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CuteFTP 9 Review
Technology should make our lives easier
• Packed with features
• Wizards for easy configuration
• Good security
• Unnecessary install options
CuteFTP Pro 8 is packed with features giving advanced users plenty of control over their transfers. For the novice there are numerous wizards to help configuration.
This review covers GlobalScape's CuteFTP Pro 8. Also available are Lite and Home editions with limited functionality.
The software download from the GlobalScape website is simple as you’d expect. The installer offers Typical, Compact or Custom installation (we selected Typical to get the average experience).
Annoyingly we were then encouraged to install the Ask Toolbar, which has no relevance to CuteFTP so we decided against.
The rest of the install is automatic, with no initial configuration to undertake.
Transfers & Connectivity
Once installed the program offers a Connection Wizard to set up your first site, though not before recommending the implementation of Blowfish 64bit Cypher protection in the Site Manager. This is optional, but is a nice security feature.
You can alternatively set up a manual connection which offers the usual advanced options to tailor the FTP connection according to your needs.
For transfer you can control your concurrent connections, though the default of 10 connections is a pretty good starting point.
You can also use the FTP scheduler to fully automate transfers, allowing you to backup and synchronize your sites.
Proxies & Protocols
FTP, FTP with TLS/SSL (Implicit and Explicit), SFTP using SSH2, HTTP and HTTPS are the available protocols, which cover most requirements.
There are also the expected FTP and HTTP proxies, with SOCKS 4 and 5.
Security is taken very seriously within CuteFTP Pro, from the recommendation to use Blowfish to encrypt the Site Manager, to numerous File Transfer Security options.
These options include SSL using certificates, HTTPS, SSH2 (and more specifically SFTP) which encrypts both the data and the handles during transfer, as well as OpenPGP, which is open source and very flexible.
If you need a Secure Login sequence as well then OTP (One Time Password) is also available.
CuteFTP Pro offers a number of wizards include those to monitor local folders for changes (with colour coding), and backup and synchronize your sites.
You can also work with multiple remote sites at one time.
An extra included is a CutePODCast Manager which allows separate setup of audio/video channels. You can set up Subscriptions to your favourite pod casts (mainly via RSS feeds), or more interestingly set up Publications to upload your media to existing feeds you control with the ability to update the XML RSS file accordingly. This is a nice simple bit of kit for managing such feeds.
There is also a built-in HTML editor (CuteHTML) Help Application which allows edit remote documents and code and save very simple HTML pages if needed.
The ability to view thumbnails for remote images is also something we liked.
Ease of use
The software feels very familiar for Windows users, with everything where you’d expect to find it.
The menus are all very logical and well thought through, as are the main interface windows.
The left hand window panel has tabbed options for your Site Manager and Local Drives (to select your files to transfer) etc, which is all pretty intuitive. Right-clicking the file allows a number of useful quick transfer options.
The right hand window panel shows the remote site, with again nice right-click features such as determining how to download a file, including multi-part downloads, and direct transfers from one FTP space to another without having to download first.
The various Wizards simplify setting up a number of processes that could otherwise prove complicated for the novice.
Help & support
The Help menu offers a good selection of support options. The program offers complete local help files which are comprehensive and easy to use.
There is a Tip of the Day option, which we didn’t find very helpful though some novices may find this feature enlightening.
Unfortunately the next option, “Request Technical Assistance”, just opens the GlobalSpace website, and doesn’t direct you to anything directly useful despite its name.
The online Knowledge Base is good, though you’d be advised to use the Search option to find what you’re looking for.
“Visit Online Support” is by far the best option (and the only online link you really need) as it offers a wealth of information in a nicely arranged manner, including quick links for Activation and Registration Help, links to full PDF Help Manuals and methods of contact the Technical Support Team (though only if you have a Priority Support Plan).
CuteFTP Pro is a good all round tool with some nice extras to differentiate it from the competition. With the focus on security, numerous wizards and the clean user interface it’s a great option for both the novice and more demanding user.
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