Interarchy 8.2: FTP Redefined

Interarchy 8.2 is a remarkably feature-packed update to an already wonderful piece of software. I haven’t used Interarchy since version 8.0.1, and in the interim the folks at Stairways Software have clearly been hard at work.

First Impressions

When you first fire it up, Interarchy greets you with the “Connect to Server” window, which is a bit unlike any connection window you’ll find in any other OSX FTP manager. From here, you have the option to simply login and view your FTP directory, or perform more advanced features such as mirroring, changing permissions, or auto uploading. You can also connect using FTP, SFTP, iDisk, Amazon S3, WebDAV, and a few other miscellaneous options. There’s also a wonderful little window pane that offers some tips for novices.

Once connected, you’re able to browse your remote directory as you would any other folder in the Finder. With multiple file views and tabbed browsing, Interarchy sits right at home with other big name OSX software. Uploading and downloading files are as easy as dragging and dropping from the Finder.

Right off the bat, I noticed the new Growl support. This has always been one of my favorite Cyberduck features, so I’m happy to see it hit Interarchy. When I’m uploading larger files and folders, it’s nice to be able to switch tasks without having to periodically check transfer progress.

More Than Just FTP

Rest assured, however, this application isn’t just for novices. Stowed away behind its intuitive interface are dozens of power tools. Mirror Mode is of particular use, though I suspect most novices aren’t familiar with it. Mirroring essentially matches two directories — usually one remote and one local. Think of it as iSync for your FTP server.

My favorite power tool is Interarchy’s flexibile “Edit in…” command. You can edit any text file in your text editor of choice and simply hit Cmd-S to save it back to the server — seamlessly. To make it an even sweeter deal, you can do the same thing with image files. I can’t even begin to describe how much time this can save you if you’re a web-tinkerer like I am.

For those *nix lovers, there’s also an option to send you’re own raw FTP command, so you can still feel like you’ve got total control.

Minor Points

My one complaint was that the transfer window didn’t automatically show its face when I dropped a large folder onto my Desktop, but the preference setting was easy enough to find. Once I checked the “auto show transfer window” option, I was surprised to see the transfer window not only when I was downloading/uploading files, but with every FTP command. It would be nice if there were an option to only show the window for file transfers.

The Verdict

Interarchy is one of the most advanced and well-written native OSX applications available, let alone FTP clients. If you’re looking for a full-featured application to handle your FTP and remote server needs, look no further. Consider this author a switcher from Cyberduck to Interarchy.

The sticker price of $59.95, however, may be more than the novice user is willing pay (a fully functional demo is available).

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