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FireFTP

February 22nd, 2008 at 7:00am — Rating: Firefox pointFirefox pointFirefox pointFirefox pointFirefox pointLink

After using an FTP client for a long time, I've moved on. This weeks extension has proven itself time and time again and goes to show everyone how powerful Firefox actually is with it's extension architecture.

This week, it's FireFTP.

Overview

FireFTP is an FTP client that installs right into Firefox and is fully functional. If you have the portable Firefox installed on your USB drive, it's a good idea to keep this extension installed on your USB drive as well.

Installation

FireFTP may seem big, but compared to an FTP client, the size isn't even an issue. The extension weighs in at 135k and installed with no problems.

After Firefox restarts, FireFTP is installed in the Tools dropdown menu, but it can be installed as a button on your toolbar for quicker access.

Features

When firing up FireFTP, you'll notice that it's the familiar dual pane view with the commands executed at the bottom. As I said above, it's almost like an FTP client application.

First, setup your sites you want to connect to by clicking the "Manage Accounts" in the top left corner. Click "New..." to define a regular FTP connection.

The first tab on the Account Manager screen asks for your account name, host, ID login, and password. If you want to login anonymously, click the checkbox and you're on your way.

FireFTP Account Manager Screen 1

The Connection tab goes more into the details of how you want your FTP connection to behave. Do you want passive mode with security? On a successful connection, do you want to automatically direct FireFTP to use specific directories locally and remotely? These options are configured here.

FireFTP Account Manager Screen 2

The Advanced tab provides a more indepth ability of server encoding, attaching a web host and/or prefix, or selecting different upload/download options for your file transfers.

FireFTP Account Manager Screen 3

When you are finished with your settings, select your account and click Connect off to the right of the account list. Your remote and local list will load into each window.

Use the arrows in the middle to transfer files back and forth. As you transfer files, commands at the bottom scroll by to show your actual progress and history.

Along with the common look and feel of an FTP client, this extension is completely free (Yes, FREE) and works on Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux. The security is also exceptional and provides integrity checks of transfers using XMD5 or XSHA1 cryptology. It also supports IPv6.

There are two features that make this a must-have extension. The first feature is the ability to reconnect and resume upload/download procedures without missing a beat. If you lose your connection, it attempts to retry your connection and continue with your transfers.

The second feature is the ability to import/export your accounts. If you have a list of accounts, it's easier to export you data to a more secure area instead of a FTP client section. Some FTP clients don't even have this ability.

FireFTP is loaded with features that satisfy even the pickiest webmaster.

Configuration

FireFTP has two locations for configuring options. One location is the obvious Tools->Add-Ons, click the FireFTP extension and press the Options button. The second location is when you actually activate FireFTP. The Tools dropdown in the extension on the far right of the Account Manager. Click this button and select Options.

FireFTP Configuration Screen 1

The options are broken into the following tabs:

  • General - Provides the ability to control server messages, memorize sessions details, and manipulate the file view.
  • Interface - Determine the layout, adjust how you want FireFTP to start up, and how to handle logging.
  • Connections - Proxy Settings, Active settings, and Recovery Settings.
  • Downloads/Uploads - Details of how you want to handle your file transfers (Automatic, Binary, ASCII), duplicate file names, and time stamps.

The FireFTP configuration screens have everything you could ask for in a portable FTP client.

Conclusion

I've been using FireFTP for close to two years and with managing client and personal web sites, it's always a welcome extension when on the road.

If you've used FTP applications before, you'll see that this extension is quite familiar and exceptional considering your browser is running it. The integration into Firefox isn't a bad feature as well.

The configuration of FireFTP is well thought out and organized in a clean layout. I'm particularly fond of the Automatic Recovery options when you're disconnected.

FireFTP has a soft spot in my heart and has always been a help when dealing with FTP transfers. I would definitely recommend FireFTP to any webmaster road warrior who needs access to their sites while traveling.

Easily, FireFTP receives a 5 out of 5.

See ya next week.

If you want your Firefox add-on reviewed, please contact me with the URL and we'll let you know when it's reviewed.