My Mac day job requires me to be able to connect my MacBook Air troubleshooter device to sites and servers scattered all over my tech kingdom. Is there an easy way to connect remotely, upload and download files, keep it all secure, and still do it on the cheap and skinny? Oh, and Mac and PCs?
Only With A Cyberduck
The tool of choice for moving files to and fro is Cyberduck, one of a dozen very good Mac remote file browsers. The dubious distinction is that Cyberduck is very good and free.
Free doesn’t mean simple. There’s a lot going on under the hood, so make sure you know what you’re doing before venturing into the world of remote connections. You’ll need to know more than just how to spell FTP.
The interface is a little cluttered and not exactly self explanatory.
Cyberduck lets you browse all the files on your Mac or any connected hard disk drive. You can connect to remote servers (Mac, Windows, Linux, whatever) and browse files remotely using a bunch of standard protocols.
It’s not just FTP or SFTP or WebDAV. Cyberduck also Amazon S3, Amazon CloudFront, Google Storage, Rackspace, and SSH. Mac OX X’s QuickLook works inside Cyberduck so you can see file information on remote servers.
Pretty much any kind of file can be uploaded or downloaded. Even directories remote and local can be synchronized. Standard remote file management tools are embedded in Cyberduck so you can change permissions of files, configure Access Control lists, and keep a log of all your connections.
Cyberduck remembers your connections and stores information the Mac’s keychain, but it also handles most basic authentication protocols, too (PAM, 3DES, TwoFish, AES, CAST, MD5, SHAI, and Secure Copy (SCP). It handles notification via Growl, and can even archive and expand .zip files on remote servers using SSH.
There’s much to like about Cyberduck. Especially the price. But it’s not for the faint of heart. The interface can be confusing, and there’s no dual pane, left and right, local and target window.