I don’t know about you but I have come to love file managers! Not the basic junk that comes with Windows (Explorer) but real file managers that afford me multiple views into my file system, multiple tabs for those views and a set of tools that help me to compress files, ftp files and even encrypt files.
So, this is my attempt to gather the top file managers for Windows (part 2 will cover OS X). As with previous posts, I will list 3 to 4 file managers for Windows that I think (just my humble opinion here) are the best in the free, open-source and commercial categories.
Side: If you are looking for a review of Linux file managers here is a post on the Echoes blog: 9 File Managers for Linux also here is a great post on 10 Total Commander Alternatives for Linux.
As I am writing this I am finding that there is so much information to communicate about each file manager that it would set a record for the world’s longest post (well, maybe!) so, I am going to limit my review to several key features (dual pane, multi-tabbed, icon overlay, built in compression and compression navigation, intuitive to use, background operations, simple to config, ftp, favorites and built-in viewers) that are important to me when I am coding and working with source code, folders, etc. Even so it is going to be somewhat long but I do hope it will be of value. Small note: I chose to go with a 1 to 5 star rating for the Tidbits based on my opinion of how useful any given feature might be.
Let me just state that these are my picks for file managers and are not influenced by any of the vendors/creators of the file managers that will be reviewed. Please take the time to leave comments and let me know what your favorites are and also give it to me straight when you have information that will clarify or correct this post.