The Case of the Windows FTP.EXE not working from the corporate network.

The heading alone should tell you the answer, particularly if I add ACTIVE FTP to it.

You see, most Corporate IT people consider ACTIVE FTP a bad thing, and block it at the internet gateway.  Sure FTP works within the company network, but as soon as you try to FTP something from outside the company network, it will fail.

The FTP clients that ship with Windows do not support passive mode. Therefore, they always need to negotiate a data port when issuing a command that returns data.
Windows FTP Client Receives Error Message 425 (MS KB271078)

But here’s the strange thing, it DID work on our network until two months ago.  I suspect our corporate IT security people have finally gotten around to locking down ACTIVE FTP, which was identified as a vulnerability back in 2000.

After much searching around, I settled on MOVEit Freely, as it’s a “drop-in” alternative to Microsoft’s FTP.EXE.

Some of the alternatives I looked at:

Send quote PASV within the FTP client.
Does not work.  It only sets the server to PASSIVE mode, not the client.

FTP_FOR_WIN32 from the GNU Project
Works, except it’s missing a couple of features, such as –s batch command(s).

NcFTP Client
Works, except it’s missing a couple of features, such as –s batch command(s).

MOVEit Freely
This is the one I decided to use, first saw it discussed here:
FTP Clients – Part 5: MOVEit Freely Command-Line Secure FTP Client

Passive FTP
Would definitely work, except that it’s a commercial product (at $29.95USD).  We’d prefer free.

TransSoft FTP Performer
Commercial product 🙁

GNU Wget
Yes it works, but the customer would have to modify their VBA scripts quite a bit to work with it.