While it's easy to backup files to the cloud, sometimes you need the option to move files instantly around devices on your network. A local area network (LAN) drive allows you to upload, download, rename files, and more from any PC on your network through File Explorer.
LAN drive for Windows 10 Mobile turns your Windows phone into a network drive.
The app is available for $2.99. There is a free trial available, but the speed is limited to 0.5 MB per second.
See in Microsoft Store (opens in new tab)
Performance and features
The app turns your phone into a LAN drive, but the developers also added some other nice features. You have three ways to authenticate a device, including creating user accounts or allowing anyone on the network to connect to the device. You can grant access to reading or writing content on a per-folder basis, which is a great touch if you only want to share certain files with your network.
The app also works with Kodi, VLC, and any SMB client, making it easy to view content that's on your phone on a number of devices.
Once the app is set up, it works well. You can easily copy and paste content to and from it as if it were just a driver on your PC. Because the app makes your phone work as a LAN drive, it also works with other devices, such as Macs.
The app works fast enough when moving files around but I found previewing to be slower than I'd like. This is more of an issue for my type of use which involves looking at and moving a lot of photos and media, but it's worth noting for anyone who wants to try it out.
The biggest drawback to LAN drive is that it needs to stay open to work. In an ideal situation, you could set up LAN drive and leave it untouched in the background while using it to transfer and view files. Unfortunately, that isn't the case as not only does your phone need to be awake for it to work, the LAN drive app needs to be open.
A smaller issue that could be affected by the network I used while testing the app is its slower speeds. Even with the paid upgrade, moving content around took longer than I'd like. This could potentially be better on different hardware or a faster network but in my testing, a lack of speed was noticeable.
This means that while LAN drive can give your old Windows phone a second life, it doesn't let you turn your phone into a permanent fixture in your home or office, unless you plan to leave a phone perpetually awake.
Overall thoughts on LAN drive for Windows 10 Mobile
LAN drive is a clever app that allows you to get some more use out of your old Windows phone. And if you're still using your Windows phone as your everyday device, it makes it incredibly easy to share content around your network because your photos and files will already be on it.
The app has some drawbacks including, slower speeds and requiring you to keep the app active to work, but LAN drive is still a solid app despite these flaws.
- Easy to setup
- Makes transferring files easy
- App needs to remain open to keep connection
- Not as fast as many would like
See in Microsoft Store (opens in new tab)
Sean Endicott brings nearly a decade of experience covering Microsoft and Windows news to Windows Central. He joined our team in 2017 as an app reviewer and now heads up our day-to-day news coverage. If you have a news tip or an app to review, hit him up at firstname.lastname@example.org (opens in new tab).
I didn't know that Windows 10 Mobile had an app like this. This is very interesting to me, good article!
Ah, it sucks that the app cannot work in the background or maybe it's an API restriction... hmm. Which phone or phones did you test the app on?
hello. i use shareit (or share.it) which is a free app that allows me to transfer things on the same wireless network. i transfer stuff between my windows 10 mobile phone and windows 10 pc and macbook pro easily.
This is a must buy app for me. Nice article.
Cool something useful to do on my 950
SMB v1 only. If you disable it on your PC as it is vulnerable to many security issues you won't be able to use it.
Am I the only one that sees this as a solution in search of a problem? If you already have a network, you can go machine-to-machine. It's inefficient to use another device, particularly a phone, as a middle man. If you don't already have a network, you can simply use your phone like you would any flash drive without having to worry about network security or background operation.
Shocked to see that still there are few developers working for windows phone
I don't want to buy it because I already have Shareit and 'Easy Transfer Free' ☺
Interesting approach, I have sympathy for the second use of hardware, from an environmental point of view. I think these are original approaches. The only side comment I have is that it's purpose for me can only be being a temporary stack of information. In this purpose it can be useful. The windows phones are becoming older hardware so I would not trust it as a primary source for information.
Cortana on my 950xl got some attitude but she works on Note 5 and very responsive!
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