HTTP Commander Review – A Web Based File Manager suitable for schools
HTTP Commander is a Web Based File Manager which works well and installs surprisingly easily, allowing our students and teachers to access their files remotely using the web browser.
One of the challenges I have faced as an IT Manager is integrating our existing Windows Network Storage into our 1:1 Student and Teacher Macbook Program and so I have searched for a suitable File Sharing Solution, an easy way for students to gain access to their network storage from both School and Home. We are a cross platform school and I need to consider both Windows and Mac Computers.
Until the Introduction of HTTP Commander we provided a way for students to more easily Map Network Drives and their Home Folders from their Macbooks as SMB Shares, this clearly has its limitations, and hence the need for a web based solution.
HTTP Commander (a Web Based File Manager) for the moment answers our need for remote access to Files Storage.
It is advertised by Element IT as follows: HTTP Commander is a web file manager known since 2002. It’s a web file sharing and management, file upload -alternative to FTP, WebDav, Sharepoint, Novell, etc. colutions. This software is intended for fast and easy integration into web sites functionality of sharing and management files and documents at the server through a web browser over HTTP. Users can work remotely with personal or shared folders or edit documents online stored on a server. http://www.element-it.com
Some Considerations – (I like it because)
- It is readily available using Web Interface – (Similar to the Dropbox Web Interface).
- Full Active Directory Authentication, this is very important in a school where you only want one password per student.
- It removes the obfuscation of supporting Windows Shares on Mac and to some degree reduces the risk of a Teacher or Student accidentally deleting a file or folder.
- Works with iPad and other Mobile devices, Android or Windows based Tablets, (Android or Windows).
- I can map WebDAV folders (Web Dav, Web Folders) in Mac or Windows – This allows folder access to remote storage over the internet.
- I have been searching for a replacement for Remote Desktop, Web Based Files Access like HTTP Commander goes a long way towards offering the basic requirements of a Remote Desktop. I don’t feel that offering all students a remote desktop solution is a feasible or sustainable solution in a cross platform environment.
Some Features worth noting
- Resumable Uploads and Downloads
- Integrates with Google Doc and Zoho Online
- Integrates with WordPress, Joomla and Drupal
- Integrates with Picasa, Pixr and Flickr
- Integrates with Microsoft Office and Open Office
I polled a number of Forums asking after a Web Based Solution like this and was surprised to find that not many schools had implemented a solution like this in their environment. If you are looking for an easily implemented solution to soften the blow of cross platform file sharing (Window Mac and Linux) then HTTP Commander may work as well for you as it does for me.