In a previous article, I detailed my awkward experience with Windows Home Server and setting up a stable FTP server. In the end, I converted it into an XP server and assigned my clients with NetDrive so that they could mount the FTP server as a drive letter and browse effortlessly.
Problem is, NetDrive’s performance was subpar with large files, such as PDFs. For example, if I were to open a large PDF, instead of caching the entire PDF and reading it locally, NetDrive would proceed to download the PDF in parts much the same way it works when you view a large PDF from within a web browser. Because many of the PDFs on the server are large (100MB+), this resulted in extremely slow performance. Moreover, a client requested that the files be made available offline so that data from the server could be reviewed and edited while on a plane, for example. Dropbox’s impressive core sync engine evidently left quite an impression, and rightfully so.