FTP may be one of the oldest Internet protocols (it was first officially defined in 1971), but it's still one of the simplest, fastest and most efficient ways to transfer files from one PC to another. Which is probably why it's usually the protocol of choice when it comes to uploading files to a web server.

There's a problem, though. While FTP can protect against unauthorised access with simple password authentication, the FTP connection itself is unencrypted. That means that, in theory at least, anyone with a well-placed packet sniffer could intercept your FTP traffic, read user names, passwords, then grab all your transferred files.

WinSCP is a transfer tool that can protect against this problem by connecting using the Secure File Transfer Protocol (also known as SSH). As long as the remote computer you're trying to reach also supports this protocol, then you'll be able to create an encrypted connection that keeps your data and files safe from snoopers. (Though if the server doesn't support SFTP, WinSCP can always make a regular, insecure FTP connection instead.)

However you get connected, WinSCP is very easy to use. It'll take your server name, port, logon details and so on, then save them for speedy access later. An Explorer-like dual-pane interface then shows your local PC on the left, remote server on the right, and transferring information between the two is as simple as dragging and dropping.

If even that sounds like too much work, then you can set up the program to automatically synchronise the remote server with a local folder. And WinSCP comes packed with other useful features, including an integrated text editor that allows you to directly edit files on the remote PC, and a command line interface for creating scripts to automate transfer tasks.

Version 5.13.3 changelog can be found here.

- Generated session URL for opened FTP/WebDAV session over TLS/SSL with invalid certificate includes its fingerprint. 1646
- Generated session URL has colons in TLS/SSL fingerprint unnecessarily URL-encoded. 1645
- Bug fix: It is not possible to delete symlink pointing to a directory with “Follow symbolic links to directories” session settings being on. 1648
- Bug fix: Scripting command ln does silently nothing when the server does not support creating symlinks, instead of reporting that.
- Bug fix: Error when downloading file to a temporary filename with a long path with SFTP protocol.
- Bug fix: Keywords that link to help page are underlined in generated code on Windows 10 version 1803. 1650
- Bug fix: Start of file drag from remote panel stalls on some systems with floppy drive. 1652
- Bug fix: Path argument in lcd command in generated script has to end with backslash, if it points to a root folder.
- Kabyle translation removed.

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Powerful tool for securely transferring files across the internet. It's also a capable FTP client, though, so take a look even if your server doesn't support SFTP