What is WebDAV?

WebDAV is an extension of HTTP (the Web protocol) that basically allows web servers to act as file servers. The three main reasons you would want to use WebDAV are: 

  1. You don't have to connect to the VPN in order to access your files, because the data transfer is already encrypted appropriately for routing over the public internet.
  2. You can map folders to a drive letter without third-party software (in Windows).
  3. You probably already have a WebDAV client. This includes all major web browsers as well as built-in clients for Windows and MacOS.

There is one major caveat with WebDAV, however, which is that WebDAV clients aren't always very robust. They may fail to transfer very large (> 100 MB) files or files with unusual characters in the file names. The paid Windows client 'WebDrive' is widely recommended and may resolve some of these issues, but we haven't yet tested it. For a free, well-tested, and very robust alternative, see this FAQ:

How can I access the files on the College's network storage with SFTP?


WebDAV Quick Start

The WebDAV shares are located at the following address:
https://file.engr.arizona.edu/webdav


You could actually just click that link and there you go, you're using WebDAV. But used in this way, WebDAV only provides access to download your files - you can't upload or change any of them. In order to do that, you'll want to use one of the built-in clients for Windows or Mac, described shortly.

In the following instructions, you could just connect to the WebDAV root, 'https://file.engr.arizona.edu/webdav' - but you could make your life a lot easier by adding on to that address the specific folder you're interested in. You can find the full address of any folder by browsing to it from root using your web browser, and then copying the address from the address bar of your web browser. Or you could make some reasonable guesses at the full path to your folder(s); they follow this format:


Mounting a WebDAV drive in Windows

In Windows, you can map a WebDAV address to a network drive using Windows Explorer. To do so, you'll want to open File Explorer, then right-click 'This PC' - and then select 'Map network drive...'


On the Map Network Drive dialog, select your favorite letter as the drive letter, and select 'Connect using different credentials'. The 'Reconnect at sign-in' option, if selected, will make this connection persistent - so if you log out or turn your computer off, the drive will reconnect when you sign back in. If deselected, the drive will disappear when you log out of the computer. Finally, enter the appropriate WebDAV address in the 'Folder' field (for instance, 'https://file.engr.arizona.edu/webdav/home/<netid>'), and click 'Finish'.


After clicking 'Finish', you're prompted for a username and password. Do not enter 'CATNET\' before your username.


Your WebDAV drive should now show up just like any other drive in Windows, though it may be a bit slower. This may take a second.


Mounting a WebDAV drive in MacOS

On a Mac, you can mount a WebDAV connection through Finder. Open Finder, then select 'Go' -> 'Connect to Server...' in the menu bar.


In the 'Connect to Server' window, enter the appropriate WebDAV address (for instance, 'https://file.engr.arizona.edu/webdav/research/EngineeringLab'), and click 'Connect'.


After clicking 'Connect', you're prompted for a username and password. Use your NetID and NetID password. Do not add 'CATNET\' before your username.