Best SFTP Clients for Mac in 2024


Looking for secure file transfer software tools for your network? In this article, we review the most popular SFTP clients to help you decide which one is right for you, as well as talking about the best features of each program.

When you need to transfer files between a remote server and a local client computer, an SFTP client is generally the best way to do so. SFTP clients can be used to upload your files to a web server, or to download files from a remote server. However, with the introduction of cloud storage, that has all changed.

Though you can still use most SFTP clients to transfer files for WANs or LANs, you can also use them for file transfers to cloud storage platforms, such as Google Drive, Dropbox, Azure, and so on.

Commander One

Commander One is fast, reliable, and secure, making it one of the best SFTP client Mac. With an intuitive interface, it’s packed with all the features needed to transfer files, including support for protocols like FTP, tabbed browsing, and multiple simultaneous connections.

Commander One is one of the best SFTP for Mac programs as it allows you to map any FTP server as your local drive to work with files as if they were stored on your local computer. With Commander One it’s quick and easy to manage your cloud storage accounts and network servers in one place. The software is secure to use too, as you can take advantage of encrypted transfers between cloud storage or remote servers and your Mac.

Other features of this best SFTP Mac software include brief mode, which lets you access and manage multiple files and folders simultaneously, a toolbar with a button to show hidden files, plus options to customize fonts and colors to suit your tastes. You can assign customizable hotkeys for your most used actions, view favorite folders and history, open unlimited tabs to work on multiple files, and queue file operations in the background. Commander One even offers ZIP support for extracting or compressing files, and has a built-in file viewer that supports Hex, binary, text, image, HTML, and media files.

Upgrade to PRO and you’ll enjoy features like mounting iOS devices as disks, connection manager, Android and MTP mounting, process viewer, terminal emulator, and more.

Commander One is one of the best SFTP for Mac programs.

Top features of Commander One:

  • Access all your cloud storage accounts in one place
  • Encryption keeps your files safe during transfers
  • Integrates with Finder for easy file and folder management

Supported OS: macOS

Price: free, PRO Pack costs $29.99

Latest update: 25 Sep, 2023


If you’re looking for the best SFTP client for Mac, you might want to consider CloudMounter. This app lets you mount your cloud storage accounts on your Mac, accessing all your files as though they were stored locally. You can use CloudMounter with Google Drive, OneDrive, Dropbox, Amazon S3, and more, saving storage space on your computer.

Not only does CloudMounter allow you to access all your cloud storage files as though they were stored on your Mac, but it also encrypts files you access and transfer, ensuring that your personal information stays safe.

СloudMounter as effificent SFTP client for Mac

Top features of CloudMounter:

  • Access multiple cloud storage accounts in one place
  • Supports most popular cloud storage providers
  • Encryption keeps your data safe
  • Integrates with Finder for easy file and folder management

Supported OS: macOS, Windows

Price: free version, paid version – $29.99/year

Latest update: 30 Oct, 2023


Another of the best Mac SFTP clients is FileZilla. This cross-platform app supports FPT protocols as well as the most popular cloud storage services, including OneDrive, Google Drive, Dropbox, Amazon S3, Backblaze B2, and more. Intuitive and easy to use, the app has a dual-pane interface where you can view local files and folders in the left column, and files and folders on the remote server/cloud storage in the right column. At the top of both columns is a directory tree, while a detailed folder listing is at the bottom.

FileZilla is one of the best SFTP software Mac options as it’s so easy to use. Just enter the Host server address, username, password, and port number. Click “Quick connect”. Find the file or folder you’d like to upload and choose where you’d like to upload it to in the remote column. Then simply drag and drop your files into either column.

FileZilla is another good Mac SFTP client

Top features of FileZilla:

  • Easily compare local and remote server directories by modification date/file size, plus sync changes to ensure all files are up to date
  • Configure transfer speed limits for each connection and limit the number of server connections at any one time
  • Wide range of filter conditions allows you to filter out files and folders, e.g. exclude thumbs.db or configuration files.

Supported OS: macOS, Windows, Linux

Price: free, Pro subscription is set at $24.99 for 3 years

Latest update: Dec 20, 2023


If you’re looking for the best free SFTP software Mac, Cyberduck is a free cloud storage browser and libre server that works on Windows and Mac. With support for FTP, SFTP, and most popular cloud storage services, including Amazon S3, OneDrive, Dropbox, Google Drive, and more, it also supports WebDAV.

Cyberduck is a bit more complex to use than some other apps on this list, but it supports FTP over a secured TLS/SSL connection, plus SFTP with solid ciphers, as well as public keys and two-factor authentication. There’s also support for and Dracoon 6.

Cyberduck is a free cloud storage browser.

Top features of Cyberduck:

  • Works like macOS Finder, so it’s easy and familiar to use, with tabs, sorting, filter, and drag and drop
  • Integration with Cryptomator ensures files and folders are encrypted before uploading for your security

Supported OS: macOS, Windows

Price: free, accept donations

Latest update: Nov 6, 2023


One of the Mac SFTP best free clients has to be CrossFTP. This Java-based cross-platform client supports SFTP protocols and most cloud storage services, including Openstack Swift, Microsoft Azure, Amazon S3, Amazon Glacier, and more.

The app’s intuitive interface has a dual-column view, with each pane able to be resized or hidden. Easily show or hide the transfer queue pane by clicking View > Queue. Unlike some other apps, there’s no directory tree, so you can simply double-click a folder to display its contents.

To connect CrossFTP, just enter the Host server address, your login credentials, and the port number, then hit Connect. You can drag and drop files and folders to/from either column.

One of the Mac SFTP best free clients also has to be CrossFTP.

Top features of CrossFTP:

  • When transferring a file of the same name as an existing file on the server, you’ll get comprehensive file overwrite options
  • Supports multiple concurrent transfers plus schedule transfers
  • Easily sync files/folders between local storage, remote servers, cloud storage, or the zip archive file (just select Tools > Synchronize Directories)

Supported OS: macOS, Windows, Linux

Price: free version, Pro costs $24.99

Latest update: Oct 31, 2018

Transmit 5

Transmit 5 is a worthy addition to our list of the best Mac SFTP clients. Fast, reliable, and regularly updated, with Transmit you can manage, upload, and download files across an array of servers. Version 5.0 retains support for FTP, SFTP, S3, and WebDAV plus adds cloud storage support for Microsoft Azure, Dropbox, Google Drive, Rackspace, and Box.

Intuitive and easy to use, the app offers multithreading technology for faster upload/download speeds, and an updated interface that allows you to check transfer progress.

With Transmit 5 you can manage, upload, and download files across an array of servers.

Top features of Transmit 5:

  • Panic Sync lets you sync servers and accounts across multiple Macs
  • Easily sync files/folders between remote server and local directory (just click Transfer > Synchronize to get started)
  • Save servers as droplets in the Finder, then just drag and drop files/folder to the icon for fast upload to the server
  • DropSend lets you send files/folders wherever you want. Simply specify local and remote directory paths then drag and drop files to the Transmit icon in the Dock

Supported OS: macOS

Price: 7 days for free, then $45

Latest update: Dec 18, 2023


ForkLift is one of the best SFTP software Mac clients around, with dual-pane functionality for fast, easy transfers. With support for FTP, SFTP, SMB, NFS, and AFP, it also supports Google Drive, Amazon S3, and other cloud storage providers.

With ForkLift you can connect to multiple servers simultaneously for speedy file transfers, or use the software as a sync tool for two-way sync with a single click. The handy preview panel lets you peek at files before editing or moving them.

With ForkLift you can connect to multiple servers simultaneously for speedy file transfers.

Top features of ForkLift:

  • Handy dual-pane view for fast, easy transfers
  • Supports most popular cloud services including Dropbox and Google Drive
  • Add tags to files and folders for file management

Supported OS: macOS

Price: 14-days of a free trial, paid version starts from $19.95

Latest update: Nov 17, 2023

sFTP Client

With sFTP Client you can easily access remote or local FTP servers, local servers, dedicated servers, shared hosting, cloud storage, or VPS. Simple yet powerful, sFTP Client allows for fast, responsive transfers, as it’s built on top of Google Chrome OS packaged application interface.

sFTP Client makes it easy to store, organize, and access all your SFTP/FTP connections at the click of a mouse. It’s also easy to create file/folder queues that allow you to see what’s currently uploading/downloading.

For those looking for the best editor Mac with SFTP support, there’s even an in-built editor, so no extra software is needed to change your code. The editor has syntax highlighting features such as auto-upload, saves, and autosaves. Other features include standard FTP connections, SSH connections, permission key files for SSH connections, and FTP or SFTP passive mode.

With sFTP Client you can upload or download multiple files and folders simultaneously, change file or folder permissions, and easily import/export accounts. File management is a breeze as the app lets you rename and delete files, refresh remote and local lists, create new files or directories, multi-select files, resize and sort columns, and more.

You’ll also benefit from features like Google Sockets API, console log, synchronized browsing, and master password login.

With sFTP Client you can upload or download multiple files and folders simultaneously.

Top features of sFTP Client:

  • Customize the app with a choice of themes and colors
  • Connects with most popular cloud storage services including Dropbox, Amazon S3, and more
  • SSH terminal lets you connect to your server’s shell process for additional tasks
  • Easy to compare directories between local and remote servers
  • Drag and drop support

Supported OS: macOS, Windows, Linux

Price: basic features are available for free, Pro license starts from £3.99/month

Latest update: Feb 01, 2023

Comparing Table of the Best SFTP Clients for Mac

Top features Commander One CloudMounter FileZilla Cyberduck CrossFTP Transmit 5 ForkLift sFTP Client
Easy-to-use interface
Support for SFTP
Files encryption Doesn’t work correctly
Drag and drop files
Ability to change/rename files directly on the server
Queuing file operations
Ability to synchronize folders
Archive files without manual downloading Doesn’t work with SFTP
Automatic reconnection to the server
Support for third-party file editing software
Hotkey support
Support for WebDAV PRO version
Support for cloud connections PRO version Several connections
Price Free / $29.99 Free / $29.99/year Free / $24.99/3 years Free Free / $24.99 $45 $19.95 Free / £3.99/month

What Is SFTP?

SSH File Transfer Protocol (SFTP) is a network protocol that allows for file access, transfer, and management. Also known as Secure File Transfer Protocol, SFTP is considered more secure than FTP. The “SSH” here means Secure Socket Shell or Secure Shell protocol. This cryptographic protocol offers secure access to computers in an unsafe network.

What Are the Uses of FTP and SFTP?

There are many uses for FTP and SFTP that involve file management over a remote system, file transfers from one computer to another, etc. These include:

  • Server administration
  • Firmware upgrades
  • File sharing to meet compliance/regulatory requirements, for example, HIPAA, FIPS, etc.
  • Uploading files to content management systems (CMS) such as WordPress, Magento, etc.
What is SFTP and where can it be used.

Differences Between SFTP, FTP, and FTPS

There are some important differences between SFTP, FTP, and FTPS:

  • FTP, the standard file transfer protocol, doesn’t include any safety features or security layers when transferring files
  • SFTP has an extra layer of security and adds protection through authentication to allow accessing and modifying content. It also has one single port number for all communications
  • FTPS also has this extra security, but it uses multiple port numbers. The more ports you open, the more opportunities there are for hackers to access your network and data.

SFTP is considered the safest transfer protocol around, and most of the best SFTP client Mac software offers support for SFTP.


So now that you know the reviews for the top SFTP clients for Mac and you have extended info on how the protocol works and what are the differences compared to SFTP and FTPS, it’s time to wrap things up. Every user has different needs and that’s why we can’t tell you what’s the best fit.


When you are at the command line, the command used to start an SFTP connection with a remote host is:

  1. sftp username@hostname
  2. sftp
  3. sftp>
  4. Use cd .. in order to get to the parent directory (e.g. from /home/Documents/ to /home/)
  5. lls, lpwd, lcd.

The FileZilla client supports FTP and also FTP over TLS (FTPS) and SFTP. It is open-source software.

It depends on your needs. The main difference between FTP and SFTP is the “S”. SFTP is a secure file transfer protocol. With FTP, the files that you send or receive are not encrypted. You may be using a secure connection, but the transmission and files themselves are not encrypted.