AnyClient is a no-install, web-based FTP client (that can also be installed locally)

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AnyClient is a free file transfer client that is available both as a web service that can be accessed from any internet enabled computer and as a standalone program you can install locally on your machine. Supports FTP, FTPS, SFTP and WebDAV.

I must admit that the idea of an FTP client as a web service accessible from any browser never occurred to me, but now I think of the possibilities: you can use the web applet and forgo installing an FTP client altogether (site profiles that you create are saved locally), you can transfer files from a friend’s computer straight into your FTP account without installing any software on their PC, or you can keep a set of tools and files on your FTP account that you can log into and download from any machine, no need to carry a USB thumbdrive around.

Here are more notes on this program that apply to both the local and online incarnations of this program:

  • The user interface: is clean and as simple as it can get. Employs the familiar two side-by-side panels. Buttons and options are kept to a minimum, but you are able to do pretty much everything you need to do with an FTP client. Unfortunately it doesn not support drag and drop. (Screenshot taken is from the browser-based version).
  • Security: to quote the site: “AnyClient supports several secure protocols which encrypt your data during transit including FTPS (FTP over SSL), SFTP/SSH and secure WebDAV via HTTPS”, and “all site profile information is saved locally on your computer and cannot be seen by users other than yourself”. Of course I still imagine that many users will feel more secure using local clients for some purposes anyway.
  • The site manager: allows you to set up profiles that you can access later at the press of a button. Note that you can create multiple profile for the same account; for example a profile that connects to account A and opens at directory X, and another one that connects to the same account but opens at directory Z. Note that these profiles are saved locally whether you use the local or online versions.
  • Zip Upload: a nice option whereby your files are zipped before they are uploaded. (Access this from one of the tiny buttons under the file dialog).
  • Putting AnyClient on your site: this is possible but not free; you would need to buy a license.

Wish list:

  • Drag and drop: a feature which I think that every file transfer client should have.
  • Control over where AnyClient saves your site profiles data. By default it was saving this as an XML file in the root folder of my (D:’) secondary partition, which I couldn’t quite figure out why.

The verdict: what makes this program interesting is of course (a) the fact that you can use an online applet from any browser, (b) that you can use the online version rather than having to install an FTP client software locally, which means (c) that you can upload/download files from your FTP account from any internet enabled computer. And while there are sophisticated, feature-rich locally installed freeware file transfer clients such as (my favorite) WinSCP and FileZilla, the local desktop version of Anyclient has a lot to recommend it in its clean, simple, and straightforward design and the range of protocols supported. If you prefer simplicity rather than having too many functions (that you might never use) give the local version of AnyClient a try as well.

Version Tested: 1.2

Compatibility: Windows, Mac, Linux. Web Applet requires a Java enabled browser.

Go to the Web applet page for the online version of AnyClient
Or visit the program home page to download the latest version (approx 2.5 megs).