Below is an overview and definition of DriveMaker Freeware and DriveMaker Plus features.
DriveMaker allows you to connect to an FTP site via a mounted drive, so that all FTP files and folders become accessible from all your applications, for example on the path F:\
What Can I Do With DriveMaker?
DriveMaker opens the door to a range of possibilities, especially when you also own BackupChain, which includes multiple DriveMaker Plus licenses for free.
BackupChain Cloud Storage: If you are currently subscribing to the BackupChain Cloud, you can use the cloud storage now via a drive letter, for example from your desktop PCs in addition to your cloud backups. Now you can use the BackupChain cloud in many more flexible ways directly from your favorite applications and directly from your desktop PCs, which your servers continue to upload their backups to the cloud independently.
Set up your own cloud: You could use BackupChain as the receiver at your home office and use DriveMaker on your laptop or office computer to access your home files.
Web designers: Edit web sites on the fly without tedious uploads and downloads. You can now edit your WordPress files directly on your servers as if they were local files.
Team collaboration: Using DriveMaker you can set up a central storage location online where several people work together and share files.
Share files online: You can use DriveMaker to access a file repository online that you control.
Backup your websites and webservers: Use DriveMaker to map a drive to your web server and pull all files to make a full backup. Or, you could use DriveMaker’s drive letter in BackupChain to pull backups of your webservers automatically.
Run Anti-Virus on your web server to check your websites: Once DriveMaker mounts the web server contents as a drive, you can run any anti-virus product of your choice to scan all files.
Connect home office to office. Connect teams to partner office. Allow sales reps to access their office files when in the field: DriveMaker on a laptop can do miracles. Say you are a sales professional who needs to access files at the office. Once your IT staff sets up an access point for you, you can safely and securely browse your file share from work from anywhere.
Do you run a law office or are you a physician? Set up BackupChain at home or at your second office, and back up files to each other. Access your important documents from anywhere and have them stored at a place you trust.
Command Prompt: You can use command line utilities to access your webserver files as if they were local.
Windows Search: You could use DriveMaker to index all files you have on your FTP site so you can search them.
FTP: Things You Need to Know
DriveMaker will save you a lot of time accessing your files remotely and editing them in place; however, FTP can’t be used in certain scenarios.
FTP Does Not Provide Sector-Level Hard Disk Access
If you want the contents of a real hard drive mapped–at the byte or sector level–you need to look into iSCSI. FTP only offers very primitive file access and nothing more.
FTP Can Be Used as a Very Limited VPN Alternative
FTP does not lock files and offers no file locking whatsoever. Multi-user environments are OK but if users actively edit the same files you will run into issues. You can have many users accessing their work in different subfolders of your FTP server or users can write into separate files in the same folder without issues. You can have many users read the same files everywhere. But if users work on the same files, you will run into problems as one user might overwrite the changes made by another.
Furthermore, FTP does not offer random file access and is hence not suited for very large live database access directly from storage, by multiple users, unless it’s all read-only. Individual users can open and edit an Access database, for example, without issues. The database will be entirely downloaded into the cache and the file will be uploaded in full when the database is saved or closed. As you can see, this will lead to issues if multiple users access and edit the same Access database simultaneously.
FTP Comes in Many “Flavors”
You may find incompatibilities when using Linux-based FTP servers and other various FTP server products other than IIS7+ or BackupChain FTP server.
This is because not all FTP servers adhere to the full FTP standard and not all FTP servers use NTFS as their underlying file system.
Note that SFTP is a completely different protocol and not supported. DriveMaker supports another secure variant: FTPS, which is explicit FTP over TLS/SSL, and is as secure as https.
The section below discusses the settings in the DriveMaker’s user interface:
What are FTP Server, User, and Password?
This is the info you received by the IT administrator of the FTP site. The address, user name, and password are needed in order to find and authenticate against the FTP server.
What are FTP Port and Local Port?
The FTP port of a standard FTP site is 21; however, your IT administrator may be using a different port for security reasons.
The Local Port shown in DriveMaker is a free internal port the program needs for processing. If you see ‘access denied’ errors when you attempt a new connection, it may be due to the port being in use. Try a number other than 7789 if need be.
What is FTP Passive Mode?
You would definitely want to keep this option ON. Since FTP is a dinosaur protocol from the 1970s, active mode allows the server to connect to the client. Back then this may have seamed like a flexible way to do things. But today this requires that you open the firewall on the client side to receive server connections. This type of method basically turns the client into a server and is a security risk in itself. However, in some very rare conditions active mode may be the only way to get the connection to the server working.
See more details here http://slacksite.com/other/ftp.html
What is FTP Keep Alive?
Keep alive instructs DriveMaker to try to reuse connections when possible, in order to reduce overhead and reduce the chance for TCP exhaustion, see also below.
What is the Maximum File Size?
Given that the average internet connection is relatively slow, a 4 GB file takes a very long time to upload and download. For that reason, it makes sense to limit the file size DriveMaker is allowed to upload/download as it would hang drive access for quite some time. You adjust the upper limit to suit your connection speed.
What is Name Transcription?
Name transcription is a feature to improve compatibility with some non-compliant FTP servers. DriveMaker replaces certain characters, including spaces, with their respective codes to avoid access issues. Note that this feature may help for certain FTP servers but not for all if you run into compatibility issues.
What is Metadata Caching?
Metadata caching is a useful option when you are the only user accessing the FTP server, or a subfolder section of it. DriveMaker buffers folder contents for some time and this dramatically reduces overhead and access time. If you have several people working on the same folders, you have to wait a few minutes to see the other person’s changes. If you expect to have many users working on the same files and folders, you should turn this option off. Keeping it off increases the chances for TCP exhaustion on the server, however. See below for more details.
What is Encrypted Link SSL?
DriveMaker Plus allows you to connect securely via TLS SSL to an FTP server (FTPES / FTPS). This type of connection is more secure than plain FTP.
What is Encrypt Files on Server AES 256?
This is a unique feature in DriveMaker Plus. Every file created by DriveMaker is encrypted on the fly and decrypted automatically when read. This is completely transparent to the user and application and uses military-strength encryption AES 256. Please stick to one password. If you change the password often, some files will be using older passwords. Since DriveMaker doesn’t prompt you for a password on each file, if the password is incorrect, the files won’t load/open correctly. Obviously, do not forget the password!
What are .fnenc Files?
This file extension is added automatically to files on the server (you won’t see it unless you turn off file encryption) when DriveMaker creates encrypted files. It’s a marker so that DriveMaker knows which files are encrypted on the server and which are not.
Free Disk Space Reported
The free disk space reported in DriveMaker is not the disk space available at the remote site; it’s the disk space available on the system drive because DriveMaker uses the system drive as a temporary cache and also FTP does not offer a way to query the remote site’s storage size.
What is Data Password?
The data password is used for file encryption only. Do not change it. Stick to one password. If you must change your password, start a new subfolder or delete all files. You could copy all files to your computer to decrypt them, then change the password and clear the FTP site. Then upload them again, which will use the new password.
What is TCP Exhaustion?
FTP uses TCP and on IPv4 there are only a small number of sockets available, max 65K; however, many FTP servers are configured to use much less. If the number of accesses within 30 seconds exceeds the number of available sockets on the server, you will run into access errors.
Ideally you will want to use Metadata Caching (see above) and limit the number of server requests depending on what the FTP server you have can handle.
What is Max. Requests/sec?
To prevent TCP exhaustion at the client as well as the server side, you can limit the number of requests per second to a maximum of 25. At 25 hits per second, the server will need to reserve between 750 and 6,000 sockets just for that one client (max TCP sockets is around 60,000 per IP address), so you may want to go lower if your server has to deal with a lot of simultaneous and heavy data users. Note that browsing directories leads to peak FTP requests per seconds as each folder request requires a new socket. Uploads and downloads are also one request each, but usually take some time so they don’t usually contribute much toward TCP exhaustion.
How to Fix “Error 67: Network Name not Found”
Windows loads the service “WebClient” on demand; however, when the boot phase takes a long time, the service may load after DriveMaker starts up. In the Service Manager in Windows, you could simply set the service properties to “Automatic” startup instead of “manual” so that Windows starts “WebClient” immediately when booting.
Please note that SFTP is not yet 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.
We offer tech support for DriveMaker Plus if you use IIS7+ or BackupChain’s embedded FTP server.
Can’t Find the Service WebClient?
If you install DriveMaker on Windows Server you need to install the feature “Desktop Experience” from the Server Manager first.
How to Fix Parameter Is Incorrect Error
In case the connection works (see DriveMaker log box to confirm connection was successful) but you receive ‘parameter is incorrect’ errors when using Windows Explorer, check the following:
- DriveMaker internal port issues: try switching off AV and firewall for a test, try a different internal port
- File issue: invalid date, invalid chars in file or folder name can cause this error
- Folder permissions may cause this error if the FTP user has limited access rights.
- PASV port issue / connection issue. The PASV port range needs to be forwarded correctly. Sometimes ISPs on either side block certain ranges.
- SSL cert issue. If connecting via FTPS, try FTP. Sometimes a broken SSL certificate causes this issue