. Judging by the features it sports, the $29.95 (22.23 EUR) price is not too steep.
Looks are unimpressive, as the app shows a simple layout, which, unfortunately, does not support more than one remote connection, unless we’re talking about server-to-server transfers. You have the local view in the left hand part of the interface, the transfer queue right under and the remote location in the right side, with the connection status beneath it.
If this arrangement is not comfortable for you the app lets you swap the two panels as well as change the layout from vertical to horizontal.
Unlike other clients, FlashFXP does not feature a “quick connect” bar in the upper part of the application window. This option is, however, available upon pressing F8 key shortcut. It can also be found in the remote connection menu, which gives you access to the history of your connections as well as the locations stored in site manager.
The application comes with a bunch of predefined remote locations connections, giving access to public FTP locations. The list is pretty well organized and includes access to FTP locations for popular web browsers, major game brands as well as government sites and operating systems (Linux and BSD). As a side note, this list needs to be updated as not all entries work.
Besides the main purpose of storing connection details for various remote connections, Site Manager proves to be a handy utility since it allows customization of every recorded connection. The possibilities extend to data connection mode, character encoding, resume support and transfer settings.
Customization capabilities as far as transfers are concerned come in quite handy if you’re trying to keep a location (remote or local) updated with the latest data. Using transfer rules you can automate the process if the item is already present in the destination location. You can instruct FlashXFP to check if the date and size are the same and take the action you choose: overwrite, skip, resume, rename or ask for your decision.
Additional options include the possibility to set an action in case of transfer error or wait for a specific amount of time for your input before executing the set action. The beautiful part is that such rules can be different for each site or you can impose global regulations.
File filtering is another feature of the application. This enables you to define the sort of data that should be transferred. As such, the program can be used to skip certain file types from the transfer job, but it can also be set to deliver items of a specific sort with priority.
Scheduling the transfer of a batch of items is also on the feature list of the application. The only condition you have meet in order to achieve this is to have items in queue. The function also lets you pick an action once the transfer of these files completes; this can be anything from disconnecting the site or quitting the app to one of the supported power options supported by the computer: turn off, hibernate, log off or sleep.
Starting the transfer of queued files at a future time can be done even if at the scheduled moment the application is closed. For this you need to use the “Scheduled Tasks” pane and define a new task. As you still need files to be in queue, FlashFXP lets you save a specific queue and automatically loads it up when the time for the transfer comes.
Just like in the case of any transfer, you can appeal to rules in order to customize the transfer. The same options are available so you’ll be able to create a priority list, set an action once the process ends and create rules.
As dropped connections are concerned, FlashFXP comes with a handy solution, keep alives option. Enabling it will keep the connection up and you get to configure the aggressiveness of the operation.
Support for SFTP (Secure File Transfer Protocol) comes with a huge choice of encryption algorithms, from AES, CAST, DES, Twofish or Serpent to Blowfish. Both commands and data are encrypted over SFTP so network security risks do not compromise the transfer.
FlashFXP may not be suitable for the average user, as it tends to accommodate the needs of more experienced ones; but learning its ropes not exactly a tough job. The hefty set of functions it brings in make from it a mature and flexible FTP client. The Good
It comes with advanced functionality and an easy to use interface. Transfers can be done according to user specific rules which can restrict certain files from being sent over.
Scheduling tasks comes in very handy and can transfers can start even if the application is not running. The types of transfers supported include PC to Server, Server to PC, FTP server to FTP server sessions.
You can easily manage remote data as well as search the remote location for specific items. Folder content comparison shows the missing items and helps you synchronize the two locations. The Bad
Looks are not among its strengths and brushing up the interface as well as adding some basic functions, such as “quick connect” in a more visible place would help.
One important drawback is lack of support for multiple connections at once; tab management of the remote locations would be a good solution for plenty of users. The Truth
FlashFXP has developed into a mature FTP client ready to tackle the needs of more experienced users through rule sets governing transfers, scheduling possibilities as well as secure transfers.
It does not offer the easiest handling, but learning its ropes is not a difficult task, either. Also, it would be nice to ease access to some functions by placing them in the main application window as well as improve its documentation so that it becomes accessible to a wider audience.