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The filezilla download has virus software attached to it and is easily download in error when download filezilla. Why is this software recommended when it comes with a virus?

8 Answers

Zac Gordon
Zac Gordon
Treehouse Guest Teacher

Hi Donna Beazley,

First let me say that I hope you didn't suffer any problems with downloading a virus. Second, I have added a link in the show notes back to this forum post so people can have a fair warning about not clicking on the wrong link.

It's important to note here that Filezilla itself does not have a virus associated with it, however, clicking on 3rd party links may download unwanted software.

I originally Filezilla for two reasons: 1) It works on Mac and PC, 2) It's been recognized for a long time as a solid cross platform FTP client.

However, moving forward, I will start using Cyberduck instead. This is what Nick uses in his Web Design videos and I think it's a much slicker solution than FileZilla.

Thanks for bringing up this important topic!

Thanks for your response (only saw it now). It's important to note that that I did not click on a 3rd party link and that it is sneakily bundled with the software installation.

I appreciate that you've added the link so that people can be aware not to download the viruses and even more so since I think that FTPs in general are often bundled with malware. It's a good idea to read the FTP installation information carefully before clicking 'next' in each window during the downloading process.

I had no issues finding the correct version of Filezilla, which I have found easy to use as a complete beginner. I have had no issues with Filezilla itself from a software use point of view.

Perhaps, for the sake of safety, a direct link to a proper Filezilla download should be included when we are prompted to install it.

I disagree that this is an issue with Filezilla, but am not one to argue with others on the internet.

It's fairly trivial to just not install the bloatware. That being said, it's unfortunate when long-standing good software turns to the dark side and starts bundling garbage in an effort to make a buck.

I had the correct version of Filezilla and downloaded it directly from their site. If one is not careful, one will also download the 'pc optimizer pro' and 'mySearchDial' viruses with it. Both of these are malware and will cause serious issues.

The official Filezilla download link, once clicked, takes you to another two windows which will download both these viruses. The windows look like they are the next step to download Filezilla but they are in fact a step to download the malware. Google it and you will come across numerous links with people having major issues because they downloaded these viruses through the official Filezilla download.

Filezilla itself may be fine, but it is bundled with nasty malware and so should be avoided at all costs. I do not understand why a legitimate company like Treehouse is recommending this download. At the very least the recommendation should come with a strong warning but ideally Filezilla should not be recommended at all.

melissa brown
melissa brown
4,670 Points

im confused about which one is the correct link. once you click on the client download on their official website it redirects you to a new page. then it has two buttons to press on to download filezilla. then i u wait without pressing on anything it redirects to a entirely new page. seems a little suss. which link is it the top or bottom?

I totally agree with Donna, and I can defenitely confirm that from my unfortunate experience I had a week ago. I downloaded filezilla from their official page, filezilla project. Problem is, like donna rightly pointed out, that it is bundled with crap, and if you read carefully below on the download page, it is actually stated: "This installer may include bundled offers" I downloaded from their supposedly "safe" official site, without thinking about paying attention to possible threats because it was a software reccomended by TreeHouse, so I completely went for it and downloaded the thing. Right after that my pc was screwed, filled with malwares of all sorts, starting with a redirecting fake browser page called "sweet page", anytime I tried to open google chrome. Then after I tried to get rid of that and sanning the pc with some detecting software, it started going crazy and doing things like not recognizing the cursor of the mouse, plus the speed my acer was quite low compared to what it should have been, My only choice was to restore windows completely. I spent 40 euros to do that on some technician, Now I'm kinda stuck. Because I'm afraid of all ftp clients, since I also have read articles on that which states that all he major ftp clients, especially the free ones, are tartgeted by damn hackers. I don't know what to to, because in order to keep studying and practicing with wordpress customization and development I need an FTP. I tried to make a child theme by directly uploading on my cp file manager, but it didn't wrok, because when I contacted the customer service, they said my files (meaning the style sheet of that template) were to big and that I needed an FTP client for that to work. Most ftp clients are not free and they cost a lot. Plus, like I said, after what happened with filezilla, I'm scared to download these kind of softwares. And I anyway, would like to use an easy to understand FTP. Not something too fancy and tricky. I've just seen that Zac Gordon suggested CyberDuck. I might try that. Is that gonna be safe :) and is it easy to use? Does anybody here know about that? Thanks

Hi Gabriele,

I'm sorry you had this problem! I know exactly how awful it is. Both filezilla and cyberduck are themselves perfectly safe to use - it's just the malware that's bundled with them. So, when downloading either one (or any other free ftp for that matter) make sure there are no other boxes that are checked 'offering' free software. As long as you uncheck those boxes you should be fine. I've since downloaded both those ftps making sure to uncheck boxes with no issues.

I'd also recommend to google 'how to download filezilla without malware' or something similar and you will come up with some good suggestions from other people who have come across the same problems.

Good luck!