Ftp
WinSCP 5.9.3

WinSCP 5.9.3

Reviewed by Chad Faith on

"Free SFTP, WebDAV and FTP client for Windows"

Overview

Nobody considered the security issues that can occur when the first file transfer over a network were done. This was due to the fact that being an experimental network very few people and computers had access to it. Nowadays, this scenario is no longer valid as everyone has at least one personal computer and access to the internet. As a result, security is a big issue that has to be accounted for. Using messaging or FTP clients for the transfer of files is an easy process but it is also highly insecure. The majority of people share freeware programs, family photos or some music files but when it comes to the exchanging of bank account data or some other highly sensitive information, you can’t afford a lack of security as an intruder needs just one small security gap in order to wreck havoc and lead to major problems.

The development and implementation of secure file transfer protocols such as SFTP fixes these exact problems. A completely free program, WinSCP is able to securely transfer files using the SCP and SFTP transfer protocols. A network protocol used for secure data communication, SSH (stands for secure shell), represents the foundation of WinSCP. Let’s analyze the tool’s features in this quick article.

Installation

Boasting an installation file of just 3MB in size, you will install WinSCP on your hard drive in a heartbeat. Most of the important settings of the tool will have to be set when installing the program. For example, when choosing the interface style, you can opt between an Explorer and a Norton Commander-like design. Keep in mind that you can always get back to the previously made changes and review them before you hit the Install button. If you get something wrong, there is absolutely no reason to worry, as you can easily change everything by using the Preferences area after you launch WinSCP. You should be happy to find out that it supports all of the available versions of the Windows operating systems and it doesn’t come with adware/spyware or other programs installed.

Interface

As stated above, you are granted access to two different interfaces and the best thing about them is that they are both very easy to use, as ease of use is the aspect that characterizes WinSCP. The host name, the username, and the password of the remote computer must be filled in when you start the program for the first time. Then, just use the drop-down menu in order to choose the file transfer protocol and you’re set! A private key file can also be loaded. Benefiting from a fast learning curve, it is a very easy to set up tool and novice users will surely have no problems using WinSCP.

Pros

The safe copying of files between a local and a remote computer is the main function of WinSCP and it certainly doesn’t disappoint in this regard. The Console Window is a very nice feature of WinSCP because remote commands that don't require user input can be executed and you can also see their results. The uploading and downloading of files between server and client as well as vice versa is done in a simple manner in two ways: hitting the F5 button or simply using the drag and drop function. The files can be edited and their permissions changed. SFTP, SCP, and FTP are the available network protocols that you can choose from. The ability to Export the program's complicated preference settings with only one click is a neat feature. Of course, this would be in vain if WinSCP wasn’t such a fast tool. The file transfers are quick, and more importantly, they are transferred in a secure fashion.

Cons

There are no major complaints to be made about this excellent tool.

Alternatives

There is no shortage of file transfer clients on the market and, thus, WinSCP has a lot of alternatives. Let’s have a look at some of them. These include the following tools: FileZilla, Cyberduck for Windows, Cyberduck for Mac, Transmit, FireFTP, FlashFXP and a lot more tools.

Conclusion

When it comes down to secure transfers and connections, WinSCP is a fantastic, light and highly configurable tool. Certainly a gem!

Requirements: SSH server with SFTP/SCP support or FTP server or WebDAV server

What's new in this version: Significantly improved WinSCP look and feel in large font / high DPI environments. Improved transfer speed with SFTP and SCP protocols. Automatic WinSCP updates (only for donors). Support for authentication with TLS/SSL client certificates. Dual code signing binaries with both SHA-1 and SHA-256. Custom commands can be distributed in a form of configurable WinSCP extension. WinSCP script template or WinSCP .NET assembly code template can be generated in GUI. Switch -latest for get and put commands to transfer the latest file only.

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Antivirus information

Download3K has downloaded and tested WinSCP on 10 Apr 2012 with some of Today's best antivirus engines and you can find below, for your convenience, the scan results:
  • Avira:

    Clean
  • Bitdefender:

    Clean
  • Kaspersky:

    Clean
  • NOD32:

    Clean
WinSCP Antivirus Report

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