How many ways can you send files from your Mac to a remote device and back again? Apple keeps making it easier with features like AirDrop, but that’s light stuff, local only, and no heavy lifting or remote access allowed.
For Mac users who need to send files to remote servers you’ll need a more robust tool than AirDrop or sneaker net. Here’s how to enter the often confusing world of FTP and sFTP and WebDAV file transfers and make some sense of the various protocols and tools you need; all point and click, local to remote and back again.
It’s A Yummy App
Having been a long time user of Transmit on the Mac I can tell you that you won’t go wrong using it to send and retrieve files from and to your Mac.
This weekend I setup a neighbor’s new MacBook and he needed to add FTP capability but balked at the Transmit price tag. My standby is Yummy FTP Pro, with FTP being the protocol you’re likely not going to use much (security issues and all that) but instead go for SFTP which is more secure. What you get with Yummy is a rather straightforward utility which makes it easy even for Mac newbies to transfer files to and from remote servers, but with a few professional level bells and whistles.
That makes Yummy FTP a good tool for mirroring files, locally and remotely, and setting up file backup plans. It’s as easy as login ID, password, drag and drop. Yummy FTP uses the time honored Local files and Remote files, or Source and Destination, left and right layout on the screen.
The list of features in Yummy FTP that make it a worthy addition to your Mac include Quick Look integration with OS X to you can see both local and remote files without opening up either, support for popular text editors (but there’s also a built-in text editor), fast transfers (it’s multi-threaded), two-way mirroring, one-way updating, and my favorite– bookmarks.
Most Mac users who use an FTP app have multiple remote websites or servers they need to log into, and Yummy FTP’s bookmarks are among the best– plus, they can be synchronized between Macs using Dropbox.
Now, remember those bells and whistles? Yummy has built in scheduling for automatic backups of specific files which means you can mirror files on your Mac somewhere else and not have to do anything to get it done. The scheduling feature alone makes Yummy a better choice than Transmit for many of us. Did I mention FTP Aliases? Easy Peasy. Navigate to a folder on your remote connection, and select FTP Alias from the menu. That makes it even easier to upload files.
The list of features is much longer, of course, and the user interface may not be quite as friendly as the somewhat simpler Transmit is for more money, but there’s a 30-day trial option so you can check out the basic features and see why so many Mac users prefer Yummy FTP. It’s very ‘Mac-like’ and just works, which makes using such an ancient file transfer protocol a bit more pleasurable.
UPDATE – I neglected to mention a companion app called Yummy Watcher which, well, for lack of a better term, watches a specific folder on your Mac for changes, and then, when it detects a file has changed, automatically connects to the remote server and uploads the changed files. Cool, huh?