FileZilla: They Thought They Would Never Sell It

When Tom Kosse created the code for FileZilla as a computer science class project in 2001, he decided to make it open source.  He figured there was little chance of ever selling the program with others like it out on the market.  He was wrong.  The program has now received many awards and is touted as one of the most reliable programs of its kind available.

What is File Zilla?

FileZilla is an FTP application software.  It is available for free and works on many different platforms; including Windows, Mac, and Linux.  File Transfer Protocols (FTP) are programs that allow you to transfer files from one host to another via a network like the internet.  This particular FTP allows you to transfer multiple files at once, and browse through various files.  Its simple “drag and drop” interface, which many people are use to, is easy to use. The speed is also quick and reliable.

While many consider the days of FTP well past us, there are still many instances where a solid FTP session can make your life much simpler. When you find yourself in the need of a FTP client, FileZilla is a light in the dark.  And the best part of all is that it is free to download.  For zero dollars, you get a program that supports FTP, FTP over SSL/TLS (FTPS), and SSH file transfer protocol (SFTP).  It also supports multiple languages, remote file editing, filename filters, tabbed interface, and bookmarks.

The downside of FileZilla:

Once the 3rd version of FileZilla came out, a change was made to security and all usernames and passwords were saved as plain text.  This can allow malware that has gotten a foot hold into someone’s computer to potentially remote transfer itself by simply reading the data stored in the FTP files.  This could permit the malware to gain control of servers and websites and use them to spread itself or develop itself into powerful botnets.  FileZilla can be modified using FZcrypt to prevent this from happening.  There have been some outcry due to the way FileZilla stores this sensitive information, but many believe that knowing that your username and password are store in plain text will prevent users from becoming complacent and not securing their computers

Another strike against this File Sharing Protocol comes from the fact that it is free.  Like many free software available on the net, downloading the program feels like you’ve walked into the tunnel of adware.  You have to be very careful what you do during installation so you do not accidentally download twenty other programs along with it.  This is certainly frustrating, especially to someone who is not aware of this potential problem.  Some of the adware programs can be very difficult to remove.  You have to be very careful where you choose to download the program from.  Make certain the site hosting the program download is reputable, and read the comments to ensure that others are not having issues of downloading huge amounts of adware and malware.

Overall, FileZilla is the most dependable, widely used, and affordable FTP out there.  Things are changing in the world of file sharing, but for now FileZilla is still a product that can be counted on to do what it says it’s going to do.  It has stood the test of time and proven its usefulness over and over.  With the increase in cloud storage and direct uploads, we may see a decline.  FTP is one of the oldest ways to share files, but as it is replaced with new technology, you can be sure FileZilla will be one of the last to go.