A Look at WebDrive for Windows 12 from South River Technologies

South River Technologies has a new version of its WebDrive product for Windows – version 12, which adds support for Windows Surface Pro II.

WebDrive is a file access client that maps a network drive to remote servers such as SFTP, FTP, WebDAV and cloud servers. This enables users to access and edit these files directly, using their desktop applications.

If you use a variety of backend servers, recipe this provides a consistent interface, and if you are updating remote files frequently, it can save you a great deal of time.

New to version 12 is an asynchronous cache mode, which allows deletes, renames, and creates to be performed asynchronously, improving mapped drives’ editing and general performance. Also new is an automatic offline mode, enabling users to keep editing files in their cache when a connection is lost.

The company seems to have specifically had IT managers in mind when designing this product. You can easily configure the settings before distributing them to different users. Just set it up once, and get it out to everyone with the proper protocols, ports, IP addresses, etc. All the users will need is their username and password.

While designed to help IT managers, it’s also designed in a way that should be pretty straightforward for users.

It has an “FTP resume interrupted download” feature that resumes the download of a file from the point where the connection was lost if that should happen during the file transfer, as opposed to starting over from the beginning. This is obviously helpful for larger files.

ZLIB compression is supported on SFTP transfers.

It also caches both file and directory listings so you have quick access to them. It lets you choose if you want to cache files, directory listings, or both, and control how much disk space you want to use for the cache.

It includes a feature to let you backup your files to an offsite server as well.

It uses S/KEY password encryption and MD4/MD5 password encryption for supported FTP servers. It lets you login through various proxy servers and firewalls, including MS Proxy 2.0, SOCKS 4.3, SOCKS 5, and Raptor.

You can use UNC connections rather than a drive letter to open up the number of connections. Drive letters are accessible from a command prompt, which you can use for commands like copy, xcopy, mkdir, dir, and move.

You can transfer files in either ASCII or binary based on file extension, and it includes support for UNIX file attributes.

Ultimately, it has an easy to use interface for storing files locally, in the cloud (DropBox,Google Drive, etc.), and on remote servers. They’re offering a free 20-day trial if you want to check it out.

A single license is $69.95 with 1-year maintenance and $94.95 with 2-year maintenance. Multi-seat licenses start at $14.80 per PC. Enterprise licenses (500 to unlimited seat) start at $11.80 per PC. One and two years of updates are available for enterprise and multi-seat licenses.

Version 12’s enhancements should be especially helpful to big companies and schools.

It’s supported on the 32- and 64-bit editions of Windows – Windows Server 2003, 2008, and 2012, Windows 2000, XP, Vista, 7, 8, and 8.1.

It requires a minimum of 100MB of free disk space for product and caching space, and a Pentium class processor or better. At least 8GB of RAM is recommended, but the minimum is 4GB. It also requires a screen resolution of 800×600 or greater.

WebDrive is also available for Mac and iOS and Android.

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