Fetch 5.7 FTP client for OS X review

Sections: Lion, Mac OS X, Mac Software, Operating Systems, Reviews, Snow Leopard, Web Applications / Development

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Provides: Internet file transfer
Format: Digital download
Developer: Fetch Softworks
Minimum System Requirements: Mac OS X v10.5
Processor Compatibility: Intel only
Price: $29 single user (multi-user and upgrade pricing available)
Availability: Now
Version Reviewed: 5.7

Fetch is one of the oldest Mac OS applications, dating back to the early days of the Mac OS Classic era, but it’s still one of the best at doing what it does.

A full-featured Mac-only file transfer (FTP) client with a clean, simple, easy-to-use interface, Fetch supports both FTP and SFTP, the Internet’s most file transfer protocols on the Internet.


Rock-solid reliability has always been a Fetch characteristic. I’ve been using Fetch for years and have never encountered any bugginess or instability. It just works. The current Fetch 5.7 is engineered to automatically resume uploads, downloads, and mirror operations, ensuring that network glitches and server hiccups don’t mess up completion of successful file transfers—features that have been upgraded and enhanced in this latest version of the program.

To give users users greater control over files, Fetch 5.7 now preserves modification dates of uploaded files, making it easier to tell when a file on a server matches your local copy. Fetch’s new Find field enables users to zero in on files they are working with.

Fetch’s application window incorporates a file list view motif modeled on the familiar Mac OS X Finder, making it look and work like just another element of the operating system’s user interface. The program supports drag-and-drop for copying files and folders between servers and your Mac, or between two servers, and also droplet shortcuts and a Dashboard widget for easy uploading and tracking upload progress.

Fetch 5.7 now also helps users better monitor progress of file transfers. While previous versions reported the transfer progress of each individual file, Fetch now displays the progress of the overall transfer, making it easier to see when an entire operation will be complete. I would personally prefer multiple progress bars, one for each file being uploaded in a batch, but Fetch’s developers have opted for simplicity consistent with the application’s general approach.

It’s now easier to use Fetch on multiple computers without having to manually update shortcuts on each one. Fetch 5.7 introduces support for syncing Fetch shortcuts using Dropbox via the Shortcuts Menu, enabling individuals and groups to access an up-to-date collection of shortcuts no matter which Mac they use.


Other Fetch interface features include one-click editing of remote files using any application, with any changes made automatically saved back to the server, Quick Look previews of image, video, audio and other files from inside Fetch (but don’t expect it to be as quick as QuickLook on your Desktop), synchronizing of folders using the Mirror command (which only uploads or downloads files that have changed since the last transfer), and WebView (which lets you easily preview files in your Web browser and copy their Web addresses to the Clipboard). You can also upload and copy files between servers using Copy and Paste, and there’s automatic support for Zip, StuffIt, Gzip and other common file formats.


More new stuff in Fetch 5.7 includes an improved Edit command, allowing you to edit any kind of file using any application available, with the changes automatically saved back to the server; automatic resume of stalled or failed uploads and downloads; a redesigned Recent Folders menu to improve readability and display of folder hierarchy, a find field for filtering transfer window file lists; and new support for gestures on laptop trackpads in the transfer window, where you can now swipe left to go back to previously viewed folder, swipe up to go to the parent folder, and swipe down to open the selected folder.


Full Release Notes detailing fixes and improvements in Fetch 5.7 can be see at the website.

Of course, Fetch just wouldn’t be Fetch without its signature little running dog animation that indicates a transfer in progress.


In my years of use, I’ve found Fetch to be quick, easy and convenient to use, and reliable. My main complaint about Fetch is that it terminates its connection with the remote server after a short period of inactivity, making it necessary to wait while the program reloads the server’s file list again before it can commence a subsequent transfer.

Fetch 5.7 is compatible with Intel Macs running Mac OS X 10.5 or later, including Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard and Mac OS X 10.7 Lion.

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Fetch review

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  • Jim Matthews


    Check "Keep Connections Alive" in Preferences to keep Fetch from automatically dropping inactive connections.

    Jim Matthews
    Fetch Softworks