All Macs In-Depth Tests
FTP Client Performance and Feature Comparison

Below you will find a real world comparison of six different FTP clients. All are shareware with the exception of Dreamweaver 1.2, a commercial web page authoring/site management program. Transfer times are in seconds, shorter bars are better.

Test Information

All tests were run on a Power Mac 9500/200 using an external 56K US Robotics modem. For the "File/Folder" tests, 88 files and 5 folders were transferred. Files ranged from 24-48k in size. A total of 2.5MB was transferred. We conducted four different test runs over four separate dialup connections. If a dialup connection was lost during a test all scores for that run were discarded. For the "264k download" test, each client downloaded a 264k file three times using the same dialup connection and scores were averaged.

* Only 3 scores were averaged due to a lost server connection.

 

** Only 2 scores were averaged due to lost server connections.



 

Conclusions

Interface and ease of use get high marks in my book. All clients with the exception of Dreamweaver support drag and drop from within the finder. Vicom FTP and Transit win high marks for their side by side Local/Remote file windows. This makes navigation and file transfers a snap. Transit goes the extra mile though, providing file synchronization and site mirror options. It is unfortunate that it scored so poorly in the "File/Folder" tests. Vicom includes powerful filtering options that allow you to view only the files/folders that meet your specified criteria. Dreamweaver offers the convenient feature of transferring selected files to the appropriate sub folders without having to navigate there. DreamWeaver was also the only program that dropped the server connection (several times in fact) during transfers.

FTP Speed Trials Update - Transit 1.0 vs 1.1

Addendum

The folks at Panic Software asked us to test out their newly released Transit 1.1. The test results below use a different file/folder setup than our first round of tests and should not be compared to the results above. As before, shorter times are better. Version 1.1 contains numerous bug fixes, interface improvements and optimizations. Click here for the release notes. We still encountered the "CFTPThread " error (supposedly fixed) when cancelling downloads. We encountered no other problems with version 1.1 and appreciated the additional features offered.

Methodology

For the Multiple File tests we used a folder containing 16 HTML files ranging in size from 1-36k. The 247k tests used a single file. We ran each test 3 times on two separate dialup connections for a total of six transfers for each test. These results were then averaged.

Conclusions

Although we didn't note a significant speed improvement between the two versions, there are enough interface improvements and bug fixes to make this upgrade well worth the download time. I would still like to see a separate column for sorting files/folders by date. Currently you can option click to sort by date. Although it has not undergone any changes in version 1.1, I am still a fan of the "Site Mirror" and "Synchronize" functions and have put them to good use.