Service: Gmail Drive
Launched: v. 1.0.6 was released on July 27, 2005
What is it?
Gmail drive is a service that creates a virtual hard drive folder on your Windows system, accessible through “My Computer”, that allows you to store files in your Gmail email account. The current Gmail storage limitation is 2 gigs.
In their own words, “GMail Drive is a Shell Namespace Extension that creates a virtual filesystem around your Google Gmail account, allowing you to use Gmail as a storage medium.
GMail Drive creates a virtual filesystem on top of your Google Gmail account and enables you to save and retrieve files stored on your Gmail account directly from inside Windows Explorer. GMail Drive literally adds a new drive to your computer under the My Computer folder, where you can create new folders, copy and drag’n’drop files to.
Ever since Google started to offer users a Gmail e-mail account, which includes storage space of 2000 megabytes, you have had plenty of storage space but not a lot to fill it up with. With GMail Drive you can easily copy files to your Gmail account and retrieve them again.
When you create a new file using GMail Drive, it generates an e-mail and posts it to your account. The e-mail appears in your normal Inbox folder, and the file is attached as an e-mail attachment. GMail Drive periodically checks your mail account (using the Gmail search function) to see if new files have arrived and to rebuild the directory structures. But basically GMail Drive acts as any other hard-drive installed on your computer.
You can copy files to and from the GMail Drive folder simply by using drag’n’drop like you’re used to with the normal Explorer folders.”
The service works as promised. After a quick download and installation, it installs a virtual gmail hard drive on your system, accessible through “My Computer”. You can then drag and drop files into the drive.
I tested out dragging and dropping files, and it worked well (if understandably a little slow – a 1.5 mb file took about 20 seconds to fully copy over.
Individual files cannot be bigger than 10 mb or have file names longer than 40 characters (gmail limitations).
We’ll also be profiling xmail hard drive, a similar service that is web-based, and so platform independent.
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