NetDrive allows you to map a drive on a Windows, Novell, or Linux server via FTP, SFTP, WebDAV or iFolder so that it shows up as a regular drive in explorer and behaves very much as a local drive would in the Windows file system.

You can map multiple servers to multiple drives and assign each one the drive letter of your choosing.

Whether you are a developer and/or work with websites or you use an FTP server to store and back up your files, using an FTP client like FileZilla is a daily routine for many of us.

Imagine how cool it would be if your FTP server is mapped to a windows drive that behaved just like any other drive in the windows file system, whereby you could edit and save files just as you would on your hard drive or simply drag, drop and manage your files within explorer.

I recently came across a software called Red Drive Shell Extension which is supposed to do just that; unfortunately, although in theory it seemed to work on my system, it kept flashing constant error messages which made it impossible to use. Another program I found, FTP Drive, exhibited the exact same behavior. That is when I found and installed NetDrive and found, to my delight, that it worked perfectly. Note that this program is abandonware; it was developed by Novell and is the precursor of another very similar for-pay program that eventually superseded it.

Here’s a list of things I like about this program:

  • Installation was a breeze; straightforward and intuitive. Click here for step by step installation instructions.
  • System tray icon makes it easy to interact with NetDrive and quickly access any number of operations that you might want to perform (see screenshot).
  • Provides a very reliable, seamless experience of a local hard drive. Your explorer context menu and most Explorer extensions will work within your new “drive” as normal.
  • Stays connected (I am assuming that it disconnects and quickly re-connects); I have not witnessed any lockups in 3 days of almost continuous use.
  • Allows you to connect to multiple servers simultaneously mapped as different drives.

Things that I do not like so much:

  • Navigation can be rather sluggish, but that is probably to be expected since the virtual drive is actually connected to a remote server. It will further adversely affect the speed if your windows explorer and/or your system in general is laden with many extensions and programs that the virtual drive needs to interact with. You will be able to find the files/directories you are looking for faster using an FTP client such as Filezilla.
  • Changes made to your FTP client independent of NetDrive may not be reflected when you browse using NetDrive until you flush the cache (easily performed through the tray icon).

The verdict: I like this program insofar as it provides the ability to create shortcuts on the desktop to frequently used directories on the FTP server, and to open, edit, and save files just as if they resides locally; however, for many operations a proper FTP client might prove to be more efficient and reliable in practice. Still I am now using it on a daily basis and do not foresee uninstalling it anytime soon.

Version tested: 4.1

Compatibility: Windows 95 or above; no info on VISTA.

Download Here
(5.3 megs). Also check out the NetDrive user guide.

  • Great find. I have been looking for a faster way to accomplish uploads to my webspace for awhile for standard files.

    using a shortcut, I can now drop images into the webspace a lot easier and let a gallery management script do the rest.

    All in all it’s a lot easier to manage.

  • How secure is it? I’ve always wanted to be able to mount the web server to my local machine via NFS, but it is not very secure unless use a VPN client to tunnel.

  • Thanks for the tip. It will come in handy. Just a small usability point on your choice of color for links – they are hard to see and almost blend in with the rest of the text.

  • Booka

    There’s a false statement in the article. NetDrive DOESN’T support SFTP. If you’re just going to copy what other people wrote, at least check the accuracy.

  • pbb

    NetDrive doesn’t work on my Vista HP machine, but there is functionality built into Vista to create folder shortcuts to ftp folders.

  • stealth94rt

    I have been using it for several years. It performs adequately. However, (in Windows XP Pro, at least) I have experienced occasional lock ups, and cannot terminate the Netdrive.exe process without a hard restart of the computer. I’m using NetDrive v4.1.

  • Josh

    In this site, some of the discoveries are often better than Giveaway of the Day.

  • Ted Nelson

    A new netdrive seems a lot better than the previos ones. Check !

  • Net Drive Does have its issues but for the most part it seems good for managing website’s for maint, also seems to work decent with windows XP Pro backup software mind you that i am not using windows FTP services didnt like them, we use bullett proof FTP server programing on a windows 2000 server program we still offer free downloading of the netdrive program virus free of course not like others who will load up all sorts of crap,
    also anyone have any ideas on how to get donations we are trying to start up a public ftp site for free software we have alot but our idea is to let people upload and download free software anything coming in with a virus would be deleted automatically but to get it rolling is not cheap
    any and all ideas would be appreciated see are web site for the netdrive program and the tight vnc program is also free there
    Thank you

  • our website

  • bobby


  • pbb

    Wow seems to be great till now !

  • amzing!

  • Tim

    Excellent! I can’t thank you enough for posting this.

  • David

    I’d really like to see this review updated. Thanks.

  • karhik

    hi.. i just used net drive .. I can able to access my datas . but i can’t able to access the “hyper links” which is in my server..

  • questorfla

    I was just wondering what this app does that is nt done by simply mapping to the shared folder at the IP address of the website? Also is there any need for specific APACHE or other webhosting software atthe site end to amke it work? If anyone has any answers to these I would really love to get them. I would love to hear from anyone who was able to get this to work. I am currently using a setup that by all rights should nto work at all but does work 90% of thie time and I need to find a way to get the other 10%