Secure Remote File Access & Sharing with the Web's Best FTP Hosting Services
Those who care to find the best FTP hosting likely take their file organization, archiving, and data storage needs quite seriously.
They’re probably the ones who religiously delete unread emails instead of those who let the inbox count soar into the thousands. Some people set their phone to delete text messages after a week, while others save everything and think they’ll fondly look back on the sweet moments and funny memes shared.
For digital hoarders, the first step is admitting you have a problem. The next step is likely investing in a strong FTP hosting account that enables you to unburden your laptop and mobile devices by uploading everything to the web.
Beyond a cluttered digital existence, FTP hosting has useful applications in business communications, collaboration, and website ownership. Whichever your use case, we’ve tracked down some of the most reliable, performant, and secure FTP hosting providers for you to examine. Let’s take a look:
What is Hosted FTP?
In the dog-eat-dog business world where time equals money, the ability to quickly and reliably transfer large files is critically important. A strong FTP host can boost productivity by connecting files across devices, network locations, and cloud services.
FTP, which stands for file transfer protocol, is a fundamental technology that enables users to move digital files to wherever they need to go, typically between your computer or phone and a server. A host that supports FTP is promising secure file transfer capabilities through a remote server.
Most — but not all — hosting providers give customers FTP access to their servers so they can upload the content, images, and databases of their websites. You should see an FTP username or instructions on retrieving your FTP credentials when you sign up.
Before the prevalence of one-click software installations, WordPress users needed an FTP connection to upload the system files and install the content management system.
Businesses can also use FTP server space to more securely share and collaborate on multiple files at once, as some programs tout compliance with various encryption standards. A strong FTP manager can oversee user accounts, backups, archives, and modern technologies.
An SFTP server, for instance, uses the SSH (secure shell) protocol to fully encrypt and authenticate transactions. Even though we’re talking about looking for an FTP hosting service, you’ll almost assuredly be using the more modern and secure SFTP protocol.
To move a file or folder, most people prefer to download FTP client software that enables users to drag and drop website files between your device and the server. Many of these programs are free, but pay attention to the operating system on the device you’re planning to use.
A Windows user will probably want to choose WinSCP or FileZilla, while someone relying on Mac OS X may choose to opt for Cyberduck or Commander One. Fortunately, you should be able to find a free FTP client without much searching.
Best SFTP and FTP Hosting Services
After scouring the internet for the most FTP-friendly hosting plans, we found some gems that shine by optimizing speed, affordability, and top-tier support. Few hosts tout a relatively common feature like FTP service, so we appreciate those who pay special attention to the business-critical services:
When you’re looking for high-value at low costs, it’s hard to look past Hostinger and GoDaddy, as well. In addition to providing extra features like an addon domain, website builder, or an easy path to creating a WordPress website, the companies support passive FTP, as well.
Whether you’re uploading files to your web server, decluttering your laptop, or sharing documents or video files with coworkers, these providers offer streamlined and high-powered infrastructures geared for FTP hosting success. Read on to learn more about the specific features for which we search.
Features to Look for in an FTP Host
Some hosts, particularly the ones highlighted above, optimize their servers’ FTP settings to ensure the connections are as safe and performant as possible. We especially appreciate plans that include unlimited FTP accounts and unrestricted size limits for website files.
Although you can access a browser-based FTP client through a control panel, we prefer when hosts allow customers to use whichever client they prefer. Providers typically send FTP configuration information when you sign up for a hosting service. This information likely includes a username and starter password for the primary FTP user, along with an IP address.
Otherwise, you can set up accounts and find login information in the account management portal. Some hosts even provide downloadable files that will automatically set up your FTP tool with the pertinent information.
For those looking for security, seek out hosts that allow for SFTP, which includes the SSH protocol. Another option is FTPes, or FTPS, which adds support for TLS and SSL transfers. This is particularly useful if your hosting plan comes with SSL certificates by default.
Free FTP Hosting Comes Standard with Many Leading Providers
Whether you’re an expert programmer, novice website owner, or simply a digital hoarder, a strong FTP hosting plan can fulfill several business, productivity, and storage needs for each type of user.
The vast majority of reputable hosting providers offer some form of FTP account. If this is an important feature for you (and we assume it is, since you came to this page and read all the way down here), be sure to take the time to suss out if a web host is paying more than lip service to offer the best FTP hosting functionality.