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Posted on 7 Nov 2002
A lot of new users have been wondering what NetDrive is, and if there's any advantage to using it over a browser to access files. Here's the scoop:
Novell NetDrive lets you map a drive from your computer to a NetWare 6 or Novell iFolder 1.0 or 2.0 server without installing the Novell Client. The benefit of mapping a drive through NetDrive instead of the Novell Client is that NetDrive uses Internet protocols to connect to the server, thereby helping you access your network files from multiple locations.
NetDrive ships with NetWare and iFolder, so if you've purchased NetWare 6 or later, you also have the NetDrive software.
Because NetDrive is strictly a client application that is installed on the workstation (except for in a thin-client environment), so there is no server installation or application management needed. However, in order to map a drive using NetDrive, you must have NetDrive installed on your workstation, an active connection to the server (you do not need a browser), and know the IP address or DNS name of your server. Once a drive is mapped, the drive letter that you assigned during the mapping appears in Windows Explorer and functions just like those that are mapped through the Novell Client.
This is particularly useful in a shared computing environment, like a university, where students will want to access their personal iFolder accounts from the same computer.
The advantage to using NetDrive rather than a browser in this situation is that once a user has mapped a drive to his iFolder server, he can modify his files using any computer on campus without manually downloading and uploading the files from the workstation to the iFolder server---with NetDrive, the downloading and uploading activites are transparent to the user. If you access your iFolder files through a browser, you must manually upload and download your files. Furthermore, with iFolder, at the end of your session, you must delete the files you worked on from the local hard drive of the workstation that you used. This is not necessary with NetDrive. Lastly, NetDrive lets you use Windows Explorer to easily view and browse your files.
For more information, see this section of the documentation.