Enriva – Magellan Explorer review

FTP / file manager
Photo of Enriva – Magellan Explorer
$29.95, or free for 'adware' version

As any Webmaster will know, whether running the world’s largest site or a ‘My Home Page’ full of naff photographs of their ugly pets, there are several well-known FTP clients (the programs used to upload HTML and other files to remote Web servers) in the shareware world, including WS-FTP and CuteFTP. Magellan Explorer is a third, and it has some unusual and interesting features which could drag you away from its competitors.

Formerly known as Voyager 98, this tool is something of a cross between Windows Explorer, CuteFTP and Norton Commander. At its heart it’s a file manager, which means that you can cut, copy and paste files, drag and drop them from one pane to another – even from within archives such as ZIP, ARJ and RAR files, for which Magellan Explorer provides transparent, folder-like access – using a choice of customisable appearances. These include the Norton Commander dual window interface and the tree/pane Windows Explorer type.

FTP sites are handled just like local drives, which makes the file management process that much easier, and there are some handy options such as FTP-to-archive transfer, auto-update and so on. Major operations can be carried out in the background, leaving you free to navigate the remote site and carry out other tasks. Alternatively, it is possible to have several remote sites open at the same time, and carry out file transfer operations on all of them.

There’s stacks more too, such as a built-in file viewer that supports most graphics and document formats, the ability to copy directly from one FTP host to another, support for file descriptions and so on. Assuming any of this takes your fancy, you can either download the 30-day trial version with limited functionality, or an ‘adware’ version with full functionality that bombards you with adverts, or pay for the registered version.

Company: Enriva

This is an example of a relatively unknown piece of software offering features which far surpass the better known names. For local file management operations, and particularly for FTP access in a simple, transparent manner, Magellan Explorer does the business exceptionally well. It's like finding a powerful, DOS-based file and FTP manager that's somehow made the transition to Windows. And survived.