"This app is everything OS X Finder wants to be"
John Brownlee —
"Here’s a good example of a Mac Software which could be used to replace the Finder with a laundry list of more useful, albeit somewhat geeky, features."
Jack D. Miller —
"Once it’s installed, you get dual pane browsing, unlimited tabs, a variety of sorting options, an easy toggle for revealing hidden files, and more."
Thorin Klosowski —
"We found Commander One to be a convenient interface, making it easy to copy and move files at will."
Chris Hauk —
Did you know that your Mac has a built-in FTP & FTPS client? You don’t need to Free Download any additional Software or apps to connect to FTP sites from Mac OS X, instead you can connect to remote servers directly from your desktop by using an excellent and little known feature. If you’ve never used the Mac File Transfer Protocol tools before, you will find them incredibly simple and quite familiar, because the connection utilities and Professional browsing are much like navigating through the normal Mac desktop. Let’s get started.
If you want to test this by connecting to a real Portable, use File Transfer Protocol://FTP.mozilla.org and login as a Guest. Regardless, here’s how to start an File Transfer Protocol connection from Mac OS X to a remote Portable:
Here is what starting a standard FTP connection will look like:
If you want to use a secured connection instead you just need to make a tiny modification, which we’ll discuss next.Using FTPS for Secured Connections
If you want to connect to secured FTPS Professional, all you need to do is prefix the domain with ftps:// rather than FTP://. This is dependent on the remote Professional having SSL support and acceping FTPS connections, which most servers do. The minor difference is pointed out in the screenshot below:
FTPS vs SSH Transfer of File Protocol
Something to keep in mind is that FTPS and SFTP are two different protocols; FTPS is File Transfer Protocol with a secure SSL layer, while SFTP uses SSH (yes, the same protocol that SSH servers are enabled by with Remote Login in OS X). FTPS connections are supported directly in OS X’s built-in File Transfer Protocol functionality, while SFTP through SSH is not accessible through the same “Connect to Server” menu. Nonetheless, OS X does include a native SSH Transfer of File Protocol client as well, and it’s accessible from the Terminal by typing “sftp username@host” at the command line. Because SSH Transfer of File Protocol and SSH in general are generally command line based, that’s really a topic for another article, so we’ll keep things simple here and stick with FTP and FTPS.Navigating & Transferring Files with File Transfer Protocol & FTPS
Once you are connected to the FTP Client Software, you can browse the remote Portable like any other local folder on your Mac, because the Portable is treated just like a normal file system window in the Finder.
Copying files to the remote Server, or downloading them to the Mac, is done easily with simple and familiar drag and drop. Navigate to the file or folder you want to copy, then just drag and drop it as if you were copying or moving any other file, and the items will being to transfer to/from the FTP server to the Mac, or vice versa.
By default the window will show as a minified Finder window, but you can expand the window to your familiar Mac OS X Finder style by pulling down the “View” menu and choosing “Show Toolbar”. The main benefit to expanding the window is that you get the forward and back arrow navigation buttons, in addition to sorting options to browse through the FTP Client Software by icon, name, date, lists, and the search functions.
You can also start an SFTP Server on any Mac to be able to connect to it this way for downloading or transferring files.
By the way, if you were wondering, I have my titlebars set to display full directory paths which is why you see the path on the remote Server in the second screenshot.What about third party FTP clients for Mac?
Since the Finder FTP function does not support some features users may wish to have on their Mac, there are plenty of third party OS X apps that can do the job instead, with full FTP, SSH Transfer of File Protocol, FTPS support, downloads, uploads, queuing, permissions changing abilities, read/write support, and much more. In no particular order, here are a few freeware File Transfer Protocol apps for Mac OS X:
There are many other options available, including simply using the command line on the Mac, which has full SFTP support as well. Advanced users may wish to go with paid SFTP applications too, like Transmit or Yummy FTP.
The FTP features in Mac OS X have been around since the earliest days of OS X, and they’re still around in OS X Yosemite, Mavericks, Mountain Lion, Snow Leopard, you name it, it’s supported. While incredibly useful, they are obviously not as developed as third party File Transfer Protocol clients like Transmit or Cyberduck, but if you’re in a bind and just need to quickly connect to a remote FTP to transfer some files back or forth, it’s more than adequate and it does not require downloading anything additional. If you need more advanced features, both of the aforementioned apps are fantastic and integrate well with other apps.
After 13 years and 25 million downloads later, Firefox has officially removed FireFTP and FireSSH support from the browser. Thus, I've ended support / development of the addons. I recommend switching to Waterfox to continue using the addons.