It doesn't happen that often, but sometimes, you just need an FTP. Or, rather, the problem is more like this: You need to access an FTP and you don't have a suitable software client on-hand for whatever reason. Sure, you can usually access an FTP via your Web browser, but that just offers the most rudimentary form of functionality (read: downloads only) that you can get. And that's even assuming that you can get into the FTP site you're trying to access--I've tested good ol' Mozilla Firefox on a few FTP sites that definitely work in a software client, yet do absolutely nothing when the ftp.*.* address is typed into a browser.
What do you do? If you're a fan of Mozilla Firefox, all you need is but one simple extension to bridge both worlds together. That's right--an FTP browser inside your Internet browser, which you can pull up into its own separate tab as if it was a new Web page, even though it's not.
What wizardry is this? A little extension called FireFTP is the hunk of code that makes this all possible. As mentioned, it's super-easy to use. Once you've installed the add-on, click on your Tools menu and select the FireFTP option. The add-on will pop up in its own separate tab. From there, you can use the "Create an account" button in the upper-left corner to define the IP addresses and login credentials for FTP sites you frequent, or you can hold down the left mouse button when clicking the button to access the add-on's Quickconnect feature.
FireFTP isn't as feature-packed as a typical FTP program. However, it's ability to connect, upload, and download as if it was one is a great stopgap for those needing speedy access to an FTP without wanting to (or being able to) install the proper freeware software to do so. Be sure to check out the add-on's configuration options to really tap into the full power of this useful little tool-including its "concurrent transfers" option for heavy-downloaders!
Maximum PC picks one new Firefox add-on as its favorite of the week each... week. Have a nifty extension that you can't live without? Twitter David Murphy @acererak with your latest suggestions.