RapidShare is joining the likes of Dropbox and SugarSync in the cloud sync and storage business with the introduction of RapidDrive. The new service is said to work directly with a computer's file system, allowing for automatic synching with remote servers.

RapidDrive works by creating a network drive that connects to the company's servers, allowing users to easily manage offsite files via Windows Explorer. On the client side, the storage folder is essentially treated just like an additional hard drive on the system.

To send a file to the cloud, simply drag and drop or copy and paste the data into the RapidDrive folder and everything else happens automatically. Any computer that is linked to the same RapidDrive account can access the storage folder, much like any of the several other competing services.

"With RapidDrive, we are providing a tool that creates an even closer link between cloud storage and the PC environment, which makes it easier to manage files," said RapidShare CEO Alexandra Zwingli. "RapidDrive is an essential means of simplifying work processes, especially for customers who are regular users of RapidShare at work."

Since the service is simply a storage solution, it is not possible to install and run software from within RapidDrive.

RapidDrive is still in beta and is only available for Windows XP, Vista and 7 as of writing. Mac OS X support will come with the full build expected to drop in September. Those interested in checking out RapidDrive can download it by following this link.