WS_FTP: Packin’ on the Pounds

By Deane Barker on July 20, 2006

WS_FTP Professional – Features: In what has become something of a tradition around here, it’s time to dissect the latest release of WS_FTP and figure out in what direction they’re further bloated extended this product.

If you read prior editions of this tradition —

— you’ll understand that WS_FTP has become the most bloated mature FTP client in the world. It’s certainly one of the oldest, and to keep selling upgrades, they have to keep adding “features.” But, at a certain point, what do you add? When is enough?

For WS_FTP 2007, they have added:

  • Integration with desktop search engines, so you can presumably select files to upload using a desktop search engine from within the FTP interface itself.
  • A scheduled backup service.
  • New “guaranteed delivery,” whatever that is.
  • Custom skinning of the interface.

That last one kills me. When they start adding the ability to skin the interface, you know they’re really reaching.

Now, don’t construe this post as a slam on WS_FTP. It’s a good piece of software, and I used it for years. But at a certain point, we all need to backup and remind ourselves that this is an FTP client. It seems to be morphing into an operating system.

I’ve been using FileZilla for the last year, and have been really happy with it. It’s simple, lightweight, and does what I need it to.

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  1. I first started using WS_FTP in high school. The first version I used came out in 1997 or 1998.

    I still have it, and still use it. FTP is one thing that I care very little about extraneous features – I need to upload files from a local directory to a remote directory, and that’s about it.

    I used smart FTP for a while, and still do on one machine, but for whatever reason I have to click on it 6 times before it starts, and even then only one instance is running. I dunno.

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