WinSCP is a popular free SFTP and FTP client for Windows, a powerful file manager that improves your productivity. It provides a user-friendly GUI to copy files between a local and a remote computer with multiple protocols: Amazon S3, FTP, FTPS, SCP, SFTP or WebDAV. Power users can automate WinSCP with .NET assembly. WinSCP is available in English and many other languages.
What is WinSCP?
WinSCP (derived from its name Windows Secure Copy) is a free open-source file transfer protocol (FTP) client designed for the Windows operating system for PCs. Its main function focuses on secure file transfer between a local computer and a remote server. It also supports other file transfer protocols, including WebDAV and Amazon S3.
To secure transfers between computers, WinSCP mainly uses the Secure Shell Protocol (SSH), but the option to use the Secure Copy Protocol (SCP) or the SSH File Transfer Protocol (SFTP) is also available if you want. It has a built-in text editor if you need to edit local or remote text files as well. You can even operate it through a console interface with various commands.
WinSCP easily integrates with Windows and your workflow for smoother operation. You can install shell extensions to include features like drag-and-drop to make transferring files easier. You can also add a “Send To” context menu option to Windows File Explorer. If you use PuTTY, both clients can share settings and even some features.
- All common operations with files
- Support for Amazon S3, FTP, FTPS, SCP, SFTP or WebDAV
- Directory synchronization in various semi- or fully-automatic ways
- Binary and text transfer modes, transfer queue and background transfers
- Graphical user interface with choice of Windows Explorer-like or Norton Commander-like interface
- Integrated text editor and support for external text editors
- Integration with Windows, PuTTY, and other applications
- Scripting and task automation with batch file scripting, command-line interface, and .NET assembly
- Optionally supports portable operation via a configuration file instead of registry entries, suitable for removable media operation
- Comprehensive WinSCP documentation and an active user forum are freely available on the WinSCP site
How do I use WinSCP?
During the installation, you can choose between two types of user interfaces. The Explorer interface is similar in appearance and operation to the Windows File Explorer. Meanwhile, you can also select the Commander interface for advanced operations with a double-window layout. Next, enter the required credentials such as hostname, username and password.
Once this is done, SCP will open a directory for you to upload and manage your files. Accessing your server from another computer or granting permissions to another person works the same way. As an administrator, you just need to provide him with the credentials. You can also enable synchronization so that any changes made by a remote server are reflected on your local computer.
Finally, you can use scripts and automation features to simplify some tasks, such as scheduled file transfers, converting scripts from one client to another, or setting certain restrictions or conditions for file transfers. Just a few things WinSCP could improve. One is that its short connection times often cause forced disconnections. Another is that its slow transfer speeds can really consume some work.
- Free and open-source FTP client
- Supports various file transfer protocols
- Easy to use
- Scripting and automation features
- Short connection times
- Slow transfer speeds