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Tina de Pierre

Very safe FTP client.

Free and open source SFTP client software, reviewed by Tina de Pierre

Free SCP, SFTP and FTP client that can perform typical file transfer operations securely and fast.

WinSCP is a open source and completely free FTP client for the Windows OS. It also functions natively as SFTP, SCP and FTPS clients.

With an active development community, WinSCP is unfortunately not as well known as certain rivals like FileZilla or paid FTP clients like that from Globalscape (CuteFTP). Actually, my first impression of WinSCP was that it is highly advanced and well done simply for the fact that unlike every other FTP client I've tried, WinSCP lists hidden folders on a UNIX system (prefixed with a period .) by default.

One of the strongest pillars of WinSCP is its support for security and encryption. With many of todays popular clients still defaulting to non-secured connections, this client actually defaults to secure connections over SFTP. Whether you're using an open WiFi network or you're in a country which monitors what you're doing online, security these days is a must. It goes without saying that you can have multiple sessions open as with almost all top-rated FTP/SFTP clients.

Upon launching WinSCP, we noticed immediately that the connect screen looks a lot like our favourite SSH/Telnet client PuTTY (and WinSCP can also launch PuTTY from the command menu). That definitely isn't a black mark against this client because in seriousness, a bloated layout with colourful flashy icons isn't what professionals are interested in seeing. Another interesting note is the option to switch between a Windows Explorer-like interface and the default Commander interface). We certainly preferred the default interface.

As with the connect dialog, the preferences also resemble popular programs like PuTTY. Each setting can be found under preferences in a streamlined list.

Editing remote files is quite simple. In fact when you do edit a file, you're not actually editing it live on the server. The client downloads the file first, allows you to edit it and then uploads the revision to the server when you're done.

The strong point of WinSCP is its inclusion of almost every possible feature you would need in an FTP/SFTP client while remaining secure. Highly recommended.

Compatibility and License

WinSCP is a free application released under the GPLv3 license on Windows from FTP clients. With software released under the open source GPLv3 license, anybody can download, install, run and distribute the software with little in terms of restrictions. The latest version we have is 5.21.7 and is available to download here.

winscp accepts donations for the continued development of this free software.

What version of Windows can WinSCP run on?

WinSCP can be used on a computer running Windows 11 or Windows 10. Previous versions of the operating system shouldn't be a problem with Windows 8, Windows 7 and Windows Vista having been tested. Windows XP is supported. It comes in both 32-bit and 64-bit downloads.

Filed under:
  1. WinSCP Download
  2. Free FTP Clients
  3. Open source and GPL software
  4. SFTP Client Software
WinSCP has been picked by our editors as excellent.
WinSCP has been tested for viruses and malware.
We have tested WinSCP 5.21.7 against malware with several different programs. We certify that this program is clean of viruses, malware and trojans.