I just tried to download FileZilla from SourceForge. It tries to install some random content from an unpopular and useless provider. It is definitely not reliable anymore.

More generally, which FTP clients would you recommend?

  • free
  • reliable and clean (malware-free)
  • easy to use
  • available on Windows platform
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    Related threads on the FileZilla forum: Advisory: Malware downloads on third-party websites (and its discussion); Love You and Your Malware Filezilla!
    – unor
    Commented Aug 7, 2014 at 12:13
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    Thank you. The post states it correctly. It is optional to install the useless additional features. But they kind of trick you into it. I cannot understand why this happens to such succesful projects.
    – Matthias
    Commented Aug 7, 2014 at 12:37
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    I wonder who still delivers software via SF, after that scandal in 7/2013: SourceForge’s new installer bundles adware! / SourceForge's new Installer bundles program downloads with adware, both explicitly using FileZilla as example. As far as I remember, it's SF's fault. The projects' fault is it to stay with it.
    – Izzy
    Commented Aug 7, 2014 at 14:12
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    Did you download Filezilla from a reputable source? Some websites will give you a modified installer with a bunch of crap in it, but even on software that has the extra items they want you to install you can still uncheck the boxes to not install them by doing a "custom install" (which you should do always, as well as check your download source to make sure it's reliable). If something automatically installs something on your computer without your consent, its origin is likely not who it claims to be unless it was shady software in the first place.
    – Ryan M
    Commented Aug 7, 2014 at 18:38
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    Filezilla also stores your passwords as clear text. And supposedly malware knows this. Commented Aug 8, 2014 at 8:35

6 Answers 6


I use WinSCP. It doesn't install adware, and it has a simpler interface than FileZilla. It is easy to use and supports FTP, SFTP, and SCP. It can also save as many profiles as you want.

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    Installed and looks good at a first glance.
    – Matthias
    Commented Aug 7, 2014 at 11:55
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    Still works great after several years. Used it at different customers' sites, so it seems to be the first choice of many large companies even. Would have recommended it as well – now I can only second the recommendation ;) // PS: another Pro is it saves your "workbench" on exit if you want to, so on the next start you can have it restoring all your "open connections" automatically. Love it alone for that!
    – Izzy
    Commented Aug 7, 2014 at 14:14
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    I do love the command line version of WinSCP ("winscp.com") which I use to automatically push backups from our web servers to the FTP backup server.
    – Uwe Keim
    Commented Aug 7, 2014 at 14:46
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    I think it also encrypts your passwords (and Filezilla does NOT (which is CRAZY) Commented Aug 8, 2014 at 8:31
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    I like it also!
    – hellboy
    Commented Jun 23, 2015 at 7:51

Use the zip option instead of the .exe installer, and simply unzip filezilla to where you want it - other than to bundle the crapware and potentially check for updates, why would filezilla need an installer?

Alternatively, it seems like there is a nowrap link for sourceforge downloads, so instead of the default





Alternatively, you can download the .exe from here directly, however you will need to find which one you want

source for nowrap


  • Could you provide download links?
    – Matthias
    Commented Aug 7, 2014 at 15:28
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    @Matthias FilezillaDownloadsPage click on the "show additional download options", and it leads here Commented Aug 7, 2014 at 15:29
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    Agreed, the problem isn't the software but the source of that software, FileZilla itself has no malware or crapware.
    – Jon Hanna
    Commented Aug 8, 2014 at 9:35
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    Funny, I wasn't aware of the problem, because I always, when I have a choice, choose the no-install version of the freewares I use... As you said, installation is rarely needed (except perhaps when the software needs to create context menu, file associations, and such; smart softwares allow to create them in theirs settings, anyway).
    – PhiLho
    Commented Apr 1, 2015 at 11:10

Keep away from it, at least as long as they reference the SourceForge download site!

Edit 2: Since this answer in 2014, SourceForge has got new owners, who abandoned the adware bundling policy, but FileZilla, back then one of their first, major partners for adware, has still been distributed with adware bundles through other channels.

The FileZilla download from SourceForge (their official download site) definitely installs unwanted software without the user's explicit consent and knowledge (thus malware). It was NOT the software advertized in the SourceForge downloader popup, which I rejected.

I tried and first got an offer for a price search software, which I could reject. That was, of course, what I did. A few minutes after opening FileZilla, an "Optimizer Pro" window opened up, harassing me with reports about possible "optimizations" and asking me to register.

This software was never mentioned in any screen immediately visible, there was no pre-set checkbox, and even looking over the EULA quickly didn't show me anything suspicious.

This kind of malware - adware, spyware, browser hijackers (start page, search engines etc.) is becoming a growing pest, even from renowned sources (Oracle's Java runtime being a typical example for this). Just make these malware sites known! How long did it take for the browser toolbar crapware bundled with Java to be mentioned in public? SourceForge still seems to be a renowned site, but this can spoil their reputation very quickly!

-- some other alternatives have already been mentioned here.


I think the unwanted software might have been installed by a deceptive EULA page, as shown in this article:


I remember a similar EULA page, but with "FileZilla" instead of "CamStudio" in the title. It suggests an EULA for the desired software, the EULA itself looks pretty much standard (yes, I expected the tool to try make me install unwanted crapware, so I read into the EULA), only the fine print on the left (which I probably forgot) reveals than another, adware, not named there, is going to be installed by clicking "Accept".

The EULA page shown in the article is clearly deception: it is titled as an EULA for the desired software (CamStudio, FileZilla or whatever), and in a small printed side note, it adds something entirely different, not even naming the adware to be installed. This is the classic fine print trap, a traditional method of deception. Of course, most legal systems make such "contracts" void, so there's usually neither a legitimization to install unwanted software, nor any other valid commitment.


The installer at FileHippo has no such crapware.


I use WinSCP or Cyberduck which is a little bit like a MacOSX-App :)

both are very leightweight, fast and powerful

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    Welcome on Software Recommendations, we're not looking for software list but for added-values answers. Please improve your post with informations you think it should be interresting to know about these softwares. Commented Aug 8, 2014 at 9:19

Compiling from binaries is the safest way if the main site has malware. Use your Search Engine to find guides on how to compile.

md5 checks offer a reliable protection against file corruption (like malware).

Make sure that you get the right binary. Compiling is usually done from your command processor.

If the place where you download from has a Software Revision Control, you may be highly confident that you are downloading from the right source as it is common.

You may want to download through FTP. Most sites offer an option when you ask for download. If not, you check their Pages to see if they allow you to connect to their FTP through a client. You will usually use batch to connect to the FTP.

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