App of the week – NetDrive

I’ve been meaning to do a feature like “App of the week” for a long time now, as there are always useful applications that I pick up from time to time. So watch this space – perhaps I will do some more. This week, however, it is the turn of NetDrive.

NetDrive is quite cool. It allows you to mount a connection to an FTP site (or SFTP, as was the need in my case), or various other types of connections, as a Windows drive, which then integrates perfectly with the Windows shell, allowing instant copy and paste operations as well as editing of files.

I found it quite useful as I was doing some work on a locally installed Linux virtual host. By mounting an SFTP connection to the virtual host as a drive in Windows, I was able to access the files so speedily, it felt like it was on my machine (which in fact it was, if you think about it).

I actually created a NetBeans project directly on the drive, and did my work there as if it was on my Windows machine, only launching the server process on the Linux virtual host for testing. (I was developing a little web app with Sinatra, which I think is worth another post).

NetDrive is free for personal use, which I think my usage still qualifies as, because I am doing this for personal interest, not for commercial gain. (I just have to make that disclaimer in case the people from SolutionBOX Inc. read this and think I ought to purchase a license).

I was surprised not to find something like this available under an open source license. There are other, similar solutions to this, but I think they cost money, and this worked pretty well. (I think I am generally more trusting of open source projects not to contain spyware or some other malicious code).

Give NetDrive a try – you’ll probably love it.

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