Using Gmail as a network drive

I just found out about a FREE cool application for Windows XP/2000 that allows you to use your 1 GB Google GMail account as a network drive.  According to the website, “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.”

The idea of using the web as a file system storage medium is nothing new. Apple’s .Mac service ($99/year) gives you 250 MB of email/webdav storage space. Another offering is from SpyMac.com. They have a free service and a paid service ($39.99/year). The free service gives you a 1 GB email account and 100 MB webdav storage space. The paid service gives you a 3 GB email account and 250 MB webdav storage space. These web storage offerings from Apple and SpyMac are cross platform (Windows/Mac/Linux) because they both use the webdav protocol to give you file system access. The biggest advantage of using the GMail Drive Windows Explorer shell extension is that you get 1 GB of storage space. The disadvantage is that it will only work with Windows and is limited by GMail’s 10 MB file attachment limit.  So, if those two gripes are resolved, this would be the ultimate backup storage solution out there.