No more free WS_FTP

Ipswitch Inc. has pulled WS_FTP Limited Edition, its free FTP software, from the government market.

Agencies no longer have the license to use the free utility program or the right to distribute it, according to company officials. Instead, they are offering WS_FTP Professional for a starting price of $27.50 for a single user license, with volume discounts available. Company officials say the professional-level products feature better security, administrative control and ease of use than the free edition.

The company's federal customers include the Navy, FBI and Federal Reserve Bank.

FTP is a long-accepted standard for transferring files from one computer to another, such as uploading Web pages to an Internet site. WS_FTP LE is a widely used utility, distributed via downloads or from one user to another, and has an estimated 40 million users.

Shawn McCarthy, program manager in government and education at IDC, said that although the free utility has long been popular, "the need for increased security — including secure connectivity, encryption for greater file security and key matching technology — is now driving government users in a new direction."

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