x Close

Take a Tour
-# Vars
Drive Mapping: Everything You Need to Know
Brendon Ainsworth

By: Brendon Ainsworth on August 11th, 2021

Print/Save as PDF

Drive Mapping: Everything You Need to Know

Announcements Cyber and Data Security FTP Cloud FTP Solutions File Sharing Best Practices GOVFTP Cloud Government Compliance ITAR Latest Features Secure File Sharing The Cloud

On more than one occasion, our clients have asked if it’s possible to map files directly to a computer drive from the FTP Today application, whether that be The FTP Cloud or the GOVFTP Cloud. The process of this is called ‘drive mapping’ throughout the industry, and it is simple to accomplish. Today, we’re going to walk you through how drive mapping works, options for drive mapping, and finally, how to do so with FTP Today. 

What is Drive Mapping? 

In essence, drive mapping is a shortcut to a shared folder. Without drive mapping, a user downloads a file in the traditional way: by saving it to a local folder. With drive mapping, you’re adding a drive letter to your local system that maps directly to a remote server, such as an SFTP server. The files are automatically moved/copied to the appropriate folder without any extra work on the side of the user. 

If you’re mapping a drive to your file transfer provider, you’re essentially mapping your remote home directory to Explorer (Windows) or Finder (Mac). In Explorer, this shows up as a drive letter, and in Finder it shows up as remote connections in your Locations list. This allows a user to directly access files stored in FTP Cloud or GOVFTP Cloud directly from their computer desktop. If you’ve shared this mapped drive with members of your team, they’ll also be able to access the files directly from their desktop.

Did You Know?

FTP Today just launched a new feature - an API!
Check out our blog post What is an API (Application Programmable Interface)? The Basics & Benefits to learn more!

Read Now!

Options for Drive Mapping

There are several different drive mapping options out there today, and we’ll review each one of them. There are three primary methods of drive mapping: 

  1. Some applications have drive mapping built-in.

  2. An application may be licensed to you by your file transfer service provider; usually a WEBDAV client.

  3. An application such as WebDrive can connect via SFTP with your login credentials. 

Then, there are desktop clients used for SFTP / FTPS transfers such as FileZilla Pro, WinSCP, or WS_FTP Pro. These applications have the added functionality of keeping a desktop drive in sync with your FTP Today instance if setup properly. Therefore, there is no need to map a drive letter.

But, if you prefer mapping a drive, there are applications specifically meant for drive mapping such as WebDrive. WebDrive would be considered middleware – it’s software that acts as a bridge between applications. What is great about applications such as WebDrive is that it allows you to connect to services like FTP Today using the SFTP protocol. You can get started in a few simple steps:

  1. Download the application 
  2. Start the application 
  3. Set up a new connection and connection type (SFTP) 
  4. Setup additional configurations 

There is a one-time cost associated with tools like WebDrive of an FTP client supporting automation, but they are generally under $50. 

Conclusion

Drive Mapping is a powerful tool for an organization to quickly share information to the correct members without calendar reminders to do so. It saves time and improves organizational efficiency by virtually ending the wait time for files to arrive. As soon as the file has been uploaded to the shared drive, all appropriate team members have access. As for the downsides, it’s important that you audit the user access to the shared drives in the same way you audit access to your FTP Today folder structure. Allowing and disallowing access is a key principle to enterprise security and file management.  

See FTP Today in Action!

Are you in the market for a secure file sharing software or switching providers? Let our experts customize a walk-through based on your business needs. Your demo will also give you the opportunity for personalized Q&A and to learn about exclusive discounts.

New Call-to-action

About Brendon Ainsworth

Learner, Researcher, Customer-focused, and the Director of Sales for FTP Today. Brendon has successfully navigated multiple industries and has infrastructure certifications in GCP and AWS. He started his career in Oil & Gas business development and successfully transitioned to Rackspace as a Mid to Large enterprise technology consultant and then as a leader.

Related Articles