My preference is to not review Mac software that’s only version 1.0. There are exceptions of course, but usually there’s a need to get the kinks out of a 1.0 version. iGet is one of those applications that I bought immediately because secure files transfers from one machine to another is important to me.
It’s sufficiently important that I have two applications that I use regularly for file transfers. Transmit, which uses Secure FTP, and iGet which uses the Unix Secure Shell (SSH) which is built in to Mac OS X.
That brings up an issue. Mac OS X is considered the most secure of the desktop applications; more so than Linux, much more so than Windows. As a Unix hybrid, Mac OS X brings a bucket full of Unix utilities to Mac users; usually these utilities are of the command line variety—no point and click GUI.
A whole industry of Mac OS X utilities has begun to sprout simply by providing a great front end to what your Mac already does. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not afraid of CLI (command line interface). I get around in Terminal quite well, thank you, and there’s no problem editing files and moving things via Terminal.
I’m not using CLI for 10 hours a day, so remembering all the Unix commands and application commands is a royal pain. So it is with FTP, SFTP, SSH—all secure ways to transfer files on your Mac.
iGet, published by Five Speed Software, makes that easy. Very easy.
Here’s the basic list of what you get with iGet. Secure file transfers is the objective. Ease of use and dependability are right behind.
Think of it this way (from the iGet site):
• Always on encryption (uses SSH to protect your data during transfers)
• Nothing else needed but your Mac and Mac OS X
• Resume both file and folder transfers
• Automatic conflict detection (to keep from overwriting valuable files)
• Works with Apple’s zero config Rendezvous technology
• Firewall Friendly (uses SSH port)
• Handles Unicode file names
• Transfers Mac HFS+ metadata and resource forks
• Displays appropriate icons in remote machine list
• Can delete remote machine files
• Display or hide Mac OS X hidden files
• 60 second learning curve
That last one is gutsy for a developer. It’s also true. Once you install iGet, it’s about 60 seconds later and you’ll have a secure connection to the site or server of your choice. It’s point and click all the way.
iGet does a number of things better than just FTP or AppleShare (both built-in to Mac OS X). First, it’s secure. Fully secure. It’s also fast. Optimized for speed over standard internet connections and not just the office LAN. Broadband users will rejoice.
So, you won’t need to know cryptic FTP or SSH commands. You don’t need to install something else on the machine you send files to or get files from. iGet takes care of that automatically.
Here’s what you get when you launch iGet.
The first thing to appear is a small, pop-up dialog box with the cute iGet logo. The dialog box has space for you to enter the name of the Mac you want to connect to: address or IP address. There’s also space for Username and Password. You can select to use the built in Mac OS X Keychain (so you don’t have to remember the details).
There’s also a little arrow next to the “Local Network.” If you’re on a local network with other Macs, iGet gets busy, finds them and lists them for you. Connecting is just a matter of selecting the machine, entering the Username and Password and clicking the Connect button.
How hard is that?
Once you click Connect, the real work begins. iGet does some secure handshaking between your Mac and the Mac you’re connecting to (doesn’t have to be a Mac). The dialog box disappears and a file listing of the remote machines directory appears. A tool bar of navigation options appears at the top of the iGet window.
Double-click on a directory in the remote machine listing, and you view the contents in that directory. That’s about as simple as it gets.
To move files is as easy as drag and drop. Drag from your Mac’s finder to a specific directory within the iGet list, and the file copies automatically. The same thing happens in reverse. Select a file in the remote machine’s directory (within iGet) and drag it to your Mac’s Finder window.
In true Mac OS X form, Preferences are few. You can select where to save downloads, select Font Display Size, whether to show Mac OS X’s many invisible files or not, to use the Keychain or not, and there’s a selection for warnings. The latter is particularly handy, if, like me, you love to click, click, click, and ask questions later (when you can’t find a file you thought you had).
iGet is now at version 1.1, although the original 1.0 version was rock solid steady. The new features in 1.1 include remembering last-used connection information with automatic fill-in (very handy, saves time), a “Go To” folder to get to a specific folder upon connection (also a handy touch).
The $24.95 you’ll spend for iGet is money well spent because the security of your Mac and your files is at stake. If you can handle the command line for SSH file transfers, great. Most of us don’t use that enough to make it a simple task. iGet makes a difficult process very simple and very secure.
What’s wrong with iGet and how does it compare to Panic Software’s Transmit. Security is usually considered better with iGet but it won’t do SFTP or FTP, which is what Transmit’s all about.
The only other quibble I have is that there’s only one window directory. Transmit shows you two windows. The left window lists the directories on your Mac, the right directory lists the directories and files on the remote machine. That left-to-right combination makes logical sense and keeps transfers organized.
I’d like to see that in the next version of iGet. As it stands now, I paid for iGet, I use iGet, and you’ll get what you pay for and then some. For full details on iGet and all it does, Click Here to get to the Five Speed Software site.
BTW – note that users from MacUpdate.com, VersionTracker.com both give iGet nearly Five Stars. That’s worth it.