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Several years ago we wrote an article covering some different ways you can assign a drive letter to an FTP site, and now that some time has passed I decided to check been in on a few of the apps that we’ve mentioned. I had an issue finding Novell’s NetDrive app, but with a little Google searching I stumbled upon a similar app that also goes by the name of NetDrive (it’s only free for non-commercial use). It doesn’t appear to be affiliated with Novell’s program, but it left me impressed regardless.

MacroData’s NetDrive is a polished app that is able to connect to both FTP and WebDAV servers even over a proxy connection. It comes pre-populated with several notable FTP locations for universities and companies, but they are all disconnected by default. You can manually choose to connect any of them, set them to connect upon startup, or add your own custom FTP sites.

The thing I love about NetDrive is that the drive letter that is assigned to the FTP site can even be accessed by other applications including DOS. That makes this a great utility for anyone wanting to tinker around with batch files that transfer files to/from remote locations. Of course you could use built-in Windows command-line FTP interface, but being able to use something like robocopy with an FTP server is pretty huge.

Here are some of the features highlighted by the developer:

  • You can use NetDrive Site Manager to easily register and connect to all remote servers you wish to access.
  • Simply map your drive to a specific site and it will be configured automatically the next time your Windows starts. You can add as many sites as you want.
  • When you connect to a remote server, a drive letter will be mapped and you can transfer files and folders by drag and drop in Windows Explorer. You can manage files and folders with a click of mouse.
  • NetDrive supports direct file operation in mapped drive. You can run any .exe files in remote server from your Windows explorer. To watch a movie file in your remote server, you just need to double click it.
  • Once you install NetDrive, you will see an icon created in your system tray. (Right click your mouse on the icon to view menu) NetDrive tray icon provides shortcuts to use.
  • NetDrive. You can open the site manager, configure NetDrive, connect to registered site or view logs.
  • You can customize the program settings from Setup menu. From Setup menu, you can manage action after connection, auto-connection to specific site when Windows starts and log monitoring.
  • Since NetDrive provides Windows system driver to mount drive, you can use DOS-prompt to use commands like copy, xcopy and dir. Other DOS-based legacy applications can be used since NetDrive provides DOS based file access.

If you’re in the market for an app like this I’d highly recommend checking it out, but remember it’s only free for home/non-commercial use. Otherwise it will run you $29 for a license.

NetDrive Homepage (Windows only; Free for Home Use)