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I was recently away when my blog broke. A plug-in had somehow broken down, became corrupt and an embarrassing PHP error was seen on the top of every page. Worse yet the admin section wouldn’t work period. The solution was simple right? Log in via FTP and delete the corrupt plug-in.

Unfortunately Murphy’s Law was at work. The computer I had access to had no FTP client (I couldn’t install one/didn’t want to take the time). My two options were to wait till I got home to fix it, or I could use an online FTP client.

The same situation can happen anywhere: school, work, the library….you need to upload or delete something but can’t because of the lack of a FTP client. Luckily some other people have had the same problem and created online FTP clients. I’ll show you three main ones but there are plenty others out there.

1. FTP Live

FTP Live isn’t bad, but not excellent either. It is entirely web-based (no Java, Flash, Javascript, etc.) and can be difficult to use because of the lack of navigation buttons. FTP Live is by far the slowest to upload and download files. It also restricts the maximum upload size to 16MB.

That size can be raised in the Pro version. The Pro version allows you to upload up to 300MB, login via a secure (https) page, along with no ads.

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2. AnyClient

For a faster, more graphical online client, there is the Java applet AnyClient. AnyClient is entirely Java, so it looks and acts much more like a traditional FTP client. It has the classic two column view (the online files on the right and the offline files on the left) with the upload / download arrows.

AnyClient also includes a site manager, which is especially useful with the free downloadable version (for Mac, Windows, and Linux).

3. Net2ftp

Net2ftp is by far the most versatile and feature filled of the three. Along with standard FTP features like chmoding, renaming, deleting, downloading, etc, uploading can be done in three different ways. A standard browser upload, a Flash based upload, or a Java upload.

One special thing about the standard upload is that you can upload an archive (zip, tar.gz, etc) and it will extract it on the fly; net2ftp can also zip files and folders already uploaded. The Flash based upload is just a generic upload with a progress bar. The Java upload can upload directories and batch upload files.

Another useful feature of net2ftp is the install wizard. The install wizard (when you click on “Install”) uploads a small php file to your server and gives you a link to that file. When you click that link (or go to the file if the link is wrong) it will allow you to install a number of PHP applications (like WordPress, phpBB, etc).

The best thing about net2ftp though, is that it can be downloaded and hosted on your site (much like WordPress.) This will let you use a version for just your personal website, brand it for a larger website or intranet, or even host your own online FTP client.

These were just three of the many online FTP clients out there, and I hope you find them as useful as I do. However, please exercise caution when using your FTP password online.

What do you think? Should there be another one on here? Do you have a favourite online FTP client that wasn’t mentioned?

(By) Check out Ben’s blog at www.tic-tech-toe.com

  1. ivan
    August 1, 2009 at 2:19 pm

    PHPanywhere.net is a real-time syntax code editor with support for all web formats and includes a powerful FTP editor.

    Check it out @ phpanywhere.net/ and let me know what you think!

  2. BossFTP
    January 18, 2009 at 2:44 am

    Another online FTP client you can try is BossFTP (www.bossftp.com).

  3. Aibek
    August 16, 2008 at 3:45 am

    Another alternative would be to install a web-based FTP client on your server. I can't think of anything in partuclar now but am sure there are plenty of free ones.

    • Ben
      August 17, 2008 at 4:48 pm

      You can host net2ftp on your server.

  4. JF
    August 15, 2008 at 6:27 pm

    Yes, JFileUpload another applet that supports both FTP and HTTP upload. It comes with a few add-ons. Among these you have JDiskExplorer which is designed as a regular FTP client. It includes a local and remote panel plus upload and download buttons.

    It just requires JRE 1.4 (or higher) installed on desktop to work. It has been successfully tested under Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari and Opera.

  5. Aaron Spuler
    August 15, 2008 at 2:16 pm

    The downside to using these services is that after you complete the FTP transaction, yeehaw -- they have the FTP credentials to your site. From there, they can do anything they want to your site (until you change the password).

    I do believe that I'll pass on using these online FTP clients, thank you very much!

  6. Mackenzie
    August 15, 2008 at 10:07 am

    Um, I'm like 99% sure PuTTY doesn't require installation and can do FTP. Also, does Windows seriously not have a built-in FTP client? Even in the command line?

    • Gabriel
      August 16, 2008 at 6:33 pm

      You can use the windows explorer, almost in XP. I use it a lot; its has no options, but it is enough for the basic operations.

    • Peter
      August 21, 2008 at 12:13 pm

      Sure it has, it's called "ftp" *gasp* :-) Just start a command line window (Win-R cmd.exe RETURN), and enter ftp RETURN.

    • MOVEit Freely
      December 4, 2008 at 12:20 am

      A free Windows command-line FTP client that does FTP-SSL call MOVEit Freely can be found here:

  7. Sumesh
    August 14, 2008 at 4:12 pm

    Good find - stumbled.

    Alternatively, if you are on Windows, you can use ol' IE or Explorer to access FTP. It works like a charm, though you'd not get a few management options that other FTP apps have.

    • Aibek
      August 16, 2008 at 3:43 am

      Hey, thanks for the nice tip. Finally, something nice from IE.

  8. K-IntheHouse
    August 14, 2008 at 2:36 pm

    This will definitely come in handy when you are on the road. of course, I'd have to also forget my usb drive with my portable Filezilla. But, not everyone carries a digital swiss army knife around! :-)

  9. Mike
    August 14, 2008 at 1:30 pm

    I've recently started using the FireFTP Firefox extension and, to be honest, am starting to question whether I'll ever need to use a desktop client ever again!

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