Blog Post

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).

13 Responses to “Interarchy 8.2: FTP Redefined”

  1. Peter Fagan

    I own current licenses for Transmit, Fetch and Interarchy.

    The thing that makes Interarchy stand out is tabs. I typically maintain a number of different products on a single site and will typically have five or seven tabs going. My favorite action is option dragging a file to copy it from my dev area file listing onto the tab for the production version of the same dir.

    Like many apps, a cmd key lets me edit a file in my editor app. I also enjoy being able to cmd-c a file in a list and paste its URL elsewhere. It’s an FTP URL though, which typically needs trimming; there’s a tab-based FTP app for XP called SmartFTP that gives you a contextual manu choice of the kind of URL you’d like to copy off a listing!

    Although I prefer Interarchy for reasons including those above, I remain critical of their connection dialogs; I don’t think they see a bigger, simpler picture of that sort of thing yet; they could learn some UI from humbler FTP apps. In practice I don’t find myself needing it, since new bookmarks for existing server listings are a cmd-d away.

    I have my bookmarks window permanenly open down the right side of my my screen for easy access. I slid closed the Collection sidebar in the bookmarks window because it features a lot of automation goodies that remain disused because my machine doesn’t perform any server duties.

  2. I’ve been a happy Transmit user for a short while (recent switcher.) Tried Cyberduck, but it kept crashing on large uploads (couple hundred 2-4MB files.) Transmit is nice, and I love the drop zones I can make on my desktop for directories I frequently upload files to. The one problem I have, though, is I can’t seem to get it to work with symbolic links. We have a couple directories that have symlinks to other directories. With Cyberduck, I could browse those as if they were actual directories, while Transmit does nothing at all…I have to open another window and browse to the real directory (if I can even remember where it is…) If Interarchy can solve that little hurdle, I’ll switch in a heartbeat.

  3. I got fed up with Cyberduck crashing in directories with lots of files. I tried Interarchy and I’m in heaven. Amazingly powerful but simultaneously extremely easy to use. The price is a tad high at ~ $70 but now that my trial is ending I’m thinking about paying for it. (Typically trials end with me deciding it just isn’t worth it even when I really like the program)

  4. Well,
    I found Interarchy 8.2 more powerful thant Transmit 3. because it handle both FXP ( site to site transfer) and SSH connection while Transmit is a little buggy with tranfers under ftp servers using SSH protocol, and I hated the fact that transmit 3 lose my queue list ( 107 files ) after a great freez ( SSH servers again), Transmit got a a false FXP mode as well ( it downloads the files on your hard drive before sending it to the other server). Well I don’t know if that answers your question but it solved it for me :) moreover, Interarchy is so simple to use with Finder, I really like it. I was a fan of Flash FXP before when I was on PC, the fact that two softwares can be very efficient and do the same thing in a totally different way is really great.

  5. Thanks for the feedback, Peter.

    However, Transmit does mirroring and it also allows you to set external editors based on file type.

    I guess the only way I’m going to solve the “why is Interarchy better” puzzle is to download it and see for myself.

  6. Peter Shield


    Transmit is a great app for novices. It’s simplistic interface is perfect for people like my Father. That is why I bought it for him. But for anyone with moderate to high end file transfer needs Interarchy kicks but. Nothing comes close.

    Interarchy has supported external editing long before Transmit. 1996 I think. And Interarchy’s external editor support is much more powerful than anything else out there on the market. It can be set on a per extension basis. I have .html files go off to bbedit; .pl scipts of off to Affrus; .css files go off to CSSEdit; and .jpg, .png, and .gif files go off to Graphic Converter.

    Interarchy’s real power lies in it’s mirroring tools. It is set and forget. Not having to worry about uploading files is a godsend.

    It is not that Interarchy has so many powerful features (it does) that make it so great. It is Interarchy’s attention to detail that makes it so great. Interarchy is the Photoshop of it’s field.

  7. Interarchy has been in my arsenal since it was called Anarchie on System 7 Macs. It has never failed to do any job asked of it, and often goes above and beyond the call. (The Net info tools are very handy.)

    If you are a professional that needs a bullet-proof FTP client, Interarchy is the tool. Great support from Stairways Software, and a user community on Yahoo:

  8. I wasn’t implying that Transmit is a nice, bargain app. I was wondering whether or not it’s just flat out better than Interarchy (for someone with medium-level ftp needs) Basically, a lot of people think that Transmit’s interface is second to none and live and die by the ability to edit server-side files both in an external editor AND with Transmit itself (if text): options which Transmit has offered before Interarchy did. And no, I’m not looking for something “simple”. I found Cyberduck way too limiting and, frankly, not even in the same league as Transmit. Price is not an issue for me when it comes to quality, but I also don’t like paying more when I don’t have to.

    The few arguments I’ve heard for Interarchy compared to Transmit is that it’s “more powerful”. I’m curious as to what, exactly, this means. Because from the small sample of features listed in this review, I can’t point out something that Interarchy does that Transmit doesn’t. Maybe the “raw FTP commands” which I just honestly would never need or use.

    And fellas: this is not flame bait or trolling. This is a happy Transmit user wondering if he might be missing out on something even better. I run a few websites via third-party hosting, so my needs fall into that realm. I’ve been so happy with Transmit that if Interarcy is truly better it must be one of the best damn apps ever made. And yes, I should just download Interarchy and try it for myself but time is money and the new thing always seems worse than the comfortable, familiar thing. I’d love to hear from someone with lots of experience with both programs. Any thoughts?


  9. Peter Shield

    For me Interarchy is invaluable. It is one of the best programs out there.

    Padriac, I could be a tight ass, save $30 and buy Transmit or Fetch. But qquickly it would end up costing me a lot more than the $30 I saved on the initial purchase price. I am vastly more productive with Interarchy.

  10. Make no mistakes about it. Interarchy is one of the best programs there is. But just as Photoshop isn’t for everyone neither is Interarchy.

    Interarchy is targeted at creative professionals, internet designers, system administrators, and power users. If you fall into this crowd you really owe it to yourself to grab a copy of Interarchy.

    If you are a novice and just need to move around a few files Interarchy probably isn’t for you. It is probably best to stick with something simple like Cyberduck.

    We have a site license for Interarchy and use it daily. It is a real time saver. Nothing else comes close for the work we do designing, uploading and maintaining websites. $30 spent on Transmit is a watse of money. $60 for Interarchy is an absolute bargin. Interarchy is invaluable. We would be lost without it.

  11. I didn’t mean to ignore any of the (literally dozens) of FTP applications out there for OSX. This is just my humble review of Interarchy. Since Cyberduck was my client of choice, it’s my only frame of reference.

    If you’re looking for a great FTP client comparison article, check out Michael’s recent “throwdown” article.

  12. Someone is going to say it, so it may as well be me…


    It has had most of the features you seem to be enjoying in Interarchy for a while now, but it’s cheaper. Don’t get me wrong, they’re both great, but you kind of act like Cyberduck is the only ftp “competition”, which is not even close to the truth.