Steed: Everything You Need To Manage Your Online Files

There are various ways in which you can store files online. You might have your own web space that you used to host a web site as well as files, or you may make use of Amazon S3 or Microsoft Azure.

If you have files scattered across various different kinds of server, the chances are that you use a variety of apps to access and manage them. Using Steed you may just find that you do not need any other tools as this can replace many of them.

FTP clients are not renowned for being the most attractive pieces of software ever, but Steed is an app that tries to buck the trend. This is a seriously great-looking program which combines the functions of a number of tools into one handy package.

Introducing The App

There’s quite a lot to Steed, so it makes sense to work through the app from the first time your launch it. The first time you run the program you’ll be invited to not only check for updates automatically, but also to synchronize bookmarks using Dropbox or SkyDrive – just sign into either

Steed’s introductory screen gives you the chance to setup a few basic options straight away.

Steed’s introductory screen gives you the chance to setup a few basic options straight away.

If you have been using an FTP client to manage the files that make up your web site or are stored on web servers, Steed can import your bookmarks. There’s only support for FileZilla, Cyberduck, FlashFXP and WinSCP, so it’s far from an exhaustive list, but it’s a good start.

Steed’s interface is lovely and clear, and unlike many FTP clients it is wonderfully uncluttered. To the left of the screen there are link to FTP, SFTP, Azure and S3, and here you can set up the servers that you want to be able to access through the program. You’ll notice that there is a tab at the top of the program window which will make it easy to work with multiple servers at the same time.

The simplistic, tabbed interface means that you can easily work with several servers without getting overwhelmed.

The simplistic, tabbed interface means that you can easily work with several servers without getting overwhelmed.

File Transfers In Practice

Once you have established a connection to a server, working with your files is very much what you would expect. The dual paned view displays local files to the left and remote ones to the right, and at the bottom of the program windows you’ll find a transfer pane that enables you to monitor, pause and resume any file transfers that are underway.

Moving files between servers takes nothing more than dragging and dropping into place.

Moving files between servers takes nothing more than dragging and dropping into place.

Just as when you’re browsing the web, when working with remote files, it’s likely that there will be a number of locations you visit on a frequent basis. To save having to constantly navigate to the images folder of your web site, you can bookmark a location so that it’s always available for easy access from Steed’s home screen.

If you work with a large number of servers, you can make things a little easier on yourself by organizing your bookmarks into groups so you can keep related favorites together. There’s also a handy history option so you can easily retrace your steps.

For added security, you can force Steed to ask for passwords before accessing locations you bookmark.

For added security, you can force Steed to ask for passwords before accessing locations you bookmark.

Program Options

It’s clear that the aim behind Steed is to keep things as simple, and as good looking, as possible. But however simple a program may be, some options are always necessary. As useful setting for anyone who can be a little careless with the Delete key is to move files that are deleted from remote servers to the local Recycle Bin.

There are also simple options that can be used to choose how Steed should deal with uploads and downloads of duplicate file, and if you want to ensure that your files transfers do not have a negative impact on your other internet tasks, you can place limited on bandwidth usage.

Options are not extensive in Steed, but there are enough to give you the level of control you need.

Options are not extensive in Steed, but there are enough to give you the level of control you need.

Summing up

There’s a lot to like about Steed. There’s no getting away from the fact that it is a fairly simple program, and Windows 8 users will recognize the stripped back interface that graces many newer programs. The fact that the app has irons in so many fires means that it could reasonably replace two or three programs that you’re currently using.

That said, this is not the most feature packed tool that’s available, and that’s something that’s likely to irk when you consider that there are so many free remote data management tools on the market. Stability under Windows 8 is slightly flaky.

Under older versions of Windows everything seems to be fine, but when run under the latest version of Microsoft’s operating system, random crashes, hangs and interface stutters are not unknown.  When these issues are addresses – which hopefully won’t be too far off – this is a promising app.


Summary

FTP, SFTP, Azure and S3 in one. This attractive package needs a little work, but it’s still well worth a look.

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