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Updated: January 9, 2013 9:50 AM

Review: Steed modernizes FTP with modern protocols, cloud integration, and a fresh design



Review: Steed modernizes FTP with modern protocols, cloud integration, and a fresh design

Review: Steed modernizes FTP with modern protocols, cloud integration, and a fresh design

Steed (introductory price of 20 Euros, $26 on 1/7/2012) is a nicely minimalist FTP program which puts an emphasis on aesthetics, and looks like a 2012 program rather than a 1995 one. This simplicity also extends to its feature set, and whether that is a plus or a minus depends on the user.

Steed is extremely straightforward: Connect to an FTP server and then transfer files up or down. There are very few bells and whistles: no scripting, no scheduled events, no pages of highly-technical options to fine-tune settings in ways only hardcore network users understand.

Steed opens with a screen to enter a connection, and it assumes you know what you're doing, as there is no "Help" file. As most FTP locations these days are given in the form of URLs ("ftp://somesite.com"), and not in the expected address (ftp.somesite.com), you may need to edit a little bit to get the connection string in the format required. The only way to test this is to hit "Connect," and if it works, you're at the FTP screen. The only way to edit the connection, or to save it as a favorite, is to add a new tab; then rather than making a connection, go to the "History" menu, select your current active connection, and add it to your favorites.

Steed's interface is clean and clear, with easy filtering.

One nice utility feature is that, while browsing, you can enter a simple search string and filter the results in your current window. For large directories with many files and folders, this is very handy.

Steed supports more than just FTP; it also supports the SFTP, S3, and Azure protocols. In addition, it allows for syncing your bookmarks using Dropbox or Skydrive, and importing bookmarks from some other FTP programs, such as FileZilla.

There is not too much else to note. All expected functionality is present; you can ctrl-click to select multiple files, drag-and-drop to transfer, and so on. I really would like a way to see and edit my bookmarks without losing the main screen, or to save a current screen, including the path I've navigated to, as a favorite with a single click.

Steed is currently a bit on the unstable side; I experienced regular crashes doing standard operations on small files. The development team seems to be pumping out fixes at a rapid pace, though.

The 10-day trial period is fairly short, and the 20 Euro price is a tad high for a program with basic features. I hope that the Steed developers will roll in more functionality and fix the bugs.

Copyright (c) 2013 PCWorld Communications, Inc.

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