CuteFTP is a program for Windows designed to simplify FTP transfers. Created in 1995 by Alex Kundaze, CuteFTP is now owned by GlobalScape, Inc. and has become the basis for several other "Cute" products, such as CuteHTML, CuteMX, CuteZIP, and CuteMAP.

CuteFTP was one of the first FTP clients to easily gain popularity among a variety of persons, including home users, system administrators, and pirates. It has a simple and clean three-pane interface and has had this for most of its existence (four panes optional). Beginning with version 2.6, popularity for the product began to soar and greater features began to be incorporated. It uses a simple drag-and-drop interface but also allows for the queuing of multiple files. The ease of use that queuing allows greatly increased its popularity in a genre of software that had few competitors; ftp.exe and WS_FTP weren't the most feature-rich pieces of software.

Queuing was also a large reason for why it was popular among software and music pirates. With the increased popularity of ratio FTP servers that required you to upload files before you could download, users needed a way to upload a little bit, download however much their credit allowed, and then upload more to download more. With most people only dreaming of broadband Internet access, it was necessary to download as soon as possible for fear of the connection being dropped and the credit being lost. When CuteFTP implemented their integrated MP3 and file searcher in version 3.0, the popularity of the program went through the roof. With only a few mouse clicks one could search through multiple popular FTP search engines for their favorite songs or desired files and double-click to begin the transfer. Though users are now more accustomed to the non-ratio peer-to-peer filesharing services such as Napster, at the time the integrated MP3 searching was a fantastic way to spread interest in digital music.

CuteFTP was also popular because it was cute: the color scheme was bright and there were little things that made it more fun than other FTP clients. For example, when idle CuteFTP would issue the NOOP command, short for No Operation. The client would reply to itself when it issued this command saying, "Nothing successfully accomplished, sir." Granted, it's trite and simple, but we take what we can get.

Part of its cuteness was its clear interface. The original three panes are now four, and it appears essentially like this (forgive the poor ASCII representation):
---------------------------------------------------
---------------------------------------------------
|Status:> Connect: Monday 1:11:01 1-1-2000        |
|Status:> Connecting to foo (ip=10.0.0.10)        |   <--Status pane
|Status:> Socket connected, waiting for welcome   |
|         message...                              |
---------------------------------------------------
---------------------------------------------------
|| C:\          || /mount/user/public_html/       |   <--File location pane
---------------------------------------------------
| asdf.txt      || cgi-bin                        |
| autoexec.bat  || images                         |
| config.sys    || ssi                            |
| pagefile.sys  || files                          |   <--Local and remote
| WINNT         || pr0n                           |         file panes
| PROGRAM FILES ||                                |
| TEMP          ||                                |
|               ||                                |
---------------------------------------------------
| asdf.txt  ->           localhost                |   <--Queue pane
---------------------------------------------------
With the four panes, one can easily click and drag files to their destination while CuteFTP automates most of the work.

In its latest incarnation (as of December 2000), CuteFTP has an invaluable feature called Smart Keep Alive (SKA), that randomly sends random commands to the server to which you're connected to ensure your connection is not closed for being idle even if you're away from your computer, which is helpful when on a ratio server about which you forget and do not want to lose credit.

In addition, there is a plethora of other features that have helped make CuteFTP one of the most popular FTP clients available for Windows. More information can be read at http://www.cuteftp.com.
Most of the WinTel FTP market is owned by CuteFTP and WS_FTP. The GUI-based design of CuteFTP is geared towards folks that want to just have the program work with little input. For those with curiosity, there is a very thourough user-configurable option screen.

When CuteFTP was released, the owners had installed Aureate Media's advertising system. It secretly sent information out and received advertising information. I believe it was classified as spyware. If you installed versions 3.0 to 4.0, CuteFTP installed the spyware system without the knowledge of the user. If you uninstalled CuteFTP, it left the spyware, which continued to operate. Globalscape took major public-relations hits for using spyware, installing the spyware such that it was hidden from the user, and not uninstalling the spyware if you removed CuteFTP.

Globalscape has apparently stopped this practice.

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