- Automated FTP and SFTP software solutions help you streamline file transfers to a server machine. You can schedule an FTP/SFTP client to download or upload a file without your assistance.
- In this article, we selected what we think are the best FTP and SFTP tools to help you automate your computer tasks and ultimately improve your productivity.
- You might also be interested in the best FTP clients for Windows.
- Visit our Internet & Network hub for more awesome guides!
FTP and SFTP have made file transfer considerably easier than ever before. The two transfer protocols are the standard internet file transfer media today. And recently, a set of automated software were developed to further enhance file transfer, network security and ultimately automate the entire process. In this guide, we will be looking at some of the best automated FTP software, as well as top automated SFTP tools that you can use in 2020.
Before we delve completely into FTP and SFTP automation software, let us take a look at what the proprietary terms stand for.
What is FTP?
FTP is an acronym for File Transfer Protocol, which is the basic protocol that is used for transferring files on the internet, between remote servers/computers. This protocol allows users to protect their connections with unique user IDs and passwords. And they can also access files, directly from the internet in “anonymous mode”.
There are different types of FTP, including FTP server, FTP site, FTP email, FTP explorer and more importantly, FTP software/client/application. Each type of FTP facilitates file transfer, retrieval and uploads in its own unique way.
FTP applications are computer software that can access FTP servers and upload, retrieve and/or transfer files with unparalleled convenience. Interestingly, some of these software are automated; having the capability to automatically execute transfer between remote computers via the internet.
In a nutshell, FTP (also known as RFC 959) is the standard protocol for transferring files from one computer to another via IP or TCP paths.
Let us take a look at some of the best automated FTP software in the market.
WS_FTP is one of the leading FTP client software in the market, with over 40 million users across the globe. This automated FTP software is primarily designed to provide adequate security to FTP-initiated transfers.
However, its functionality extends beyond this, as it can also streamline connectivity and automate transfer.
The software is fairly easy to use, with respect to its highly intuitive interface and customizable display. Also, it hosts the best obtainable encryption/authentication protocol in the industry, which offers formidable protection against any form of hacks or file loss during transfer.
Basic features of WS_FTP include: AES 256-bit encryption protocol, Google Integrations, OpenPGP file encryption, FIPS 140-2 cryptography, File backup, File synchronization, File compression, Transfer scheduling, GDPR compliance, Multiple licensing, Proxy server, Customer support (Email & Phone) and more.
WS_FTP automated SFTP software offers one-month free trial to new users. After the one-month trial period, users can subscribe to one of the paid plans on offer.
WS_FTP license packages include:
- WS_FTP Professional (Multiple Users): $390 per 5 Licenses
- WS_FTP Professional with Support (Single User): $89.95 per License
- WS_FTP Professional Client (Single User): $49.95 per License.
FlashFXP is a renowned automated SFTP software for Windows computers. It is equipped with adequate security and system optimizing features, which are needed to secure and automate all file uploads, downloads and transfers. Supported Windows versions range from Windows 8.1 up to Windows XP SP3.
In addition, FlashFXP hosts a set of industry-class automation features that facilitate the seamless transfer/sharing of files between secure remote servers or Windows computers. Also, the software is fairly easy to use, as transferring of files is as simple as “dragging a file from one location (computer) and dropping it in another location”.
Some of the main security, automation and connectivity features of FlashFXP include: Automatic transfer resume, Automatic upload, Proxy server (SOCKS 4 & 5/HTTP)il, Bi-modal transfer (active & passive), Remote file editing, SSH File Transfer Protocol (SFTP), Automatic ASCII selection, Site-to-Site transfer, Recursive file permission, Speed limiting (adjustable), File highlighting, Folder caching, File management and more.
FlashFXP offers 30-day free trial to its users, to afford them the opportunity of testing the suitability and durability of the software before committing funds to purchase a license. The license fee is pegged at $29.95. By the way, FlashFXP offers two major licenses – Personal and Commercial or Business License.
SmartFTP is another top-rated automated FTP software, which is especially designed to facilitate file transfer between Windows computers via the internet. The software supports variety of Windows versions, ranging from Windows XP to Windows 10.
Besides, SmartFTP is primary built to provide adequate security/encryption, to ensure files are not tampered with, in anyway, during transfer. Also, the software hosts a set of “enhancement” features, which ensure that files are transferred without any form of hassle. This is achieved, basically, by automating certain aspects of the transfer process.
Some of the key features of SmartFTP include: Proxy Servers and firewall (HTTP, SOCK S5 etc.), Remote editing, File synchronization, Backup, Transfer queue/scheduling, Universal Plug & Play support, NAT firewall, Custom commands, URL watcher, Advanced GUI, Multilingual support, Industry-standard compliance (FIPS 140-2, 186-4 and HIPAA 5010), Integrations (Google Drive, One Drive etc.) and many more.
SmartFTP offers different versions for download (Version 5/8/9), depending on your Windows version. There are three major licenses on offer. They are:
- Professional: $39.99 per Year or $79.95 (one-time purchase)
- Ultimate: $69.99 per Year or $139.95 (one-time purchase)
- Enterprise: $149.99 per Year or $259.95 (one-time purchase.
FileZilla, in terms of affordability, is the best free automated FTP software in the market. It is a versatile FTP solution that can be employed to optimize file transfer across different computers (Windows, Mac and others).
Besides, FileZilla hosts a dedicated open source server, known as “FileZilla Server”, from where files can be downloaded easily. Also, it is flexibly built to integrate seamlessly with popular cloud storage services like Dropbox, MS OneDrive, Google Cloud, Google Drive and more.
Notable security and “automaton” features of FileZilla include: User-friendly GUI,, Multilingual support, Cross-platform compatibility, Synched directory, Remote file editing & searching, File filters, Adjustable speed limits, SSL/TLS support, Auto-resume, Proxy support, Site manager, Transfer queue and more.
Lastly, FileZilla is an open source free automated FTP software; hence, its license is offered free of charge, under GNU General Public License (GPL).
CompleteFTP is a durable FTP client software for Windows, which offers free services to its users. It hosts one of the most intuitive platforms, obtainable in the industry. Hence, file sharing, uploads and download operations require only basic tech skill to effectively execute.
This automated FTP software is packed with different sets of powerful protocol/security, integration, administration and automation features, which make the software a truly “complete” FTP solution.
Some of the key features of CompleteFTP include unlimited automatic users, file permission, virtual file system, multi-protocol gateway, custom commands, industry-class cryptography, auto-banning, activity audit, SSL generator, performance charts, remote admin, Zip file compression, process triggers, and more.
CompleteFTP is a proprietary licensed software with four major editions – Free, Standard, Professional and Enterprise. While the Free edition offers free license, other editions require paid user licenses.
Sysax is a specially designed automated FTP software that comes with an inbuilt automation wizard, which facilitates seamless transfer/sharing of files between remote computers. It supports a wide range of transfer protocols, including FTP, SFTP, SSL/TLS and more.
Some of the key features of Sysax automated FTP software include: Status monitoring, Task (transfer) scheduler, FTP scripting (automation wizard), Comprehensive logs, Email notifications, File compressor, SSL certificate, Admin support, Dedicated customer support and more.
There are four basic licensing editions on offer. They include:
- Personal: Free
- Professional: $197 (Starting Price)
- Enterprise: $497 (Starting Price)
- High Availability: By Quote
What is SFTP?
SFTP stands for SSH File Transfer Protocol or more explicitly, Secure File Transfer Protocol. It is like an advanced version of FTP, which provides adequate security, by default, during file transfer. SFTP operates in a similar manner to FTP, with the only difference being that – SFTP works on a secure connection.
Unlike FTP, which is relatively insecure, SFTP uses the SSH authentication to secure every connection, thereby giving little room for hacks. Hence, it is the preferred choice of most internet/computer users, for transferring files remotely.
Like FTP, SFTP also has designated computer applications, which facilitate file transfer on a secure network. Many of these applications are automated, enabling you to seamlessly transfer files across remote IPs.
Let us review some of the best automated SFTP software in the market.
Top 4 automated SFTP software
Core FTP is one of the most used automated SFTP software for Windows. It offers some of the best obtainable security and automation features in the industry. These features ensure that files are securely shared/transferred (via the internet) between remote computers.
Like most SFTP solutions, Core FTP supports all major transfer protocols, including SFTP, FTP, SSL/TLS and more. Its powerful set of encryption/security features ensure that the integrity of every file (in transit) is not compromised, in anyway.
Basic features of Core FTP include: Transfer scheduling, Zip support (file compression), Auto S/Key support, Secure SFTP, On-the-fly compression (MoDE-Z), Transfer start/stop/resume, Auto retry (of failed file transfer), Proxy servers, Remote searching, Remote editing, File permission, HIPAA compliance, and more.
Core FTP is available in two licensed editions: Free and Core FTP Pro. The free “LE” edition is offered for free, while the Pro edition is available by quote (custom pricing).
WinSCP is an open source SFTP client software from Microsoft. And it is specifically designed for Microsoft’s Windows computers. Essentially, WinSCP is the ultimate tool for securely transferring files on Windows computers (via IP paths).
This automated SFTP software incorporates features such as task automation & scripting, remote commands, admin restrictions, XML logging, timestamps, file encryption, intuitive GUI, text editor (integrated), custom commands, background transfer, Amazon S3 protocol, transfer resume, file encryption, transfer queue, file masking, master password, caching and more.
Lastly, WinSCP is one of the computer programs under GNU General Public License terms; hence, it offers free services/licenses to its users.
FTP Voyager, developed by SolarWinds, is one of leading automated SFTP software in the industry. It is the trusted choice (for SFTP transfer) of hundreds of thousands of Windows users across the globe.
In addition, FTP Voyager supports every major transfer protocols, including SFTP, FTPS and FTP. It is equipped with a set of best-in-class automation and encryption features, which make it stand out as one of the best file transfer software in the market.
Basic features of FTP Voyager include: Live editing, File compressor, Transfer scheduler, IPv6 support, Remote & Local sync, Proxy server, Transfer queue (up to 9 threads), Custom commands, Remote file search, File auto-sync, and more. Nevertheless, FTP Voyager is available for free (for Windows users).
JaSFTP is the designated SFTP software for Windows computers. It is built to ease file transfer process, as it has the capacity to run thousands of file transfer. Hence, Windows users can easily run transfer, schedule backup and/or synchronize folders with unparalleled convenience.
In addition, JaSFTP hosts a versatile set of features; which, on one hand, secure files during transfer, and on the hand, automate the entire file sharing/upload/download process. With this, you can securely move files about (across several computers) in hands free mode, while running other operations.
Nevertheless, JaSFTP is available for free and also available as a premium product with upgraded features for $179.75.
File Transfer Protocol (FTP) and Secure/SSH File Transfer Protocol (SFTP) constitute the standard methods of remotely transferring files across servers via the internet. And with the recent development of special automation tools, both transfer protocols have been greatly enhanced, with file transfers now fully (or in some cases, partially) automated.
In this article, we have listed five of the best automated FTP software, as well as an equal number of automated SFTP software. So, if you are looking for a durable FTP/SFTP client software, the above outlined tools are the best you can get.
FAQ: Learn more about FTP and SFTP software
- How to run a home FTP server?
Find out the exact steps of how to run an FTP server on a Windows PC.
- What’s the best free FTP client?
Check out the best FTP clients for Windows PC, including free and paid versions.
- How do I sync files in Windows 10?
The easiest way to sync files in Windows 10 is by using file sync software.
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in January 2019 and has been since revamped and updated in May 2020 for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.