ExpanDrive v5.4.1 is out on the auto-updater fixing an authentication issue for Google Drive and Google Cloud Storage. Google updated some of their authentication flow and this update fixes our compatibility for that.
ExpanDrive v5.3 is out on the auto-updater and the main download page.
NEW Preliminary support for Sharepoint Online [Office 365 Sites]
NEW Rewritten WebDAV connector
NEW All-new metadata caching layer, bringing faster access and asynchrnous updates of regularly used data
NEW Moved to OneDrive v2 API
NEW Improvements to SFTP layer for speed and large file transfers
For the curious yes, we skipped v5.2 – It was an internal release in testing for an extended period of time that we decided not to publish.
Dropbox is one of biggest players in online storage, now with over half a billion users in the system. Their primary client is the Dropbox desktop sync client, which mirrors a folder named Dropbox out to the cloud. It works great. However, as the amount of data you deal with in Dropbox or the number of users all accessing the same storage in Dropbox for Business starts to increase, sync gets pretty messy. Things like figuring out how to deal with different users that only have permission to a subset of the data or dealing with a 5TB dropbox account with users that only have a few hundred GB of storage on their Windows 7 laptops start to become real problems.
ExpanDrive solves this by letting you actually mount Dropbox as a virtual drive on Mac and Windows. This lets you access your content natively, from Finder or Explorer, without having to sync the data. It’s all on demand, like a regular native filesystem. To get started, you want to download ExpanDrive.
Once you’ve downloaded and installed ExpanDrive, you’ll want to select the option to create a new Dropbox Drive.
ExpanDrive will now ask you to authorize a connection between ExpanDrive and Dropbox. This is a secure direct connection between your computer and Dropbox, ExpanDrive has no server that sits in between you.
Once you’ve established the connection, you’ll have a virtual drive accessible from every application on your machine including Finder and Explorer.
Google Drive is Google’s Dropbox-like offering that comes with 15GB of free online storage. The extended storage plans are absurdly cheap – basically the same pricing structure as Amazon Glacier but with an awesome web-based interface, no 4-hour penalty to “restore” your data, and lots of cool apps and infrastructure that integrate with Drive.
But there is a problem with Google Drive, and it isn’t the online service: it’s the client. What good is a 10TB account if your only supported mechanism move data is via sync. Jason Snell recently wrote a piece at Six Colors called the Dropbox Terabyte Conundrum about this same problem with Dropbox’s new 1TB plan. Using Sync to move your data means you need to pick a folder that mirrors your Drive account and then keep a copy of all that data on your machine. So unless your laptop have a 10TB Drobo or Synology NAS attached to it, then you can’t really DO much with a 10TB Google Drive account. Unless you have ExpanDrive.
ExpanDrive lets you actually mount your Google Drive account as a virtual drive, just like a USB Drive, on Mac or Windows. You can browse and access your Drive account without needing to first sync your files, which takes up time and space on your laptop. Just access what you need, when you need it, from within any app like Finder, Windows Explorer, Microsoft Word, Photoshop, or whatever you use. Everything is safely in the cloud but not taking up space on your computer. Isn’t that the point of cloud storage anyways?
Amazon S3 is the original cloud storage service. But it is one that is primarily driven by an API. There is a spartan web interface, but other than that the only way to get data in and out of it is via the API. ExpanDrive is the only tool that designed to be super-easy to use while also being powerful enough for developers and administrators. It turns Amazon S3 into a fast network drive in the cloud on Mac or Windows. Given it a try!
Map or Mount S3 as a Network Drive with ExpanDrive
ExpanDrive supports the Amazon S3 API and lets you map an S3 Bucket as a drive letter on Windows or as a Network Drive on the Mac. It’s like connecting a USB drive with infinite storage and a truly incredible amount of durability and reliability.
Now you can browse Amazon S3 from within the Mac Finder or Windows Explorer. You can even save to S3 directly from applications like Photoshop or Microsoft Office. ExpanDrive turns S3 into an infinite sized external online hard drive.
Here is a video to help get a better idea of what ExpanDrive does and how it works.
Creating a virtual online harddrive with Amazon S3
Amazon provides a simple guide to get started. You’ll need an AWS account as well as a bucket. From there, you’ll want to get your API keys to authenticate with ExpanDrive. My good friend Stefan at Haystack Software has a nice guide on how to get the keys. You can also use an IAM user with ExpanDrive.
Click Save or Connect and you’re good to go. Amazon S3 will now be visible as a network drive whenever you login to your computer. Drag and drop files to copy them out to the cloud. Or stream movies and media directly from S3 without needing to first download or sync them. For more information, check our documentation page on connecting ExpanDrive to S3.
Box.com, like most big online storage providers, provides a Sync client for your desktop PC or Mac. The Box sync client has long been plagued with problems and has had a reputation of being notoriously slow and buggy. Especially on the Mac. Box Sync 4 improves things a bit, but it still has the same problems any syncing app has. The best solution is to Map or Mount Box as a Network Drive, with ExpanDrive. Connect to your Box account just like a USB Drive. Browse the account in any application, like Word, Powerpoint, Photoshop – whatever. View and managed all your files directly from within Finder on the Mac or Explorer.
Problems with Sync – It needs lots of hard drive space
To use Box Sync you first have to download all the data to your machine – which takes a long time and can take a lot of storage. If you’re running a MacBook Air or an Ultrabook with a 128GB SSD it’s going to pretty hard to use your company’s 500GB Box account. Forget trying to store lots of media and assets with Box sync. What you really want is to offload that data to the cloud, but still be able to get at it when you need it. That’s what a network drive like ExpanDrive is perfect for. The files are still there, but they are just stored directly on Box.
Sync is less Secure
Box has a great security model – you can provide fine grained control to your users. When employees leave, you can simply revoke their permissions. However, using Box Sync that model breaks down a bit. Everybody has a copy of the data sitting on their laptop. If the machine is lost or stolen the files remain there for the taking. If an employee runs off, they can still access all the data they had before since it is just sitting in a folder on their computer.
Connect Box as a Network Drive with ExpanDrive
ExpanDrive makes managing your Box account as seamless as using a USB Drive. It also improves the Box security model – ExpanDrive accesses everything on demand. Here is a video to help get a better idea of what ExpanDrive does and how it works.
Users of ExpanDrive v5.1.3 on OS X El Capitan will need to manually upgrade to a newer version of ExpanDrive by downloading it at www.expandrive.com. ExpanDrive v5.1.3 on OS X 10.11 exhibits a broken auto-updater. Make sure to quit ExpanDrive if you’re already running it. This release was only available for about half a day, so hopefully it doesn’t affect too many users. ExpanDrive v5.1.4 is already available with a fix. Our apologies for the trouble.
ExpanDrive v5.1 is now available for download and via the auto-updater. It includes full support for OS X 10.11 El Capitan and wraps up myriad changes and fixes since our V5 release back in July. You can always get the release notes for each intermediate version over at our support page.
NEW Auto-detect mime-type for S3/Swift
NEW [Windows] New Filesystem driver to improve Windows 10 support
NEW [Windows] New crash reporter
NEW [Windows] Speed increase in browsing folders
NEW [Windows] New data cache
FIXED Amazon Cloud Drive and Box long directory listings now fixed
FIXED S3 support where getting a bucket’s location is disallowed
FIXED Issue deleting files on OS X 10.11 would sometimes generate a “-43” error
FIXED Fixed a WebDAV normalization issue with international character sets on Mac
FIXED Fixed issue on Windows where truncating files that are > 2GB
FIXED Fixed issue causing certain crashes on drive startup on Windows
FIXED Fixed issue listing directories with more than 2k entries on Amazon S3
FIXED Fixed issue deleting certain folders on S3/Swift
FIXED 0-byte files are now correctly flushed out
FIXED Free space report for storage accounts with unlimited free space
FIXED Auto-updater preference fixed on Windows
FIXED Transient SFTP truncation problem fixed
FIXED Fixed usage of ampersand in filenames on Dropbox and S3
FIXED Windows 10 mounting error.
FIXED Issue where upload queue could get stuck uploading
FIXED S3 buckets with capital letters now supported
FIXED Fixed directory listings with files larger than 4GB
FIXED List directories with greater than 1000 entries on S3 fixed
FIXED Google Drive with unlimited space now shows more free space by default.
FIXED Fixed ghost checkbox on Mac UI
FIXED No longer trim whitespace from passwords
FIXED Detect S3 bucket region from error message when no permission to discover region.
CHANGED Longer write timeout for operations on Mac
CHANGED Have OAuth show Chrome as our browser
CHANGED Use smaller chunk for uploading large files to Dropbox, improving reliability.
CHANGED Enabled rename on S3/Swift