How to use Google Drive as a network drive or FTP server

To say that Google Drive is nothing more than a cloud storage platform is an understatement. Apart from saving our files, we can also open them and play the videos, images and audio online without the need for any other program. In addition, we can access Drive from any device, both mobile, tablet and PC. Right now it may seem very normal, but the truth is that not so many years ago something like this would have seemed a real madness.

If we use Google Drive from a Windows or Mac computer, we can also use the platform to make backup copies of our most important files with the help of the "Backup and Synchronization" program (available HERE). However, the operation is very similar to that of Google Photos, and therefore, when we delete a file on the PC, this is also deleted from Drive. Fact that prevents us from having a backup tool with all the guarantees.

It is for this reason that it is interesting to use Google Drive as an FTP server or network drive: in this way we can make backups in a much more controlled way (they are not deleted in the cloud when we delete the original file locally).

This way we also avoid having to synchronize the folders that we have on the computer, and it is even a quite comfortable way to access Drive by navigating between folders from Windows Explorer itself. All this will also allow us to save a good amount of space in the cloud, since we will not sync entire folders but only the files and documents that interest us.

How to use Google Drive as an FTP server or network drive

Obviously, to achieve our goal we are going to need a couple of third-party tools called RaiDrive and Google Drive FTP Adapter. With the first of them we will be able to access Drive as if it were a Network Drive, and the second will help us to convert our space in the cloud into an FTP server.


RaiDrive It is a lightweight tool - it barely weighs 26MB - that allows us to access all the files and folders on Google Drive as if it were a network drive. It also works with other cloud services like Google Photos, OneDrive, SharePoint or Dropbox. We can download the RaiDrive from the official website HERE.

Google Drive FTP Adapter, for its part, allows access to Google Drive through FTP protocols. The program is nothing more than a file in JAR format, and in order to run it we will need Java Runtime Environment (JRE 8) installed on our computer. Once we have Java running (remember to configure the connection as "Private" when you install it), we can download Google Drive FTP Adapter from its repository on GitHub HERE (the file name is “google-drive-ftp-adapter-jar-with-dependencies.jar”).

How to configure RaiDrive to access Drive as a Network Drive

Once the application is installed, we open it and on the main screen, click on the "Add" (Add).

We select the Google Drive option (it is marked by default) and press "okay”.

Next, we will have to give the application permission and log in with our Google credentials. Once this is done, we will automatically see how a new network location appears on our computer.

By default, the network drive will appear assigned with the letter Z, and we will be able to access it from the same Windows file explorer.

From the RaiDrive configuration menu we can also make some adjustments, such as the ability to connect when logging in, use different credentials, use a proxy or configure the connection as private or public, etc.

The good thing about all this is that all changes are made in real time, and the transfer speed only depends on the quality of our Internet connection.

How to configure Google Drive FTP Adapter

Now that we have RaiDrive configured, we can only "twin" it with Google Drive FTP Adapter. This process is very simple, since we only have to execute the JAR file that we have previously downloaded and perform a couple of steps.

Once we have made sure that we have Java correctly installed on our computer (it is likely that we will have to restart the PC if we have just installed it), if we double click on the mentioned .JAR file the system will redirect us to a web page where we will have to log in with our Google Drive account. Next, we will give permission to the application, and if everything has gone well, a message will appear on the screen indicating that we can close the browser window.

Finally, we will need an FTP client to establish the connection with Google Drive. If we don't have any we can install Filezilla, a free and open source FTP client that we can download HERE.

Once Filezilla is open, we just have to add the following server:

ftp: // user: user @ localhost: 1821 /

We can also configure the connection using the following data:

Server: Localhost

Username: user

Password: user

Port: 1821

Once the connection is established we will see how all the content of Google Drive is loaded in Filezilla, and we will be able to exchange files and others as in any other FTP server to use.

Back to normal

Although we are facing some really practical tools, we may at some point want to stop using them. In such a case, it is advisable to disconnect both RaiDrive and Google Drive FTP Adapter from Google Drive and remove the previously granted permissions.

To do this, we just have to enter Google Drive from the browser, click on the button "Settings”(The gear icon, located at the top right) and enter“Application administration”. Here, we locate the 2 utilities and click on "Options -> Disconnect from Drive”To block access.

In short, if we are regular PC users, we will undoubtedly know how to take advantage of RaiDrive and FTP Adapter: 2 most recommended utilities to expand the possibilities of having a storage space in the cloud.

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