Network drives: Map a network drive in Windows

Map a network drive in Windows

Windows 11 Windows 10 More…Less


Map a network drive to get to it from File Explorer in Windows without having to look for it or type its network address each time.

  1. Open File Explorer from the taskbar or the Start  menu, or press the Windows logo key  + E.

  2. Select This PC from the left pane. Then, on the File Explorer ribbon, select More  > Map network drive.

  3. In the Drive list, select a drive letter. (Any available letter will do.)

  4. In the Folder box, type the path of the folder or computer, or select Browse to find the folder or computer. To connect every time you sign in to your PC, select Reconnect at sign-in.

  5. Select Finish.


Note: If you can’t connect to a network drive or folder, the computer you’re trying to connect to might be turned off, or you might not have the correct permissions. Try contacting your network administrator.

Map a network drive to get to it from File Explorer in Windows without having to look for it or type its network address each time.

  1. Open File Explorer from the taskbar or the Start  menu, or press the Windows logo key  + E.

  2. Select This PC from the left pane. Then, on the Computer tab, select Map network drive

  3. In the Drive list, select a drive letter. (Any available letter will do.)

  4. In the Folder box, type the path of the folder or computer, or select Browse to find the folder or computer. To connect every time you sign in to your PC, select Reconnect at sign-in.

  5. Select Finish.


Note: If you can’t connect to a network drive or folder, the computer you’re trying to connect to might be turned off, or you might not have the correct permissions. Try contacting your network administrator.

What Is a Network Drive? (And How Is It Useful)

Network drives might not be something a lot of people are familiar with. 

They tend to be overshadowed right now by the cloud storage popularity surge; but, network drives can offer greater benefit when a business has multiple users sharing files across one network. 

Previously, we’ve looked at how to map a network drive on both Windows 10 and Mac OS X.  

In this article, though, we’ll talk about what network drives are and how they’re useful.

Let’s start small. A shared network folder is a file folder that can be accessed by anyone on a network with the proper credentials or authorization. Access to the folder doesn’t guarantee access to the entire drive, but by being on the same internet network as the network folder, properly credentialed users may access the contents of that specific folder.

A network drive functions in a similar manner but at a greater scale.

Network Drive definition:

Network drives are entire hard drives, hardwired directly into the network by Ethernet, that can be used for data storage by any network user with proper credentials or authorization. External hard drives are used here, plugged into the modem or switch either with USB or Ethernet cabling.

Typically though, what comes to mind with network drives are NAS (network-attached storage) drives, which are a series of drives attached directly to a network hub. Lacking dedicated peripherals like keyboards and monitors, NAS drives instead are housed in a small stack and use a simplified OS to manage the drive series, which users can log into through the network to access files as needed.

TIP: Traditional networks are prone to breaks in the connection. Read about mesh networks to learn how to curb these breaks.

How are network drives useful?

There’s some contest between network drives and cloud file storage and sharing software as to which has more utility both at home and in a business setting. In reality, both are incredibly similar, and their utility depends mainly on how you plan to use them, or — should I say — where you plan to use them.

Network drives at home

Network drives can be thought of as cloud storage contained in a single network. At home, say you’ve got files on your laptop that you also want to access on your partner’s desktop PC, or on a tablet device. By saving those files to the network drive, all devices on that network (with proper access credentials) can get to those files.

Particularly, network drives excel on network drives as massive media libraries. For example, my father (another tech junkie to the core) set up an NAS drive on our home network where we stored gigabyte on gigabyte of music, movies, TV shows and pictures. Any time we wanted to listen to a particular album, watch a movie or favorite episode, or find family photos from a vacation or special event, we could log in to that network drive and have access to it all at our fingertips.

In a comparable manner, if your company has a few people working in the same location on a small network, a similar theory can be applied, replacing personal media with various business-specific documents and data.

Network drives at work

This same principle can be applied at a larger and more diverse scale for businesses, especially small and mid-size businesses. Most enterprise companies have a couple or several locations and can use a plethora of different networks, which makes using network drives difficult. That’s why most enterprise-level companies tend toward cloud storage. For small and mid-size companies, which tend to use only one network at one location, network storage can provide major leverage.

To start, everything about network storage is in your company’s control. It’s your drive on your network — no need to worry about vendor outages (except your ISP), subscription costs or contracts. Your main cost is up front in hardware (check some out here) and setup, and after that, no more payments.

After the network drive is set up, get to work storing files and data. Based on the access that can be given to users, they should be able to view and/or edit anything in the drive with ease. No need to copy the file down to your device from the drive. While the file is saved on the network drive, it can be opened directly on your device, modified as needed, and then saved.

What’s important to note here about network drives, and the same can also be noted regarding cloud file storage, is that the files are public access as long as you’ve been given permission to view them. The same exact file can be accessed from several devices. There is no need to email different files back and forth, hoping that you’ve received the latest version. No more having to load documents onto flash drives to pass around the office. Every file that might need to be shared can all be stored in the same place.

The disadvantage to network drives is the possibility of drive failure. Where drive failure isn’t a huge deal with cloud storage, it has the potential to smoke your local files. That being said, it’s completely doable to set up what’s called a redundant drive in network storage by setting one or more hard drives to mirror the main one. That way, if the main drive goes down, you have a backup ready to go. (If setting that up makes you uncomfortable, though, check out some disaster-recovery-as-a-service (DRaaS) software options to back up your network drives. )

Want to learn more about protecting your data?

Check out what encryption means, the different kinds available, and how it benefits you and your business. If you’re looking to take your cybersecurity efforts a step further, discover the best free encryption software on the market.

Zack Busch

Zack is a former G2 senior research analyst for IT and development software. He leveraged years of national and international vendor relations experience, working with software vendors of all markets and regions to improve product and market representation on G2, as well as built better cross-company relationships. Using authenticated review data, he analyzed product and competitor data to find trends in buyer/user preferences around software implementation, support, and functionality. This data enabled thought leadership initiatives around topics such as cloud infrastructure, monitoring, backup, and ITSM.

Network drives | Selectel Documentation

Network Drives

Network Drives are scalable block devices that can be easily moved between cloud servers. Suitable for scaling server disk space without changing the boot disk. Three-fold replication of disk volumes ensures high data safety.

You can create a network drive with the cloud server or create it separately and then create a server from it or connect it to the server as an additional drive.

Network Drive Features

  • Can be used as a boot (system) disk of a cloud server or connected as an additional disk.
  • Up to 255 network drives can be connected to one cloud server if you use a standard drive with the virtio-scsi property (up to 4 when using ide, up to 26 when using virtio-blk).
  • A network drive can be disconnected from the server.
  • You can expand the network drive.
  • You can create an image, snapshot or other drive from a network drive, set up scheduled backups.
  • You can move a disk between pool segments, projects, and accounts.
  • Network drive types Suitable for storing large amounts of data that do not need to be read or rewritten frequently;

  • Basic SSD – An SSD for tasks that do not require high read and write speeds. Bandwidth and IOPS are higher than the basic HDD;
  • All-in-One SSD – SSD drive, suitable for use as a cloud server boot drive;
  • Fast SSD – NVMe SSD with faster response time and faster performance than other types. Suitable for workloads that require high read and write speeds.
  • Network drive limits​

    The maximum size of boot and additional network drives, throughput values ​​and read/write limits in IOPS depend on the type of drive.

    Disks of the same type in different pool segments can have different limits. If two network drives with the SSD type Universal are in different segments (the first drive is in ru-1c, the second one is in ru-8a), then their limits will differ.

    90 078

    900 85 500 MB/s

    HDD Basic SSD Basic SSD Universal
    (in pool segments
    ru-1a, ru-1b,
    ru-1c, ru-2a,
    ru-3a)
    SSD Universal
    (in pool segments
    ru-2b, ru-2c,
    ru-3b, ru-7a ,
    ru-8a, ru-9a,
    uz-1a)
    SSD Fast
    (in pool segments
    ru-1a, ru-1b,
    ru-1c, ru-2a,
    ru-2b, ru-3a)
    SSD Fast
    (in pool segments
    ru-2c, ru-3b,
    ru-7a, ru-8a,
    ru-9a, uz-1a)
    Maximum size
    for boot disk
    500 GB 500 GB 2 TB 5 TB 2 TB 10 TB
    Maximum size
    for optional drive
    10TB 10TB 10TB 10TB 10TB 10TB
    Throughput
    (4 MB blocks)
    100 MB/s 150 MB/s 150 MB/s 200 MB/s 500 MB/s
    Operations
    (read, 4K blocks)
    320 IOPS 640 IOPS 640 IOPS 7000 IOPS 900 86

    12800 IOPS 25000 IOPS
    Operations
    (write, 4K blocks)
    120 IOPS 320 IOPS 9008 6

    320 IOPS 4000 IOPS 6400 IOPS 15000 IOPS

    You can see the availability of network drives in the regions in the matrix accessibility Cloud platform network drives.

    You can test disk performance.

    What affects performance?

    Different disk types have different IOPS values ​​- the number of read and write operations per second. Creating and checking a file system are procedures that require a certain number of disk reads and writes to be performed. The faster the disk, the faster these operations complete.

    When you first start the cloud server, the file system on the system disk is “stretched” to fit the disk. The larger the disk size and the lower its IOPS limits, the longer this process will take – therefore, the cloud server will take longer to start.

    The size of the file system affects the time it takes to check its status in the event of a server crash. Scanning is enabled by default for boot (system) disks of all servers that are created from ready-made images.

    Mapping a network drive in Windows

    Windows 11 Windows 10 More…Less

    Map a network drive to use it from Windows Explorer without having to search for it and enter the network address each time.

    1. Open Explorer from the taskbar or from the Start menu or press the Windows key + E .

    2. Select This PC is in the left pane. Then select More > Map network drive on the Explorer ribbon.

    3. In the list of drives , select a drive letter. (Any available letter will do.)

    4. In the Folder window, enter the path to the folder or computer, or select Browse to find the folder or computer. To connect to the computer every time you log in, select Reconnect at logon .

    5. Press button Done .

    Note. Connection to a network drive or folder will not occur if the computer to which you are connecting is turned off or the user does not have sufficient rights. Contact your network administrator.

    Map a network drive so you can use it from Windows Explorer without having to search for it and enter the network address each time.

    1. Open Explorer from the taskbar or from the Start menu or press the Windows key + E .