Some of you will scratch your heads when you read that I selected GlobalSCAPE's CuteFTP, an FTP tool, as one of my software favorites. I have used this tool for two years to download Microsoft Knowledge Base articles, drivers, and service packs, and to upload Web files. This utility installs in less than a minute and it works every time. The software has never generated a Dr. Watson access violation or a blue screen of death.
I decided to find a new FTP tool because of the problems I encountered with browser-based FTP. First, a browser can't sort files by date, an important criterion for downloading the most recent version of a driver or hotfix. Second, the method for storing files via a browser is cumbersome—you must provide a pathname for each download, and it's time-consuming to switch from an Internet Explorer (IE) view to a Windows NT Explorer view and back to check on the files you have up- or downloaded. Third, IE and Netscape can download only single files, not whole directories. Fourth, to save FTP download sites in a browser, you must bookmark each one, then dig through hundreds of entries to find what you need. Fifth, browser-based FTP is slow.
CuteFTP solves these problems and provides feature-rich context menus for local and remote directories and files. You define multiple FTP sites by name, enter site-specific connection data, and connect with a double-click. You can set up a default local download directory and easily change it to a different local or network drive.
As with most FTP tools, you can view local and remote directories simultaneously, a feature I find very handy when I'm downloading complex directory structures.
The right-click context menus let you view a remote file before you download it; rename, move, or delete files or directories; change the remote directory; and sort local and remote views by filename, date, type, or size in ascending or descending order. Best of all, CuteFTP consistently achieves download speeds 30 percent faster than browser-based file transfers. CuteFTP is one tool that lets me exercise my Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) at close to maximum speed. You can download a 30-day trial version of CuteFTP at GlobalSCAPE's Web site.
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