Calling Google Drive with a simple cloud storage system will be a euphemism. This powerful platform is able to store different types of files such as APK, XLS and CSV, in addition to standard file formats. And the fact that the Drive is accessible from anywhere (even your smartphone) is an added bonus.
Although the conventional method of backup and synchronization is excellent, it has some limitations. On the one hand, you lose local storage from your PC. Second, you can not use it as a backup system. Indeed, the moment you delete a file from your system, it is also automatically deleted from cloud storage.
That's why it makes sense to use Google Drive as an FTP server or network drive. When it is used as FTP server, you have controlled the backup and synchronization solution. You also do not need to synchronize the folders of the drive on your PC, nor do you need to worry about storage.
Second, if you use it as a network drive, you have the option to explore all your files and folders from Windows Explorer. In this way, you can save a huge amount of local storage because it does not synchronize the entire folder / drive on your PC.
Now that we have solved the problem, let's see how to do it.
Of course, we will use two third-party tools: RaiDrive and Google Drive FTP Adapter. Although the first tool is for the network drive, the network drive will be used to establish the FTP server.
RaiDrive is a lightweight tool that lets you access your Google Drive files and folders as a network drive. The tool is lightweight and measures around 16MB.
On the other hand, the Google Drive FTP adapter is a simple JAR file. To run it, you need to have Java Runtime Environment (JRE 8) on your PC. If you do not have it, you can recover it from here.
And after installing it, remember to keep the connection private.
How to configure RaiDrive for a network drive
Step 1: After installing RaiDrive, open it and the application will show you a welcome screen. Click the Add button at the top.
Note: In addition to support for Google Drive, RaiDrive is also compatible with cloud storage services such as Dropbox, Google Photos, OneDrive, Dropbox and Yandex.
Select Google Drive and click the OK button.
S2nd step: When you are asked for your permissions, click Allow.
Once your credentials and permissions verified, you will see the network drive. You can select the drive name from the drop-down list. By default, RaiDrive designates it as drive Z and I chose to keep it as such.
You can also set the drive name. For example, if you want to add multiple drives, you can still assign names that are easy to distinguish.
Here you can change settings such as connection when reconnecting, read-only connection, public or private, etc. As soon as you click Apply or OK, you will be immediately redirected to the network locations of your computer.
As you can see in the screenshot below, you will be able to see all the files and folders. All you have to do is click on one of them and the file will open in your default browser.
The good thing is that all changes on the network drive will occur in real time. And the speed of transfer of files will depend on your Internet speed.
Apart from this, you can always check the amount of free storage of the drive.
To change the settings, just click on the pin icon and make the changes.
How to configure the RaiDrive FTP Adapter for Google Drive
The configuration of the Google Drive FTP adapter is a simple process. Just run the JAR file. However, as previously stated, you must have the JAVA runtime environment on your system before you can run it.
Step 1: After the JRE is configured, double-click the FTP adapter file. This will redirect you to the browser where you will be prompted to select your Google Account.
All you have to do is select the account on which you want to configure the FTP server, enter the password and give the required authorization.
After validation, you will see a simple confirmation message on the browser. Congratulations, you have completed the first leg of the trip.
2nd step: Then you will need an FTP client that will bridge the port and your Google Drive. Although you can use any FTP client of your choice, for the scope of this article, we decided to go ahead with FileZilla. For those who do not know it, it's a free open source software.
Once you have downloaded and installed FileZilla, enter the following port address in the host address,
Alternatively, you can enter the following values,
- Host: Localhost
- User name: user
- Password: user
- Port: 1821
That's all. you will be able to see all your file on the right panel. Now, all you have to do is transfer files from your PC to the right pane. Sweet and simple, no?
Tweak Google Drive for good
Agreed that with Google Drive, downloading files and documents is a simple process. However, as they say, there is always room for improvement and these tools allow you to do it.
So which method best suits your needs? FTP or network player? Having a Google Drive as a network drive has a charm all its own.
Then: Do you want to convert a Google Docs document to PDF documents? Read the following post to find out how.