DriverMakerPlus: Mount/Map FTP and FTPS Secure to a Drive Letter

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What is DriverMaker Plus?

DriveMaker Plus is the full version of DriveMaker and allows you to mount or map an FTP or FTPS (encrypted and secure TLS/SSL link to FTP server) site to your Windows PC or Windows Server as a drive letter, for example: D:. Your favorite software, including the command prompt, anti-virus, Microsoft Excel, Word, etc. can now access your FTP files and folders as if they were local. When files are added and updated, the changes are uploaded to the FTP site automatically in the background. DriveMaker Plus licenses are included in BackupChain Backup Software and also in our cloud storage plans.

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What does DriverMaker Plus offer that DriveMaker Freeware doesn’t?

  1. DriveMaker Plus offers secure and encrypted links to your FTP site via FTPS (TLS/SSL encrypted). DriverMaker Freeware allows only clear-text connections via plain FTP.
  2. DriveMaker Plus allows you to save all settings
  3. DriveMaker Plus starts up automatically when you log on (minimized)
  4. DriveMaker Plus has no session time limit. DriveMaker Freeware sessions are closed automatically after about two hours.
  5. DriveMaker Plus allows you to encrypt files transparently.

 

DriveMakerPlus Unique Feature: Encrypted Files on FTP Site

You can choose to encrypt files using military strength encryption (AES256). DriveMaker Plus encrypts each file before sending it up to the FTP site (via an also encrypted link). The files reside on the FTP site in encrypted form so that no one can read them without the password.

This entire process is completely transparent and does not change the way you use your FTP drive letter. DriveMaker drives show the same file name and size, regardless of whether the file is encrypted or not. When accessing encrypted files, their contents are decrypted on the fly.

Secure Link to your FTP Site via FTPS / FTPES (TLS/SSL)

Unlike DriveMaker Freeware, DriveMaker Plus can connect via secure links over SSL (FTPS). This option encrypted and thereby hides your user name and password from software that could be intercepting and/or recording your internet traffic.

SSL is the same security technology used for online banking, so this type of link is fairly secure for most users. However, you can choose to encrypt files using the AES256 option, which dramatically improves security. The files remain encrypted on the FTP server; hence, even if someone had physical access to the FTP server hardware, s/he wouldn’t be able to decipher the contents.

Limitations

DriveMaker (both Freeware and Plus) are limited to a file size of up to 4GB. Larger files cannot be accessed using DriveMaker. Since there is a considerable delay with remote drives due to packets having to travel far back and forth, the responsiveness of a DriveMaker drive can never match that of a physically attached drive; hence, you should expect delays and irregular transfer speeds, which are absolutely normal for internet traffic.

DriveMaker also uses the system drive as a buffer drive. Please ensure there is plenty of free disk space on your system drive. Furthermore, DriveMaker relies on the WebClient service in Windows that is installed on all Windows PCs. On Windows Server platforms you may need to add the feature ‘Desktop Experience’ via the Server Manager first.

DriveMaker works well with fully standards compliant FTP servers that use the NTFS file system (such as BackupChain Cloud Service, BackupChain FTP Server, or Microsoft IIS 7+). When you try to connect to a Linux based FTP server (or a NAS device via FTP which uses Linux internally) there may be limitations depending on the device and its internal underlying file system type. The easiest way to tell if there are any compatibility issues is to simply connect and test it out.

No SFTP Support

Please note that SFTP is currently not supported. If you need encrypted link support, DriveMaker offers “explicit FTPS” which encrypts FTP over TLS/SSL and is also secure; however, SFTP is a different protocol.

Not Exactly a VPN Solution

DriveMaker is not meant to be used as a replacement for VPN, especially not in a multi-user environment; however, there are many ways you can use DriveMaker successfully in a multi-user environment. FTP does not offer a way for files to be locked. In addition, FTP does not allow random file access, meaning that you cannot read from and write into files a specific points. Hence, you cannot use DriveMaker to run databases directly from storage and similar scenarios where random file access is required to occur in-place.
You can open Microsoft Access databases directly from storage and they will work fine but the Access file won’t be locked. The database changes will be uploaded when you close the database. In the meantime, however, the database is not locked, so you can’t have several users accessing the database simultaneously, unless it’s read-only.
Files are cached locally and uploaded in full when you finish editing. The same happens with directory contents for better performance. You won’t see immediately changes made by others if the other users are working on the same files or inside the same directory.

It’s not a full-blown NTFS File System

DriveMaker is limited by FTP limitations as well as by the FTP server’s underlying file system. If the operating system at the FTP server side doesn’t support certain file names, lengths, or certain characters, DriveMaker will fail when accessing such files. NTFS supports unlimited file sizes and Unicode file name lengths of over 32,700 characters, whereas most other file systems do not. Use IIS7+ or BackupChain FTP server for best results and full compatibility.
Random file access is not supported directly from storage, as mentioned above. Files are downloaded in full, kept in cache, and then uploaded when done. Also, while edits take place the file is not locked; hence, other users may delete or edit the file in the meantime before the edits are uploaded again.
FTP only offers a way to download and upload files and to view directory contents. NTFS offers a numerous features beyond that, such as file locking, that are not available.

Limited Compatibility with Certain FTP Servers

To confirm whether DriveMaker works with your FTP server, use the freeware version for as long as you like. Use IIS7+ or BackupChain FTP server targeting an underlying NTFS volume for best results.
A Linux-powered FTP server and some Windows-based FTP servers may work for certain types of uses and not for others. That’s because some products do not implement the entire standard or use their own dialects, or the FTP server does not run on top of NTFS.

Tech Support

We do not offer tech support if you are using the freeware edition or if you use FTP servers other than IIS7+ or BackupChain’s embedded FTP server.

Recommended Use

DriveMaker is meant to be used with fully standards compliant FTP servers which use the NTFS file system (such as BackupChain Cloud Service, BackupChain FTP Server).

How to Buy

DriveMaker is bundled with BackupChain Backup Software. If you already own BackupChain or if you are currently subscribing to our cloud backup, you are entitled to a certain number of free DriveMaker Plus licenses.

DriveMaker Plus may also be purchased separately. Note that each computer needs a separate DriveMaker Plus license.
Check out the DriveMaker FAQ for additional details.
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