Helping people with computers... one answer at a time.
Transferring files via FTP requires special tools and interfaces. WebDrive is an FTP client making transferring files as simple as copying in Windows.
If you do anything on the web, particularly things like web development or other types of website maintenance, you're probably aware of "FTP" or File Transfer Protocol. The FTP protocol, and its sibling SFTP (Secure FTP), are two of the quiet workhorses of pushing bits around the internet.
The current traditional approach to dealing with file transfers via FTP is to use a graphical utility such as FileZilla, CuteFTP, WinSCP or others, and then drag-and-drop files to and from the remote site. The previous approach was to use the "ftp" program to perform the same operations at the command line.
I've become addicted to WebDrive which allows you to do both and much, much more, by simply making a FTP connection appear as a virtual disk drive on your machine.
That's an incredibly simple approach that enables a world of flexibility.
As I sit here, the entire hard disk of the server that hosts Ask Leo! and a few of my other sites is accessible on my Windows machine as drive "Z:".
So the obvious result is that copying a file to and from my server is exactly like copying a file to any other location on my network. I can use the command line, I can use Windows Explorer, in fact I can use whatever approach to copying files around that I like. I can even fire up my text editor and edit a file directly on the remote server. There's no "upload" or "download", there's just "copy this file over there" and the right thing happens.
I happen to use SFTP using public key authentication, which is fully supported by WebDrive. But regular FTP as well as WebDAV are supported. In fact, in checking the site in preparation for this recommendation, I find that WebDrive now also supports the Amazon S3 service as well.
Connect and forget; once your remote service appears as a drive on your system, you don't need to remember different approaches to moving things around, you just treat it like any other drive on your system - albeit slower since it's across your internet connection.
In my case, that also enables automation. I have batch files and scripts that run periodically to perform backups and other operations which are all easily enabled by simply accessing the remote site connected as a virtual drive.
WebDrive is a utility that I rarely think of, and yet something I rely on almost every day. It's not free, but in my opinion, worth its modest cost.
I recommend it.
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