Although many in the business and computing worlds are turning to “cloud” based storage solutions, there are still needs to connect to “old-school” FTP file servers. Long a mainstay of the IT world, FTP as of late has been supplanted by the more secure SSH File Transfer Protocol or SFTP for short. So how does an iOS (iPad or iPhone) user connect to these servers? The answer is to use the extremely powerful app called GoodReader.
This application keeps getting better and better on each release and I consider it the number one “must-have” app for iOS users. Connecting to SFTP or FTP servers is as easy as connecting to Dropbox or SugarSync.
To start, open GoodReader, and tap the Add button in the Connect to Servers option found on the right side of the screen. In the Create new Connection list, select either FTP or SFTP server option. A dialog prompts you for all of the sign-in information necessary to connect to the server. When finished entering sign-in info, tap the Add button, keeping in mind to use a meaningful entry for the Readable Title field.
The FTP or SFTP connection recently added now appears as an entry in the Connect to Servers list using the chosen Readable Title for the list entry name. Simply tap the entry and GoodReader will attempt to access the remote server using the saved sign-in credentials. Once properly connected, any remote files and folders appear for perusal.
To download a folder and its contents, tap the area to the left of the blue circle, then select the download button in the bottom left of the bubble window. GoodReader then prompts for a save location, navigate your local iPad or iPhone folders until a suitable destination location is found, with a Download folder here button tap to “seal the deal.” GoodReader will then download the entire folder contents to your iPad or iPhone.
This process may also be reversed, and as an additional option GoodReader also supports syncing with remote FTP or SFTP servers.