Not SmartFTP

Something I hate about commercial ‘free’ software, like FTP and Anti-virus programs when they say ‘free for uncommercial use’ – so I happily use them at home (not commercially of course) for several years, lured into a false sense of a happy-warm-fuzzy-glow towards the company.

Then some marketing wonk in the company obviously freaks out, saying ‘We’re not making enough money!’ and then they change the license; and as most programs force auto-updating (which is annoying, but hey you’re getting it for free, right?) and so you’re left with nothing, with all your data or bookmarks left inside the now-payment-only software; and left with either coughing up, which in my case I’m loathed to do – not because it’s expensive, but I hate these sorts of techniques to ‘force’ people to pay for something the company was quite happy for you to use for free – or finding alternatives.

And then the said ‘pay’ software fades into obscurity – these kind of things go down badly with consumers and usually it’s the last you see of that…although I suspect the marketing wonk jumps ship beforehand to another company, and so the cycle begins again. The only company to do this so far was Eudora, who brought in a free-ad supported model and a Paid mode, like Livejournal. That DOES work and means you can use it for free if you want. and if the ads annoy you then you pay.
I think that’s a fair model, and doesn’t wind up people as much as suddenly changing the license and forcing them to choose.

So this has now happened to SmartFTP – a great program, one I would normally be happy to pay for but their forcing of payment and forcing of mandatory updates annoys me (it’s a licencing model so I expect you’d only have it for a year and then have to cough up again? Anyway I don’t like being forced to pay for something that was previously free). So I’ve found a few great alternatives – open source – one is FireFTP – which works with Firefox as a plugin and seems to do everything SFTP does. And the other is Filezilla, not really tried it much yet, but looks good if less polished than SFTP. But it’s free.

And it seems rather strange if there are open-source FTP clients that even commercial companies can use, then why are SmartFTP shooing away most of their install base? DOH.

TIP: If you want to export your Favorites – FTP sites from SmartFTP into these, you can, although it’s not as easy sadly as ‘File…Import’!

Before your copy expires (if not install the trial off the website, it seems to reset it for 13 days) goto Favorites – Manage Favorites. Click on ‘Export’ in the Tools menu in the popup window. Select either HTML option and give it a name (that threw me initially).

Then open the HTML file in Firefox, and click on each of the links. As the window opens, right click and select ‘open this in FireFTP’ or somesuch – and there you are! You can then edit the ‘Account’ info by clicking edit, but most of the details should be there, unless it needs some special setting.

I have no idea how yet to import into Filezilla…can you do it via FireFTP?

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Tim B Written by:

One Comment

  1. September 4
    Reply

    It seems as though is you do the same thing (export to an HTML file) then right click on each and every FTP link, and select “Copy Link” then paste that into the first text box in filezilla (host) and press enter, it will autofill the other boxes and connect to the server… Then you can select “File” and “Copy current connection to site manager”

    It’s still a bit time consuming, but easier than having to copy each domain, username, and password separately…

    -Andrew

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