Dealing with iWeb was very easy and the branding makes the FTP site just like our own. Our customers love it and it has enabled us to save space on our email systems and speeded up our business processes and consequently response to our customers.
John Toms, Technical Director
Web Based FTP
It isn’t necessary to have an FTP client to download files from a website. Your web browser has the ability to permit you to download files to your computer. Some sites will require a login, and you will be prompted if that requirement is in force. You can also build the FTP client right into your website through the use of applets. This is gaining in popularity for people who need remote access because of travel. There are also several easy to use web-based FTP front-end programs available, as well as java-based web FTP clients. These methods don’t offer the security a business would need, but for non-sensitive documents they are being used successfully.
The convenience of web-based FTP has increased its popularity and spawned a number of companies developing web-based client software that can be accessed through the software website. Some people believe these types of web-based FTP client sites reduce the security vulnerabilities considerably, and other people say FTP client sites make it is easier than ever to grab your password as it floats around out on the web. Developers, individuals, some businesses, and people who are sharing non-sensitive information files use web-based FTP. Some public file-sharing sites use web-based FTP, and allow anyone to download without any credentials. Like any technology, there are pros and cons of web-based FTP.
Some Favorable Aspects of Web-Based FTP Clients
- There is nothing to install on your personal computer
- Since the web server and the FTP server perform all actions, it is very fast.
- The only tool required is a web browser.
- It is very simple to use.
- Most web-based FTP clients provide a WYSIWYG user interface
Less Favorable Aspects of Web-Based FTP Clients
- Security is always an issue. You don’t know the site owner and are required to place blind trust in an unknown person.
- Because it is web-based, there is no avenue to manipulation of the files on your computer.
- You have no control over software settings, because it does not reside on your personal computer.
When choosing any type of FTP client, you must first evaluate your needs and expectations. If you have confidence in the website providing the web-based FTP client, and you do not need to be able to manipulate your computer files to accomplish the transfer of files, a web-based FTP client may suit your needs. If you are most comfortable with a WYSIWYG user interface, you will appreciate the simplicity of web FTP.