SAN FRANCISCO (05/23/2000) - Are you a download junkie? If so, you may want to check out the latest update of the popular FTP utility, WS_FTP, which now integrates with your Web browser.
WS_FTP Version 6.5 was released yesterday in two versions. The shareware version is available both on the site of developer Ipswitch Inc. and in PCWorld.com's FileWorld shareware downloads library.
The Pro version is priced at $39.95 and available on Ipswitch's site. It includes a scheduling tool so you can configure an after-hours download of a particularly large file. Current registered WS_FTP users may upgrade to the new version for $9.95.
The WS_FTP utility is handy if you often upload files to remote servers or download lots of games, MP3s, and shareware files.
With the new release, you can integrate the tool with any Web browser except for the Netscape 6 beta. This means you don't need to launch WS_FTP separately when you want to upload or download files.
The new WS_FTP lets you manage FTP transfers between remote servers, eliminating the need to first download files to a local system and then upload them to another server. A new Find utility makes it easy to search the Internet for specific files. (Internet old-timers may be reminded of the Veronica tool for searching Gopher servers.) This minimizes the need to go to download sites and search them one by one.
You may also synchronize, or "mirror," directories between a PC and a remote server. This is a much-appreciated tool for people who manage small Web sites and wish to keep backups of their sites on their local systems. The mirroring and search utilities, along with a scripting tool, used to be part of a separate package. Now, that Utility Pack is entirely incorporated into the program.
Adding a Portal
Ipswitch on Monday also announced the launch of its FTP portal, FTPplanet.com.
There, you'll find links to various download sites by categories (MP3, games, utilities, and more). It also features discussion groups, resources, and advice.
A timely "FTP Site of the Week" is chosen and highlighted according to topics in the news. For example, this week's site is Symantec, where you will find the antidote to the "ILOVE YOU" virus. The Ipswitch staff chooses all the links.
Visitors may sign up for a weekly newsletter with reviews of the FTP Site of the Week, tips, and advice.
Company officials wish to clarify that FTPplanet.com isn't aimed at Napster.
The site offers no user-to-user file swapping capability, and visitors to the site can't upload their files to its server.