The Mac Orchard - HomeHelpFAQALEMIAForumsDrew's Picks

FTP & File Transfer Applications


Home Page Release Notes License:
See text; $0-$35

Current Version: 4.4.8 (January 28, 2009) / 4.5.2 (August 31, 2009) / (July 8, 2010)

RBrowser is a full featured graphical FTP/SCP/SSH/SFTP client, originally written for Mac OS X Server (and OpenStep), and now available for Mac OS X. RBrowser allows the user to manage/browse files on the remote host with an easy-to-use graphic interface. File management includes move, copy, duplicate, compress, delete,set permissions, make links, etc.:

  • Remote Editing, Folder Synchronization.
  • Entire file trees can be moved between local and remote host, or between remote hosts by simple drag & drop.
  • Remote-to-Remote File Transfers between any hosts, regardless of protocol.
  • Run Any number of operations simultaneously.

While other SFTP clients typically connect to an SFTP server and use whatever is available under that protocol, SFTP has some key limitations:

  • No metadata: SFTP is not Fork/Finder info aware.
  • No Recursive commands: SFTP does everything file-by-file, which takes a long time if it operates on a big file system.
  • No Direct Remote-to-Remote transfer.
  • Cannot reach hosts behind a firewall.
  • Cannot copy files between folders on the remote host, so file management is problematic.

RBrowser combines all the secure tools available on both the local and the remote system. The SFTP, SSH, DITTO, the Bourne Shell, and SCP clients are all part of OS X. Other UNIX systems do not have DITTO but have the rest. Each have their strong points and their limitations as well. SFTP is better for file transfers because unlike scp it can hold a continuous connection and create links. Ditto is used if both hosts are Macs, so fork data is preserved during file transfers. SSH is used for file operations on the remote hosts, since SFTP has major limitations: for example it cannot make a copy of a file from on folder to another on the remote host! Also, SFTP does everything file-by-file, which takes a long time if it operates on a big file system. ssh, using a remote shell can do recursive file operations like rm, chomod very fast. Direct remote-to-remote operations require SCP. RBrowser automatically selects the best available tool for the job, so you do not even have to think about it.

Version 4.4.8 - the latest release for Mac OS X 10.4 - adds/changes the following:

  • Complete reorganization of the Inspector/Attribute control. The Inspector Panel is no more, it has been broken into three sheets: 1. Inspector, which is read only, showing meta data of the file. 2. Attributes Sheet, lets the user set permission, groups, type, creator, etc.. 3. App picker panel that lets the user control document type - application associations. All three sheets can be called up from context menus or the App's main menu.
  • New rename menu gives easier gui to changing names of files or sync definitions. In-table edits are no longer allowed.
  • Bugfixes in the Sync Panel.
  • New global option: Show Debug Log - this option makes it easy to generate a verbose debug log to diagnose problems.

Version 4.5.2 - the latest release for Mac OS X 10.5 - adds/changes the following:

  • Mac OS X 10.6 (Snow Leopard) compatibility fixes.
  • Rename window can be closed by escape key.
  • Small UI fixes.

Version - the latest release for Mac OS X 10.6 - adds/changes the following:

  • Fixes in the sync engine.
  • Minor bugfixes in the FTP client.
  • SFTP transfers remote to local are preserving mod dates wherever possible.

RBrowser is available in several different licensed versions; more information is available on the licensing terms page.

In its unlicensed (free) mode, RBrowser will be a full featured FTP client, including Remote Editing (SaveBack). A single user license costs $35, and provides unrestricted operations for all protocols (Local, FTP/SSL/TLS, SFTP-SSH), including Folder Sync.

User Reviews

"I've been testing every FTP client for Mac OS X I can find, and RBrowser is, in many ways, the most promising one, except for one deal-breaking problem: I can't seem to preview my HTML files in Internet Explorer after selecting BBEdit as the editor for use with RBrowser. The (BBEdit) Ctrl+Command (or menu) Preview function works in every other FTP client I've tried that supports this feature, so it seems unlikely that it's a BBEdit or IE problem. When editing remote docs hosted on my FTP server with RBrowser 3.0.8, I just get a 'file not found' error -- even though the downloaded / edited file is sitting there open in BBEdit right behind this error dialog. All competing FTP clients work as expected. It seems as though one or more characters embedded into the path for the temp files (on my system -- your results may vary) built by RBrowser's remote edit feature is causing the problem. As a workaround to this problem, I use Dreamweaver as my editor. It works properly with RBrowser."
—Graeme Bennett

Submit another review!

Also See . . .

Can't find what you're looking for? Try a search:

Also, if you have an older Mac, be sure to check out the "Classic" applications page for more options.

Finally, take a look at ALEMIA if you think you know that name of an application, but aren't quite sure.

Also Consider . . .

These are applications that are newer and of potential interest, but which I haven't yet selected for permanent inclusion. Have a look, and let me know if you think they deserve to be part of the permanent collection!