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
We’ve just released ExpanDrive 5. It adds support for Amazon Cloud Drive, an awesome storage service from Amazon which offers unlimited storage. ExpanDrive 5 is near-total rewrite of our core functionality. It’s dramatically faster – up to 10x in many common scenarios. ExpanDrive quickly and reliably transfers in the background while you continue to work, allowing you to save files without waiting.
ExpanDrive has been around for over ten years now. For v5 we decided to rebuild our core functionality. Our most popular drive types, including Google Drive, Dropbox, OneDrive, Box, S3, and Openstack, have been completely overhauled. Our new SFTP/FTP layer is in beta for v5.1 and is coming soon. ExpanDrive now operates in a durable hybrid online/offline mode where you can rely on ExpanDrive always being active and transferring when connected. This makes ExpanDrive look and feel like a local disk despite an often slow connection to the cloud. Transfers that get interrupted are restarted the next time you connect. It’s easily the best version of ExpanDrive ever.
If you haven’t checked out ExpanDrive lately, we support a huge array of cloud storage providers Microsoft OneDrive & OneDrive for Business, Google Drive, Box, Dropbox, ownCloud and many more. Most Cloud Storage providers give very generous free offerings, letting you host tens of gigabytes safely in their datacenter. Using ExpanDrive you can backup or offload your content as easily as using a USB Drive.
ExpanDrive’s user interface has been updated with a modern look and feel, and we’ve also deployed a new icon. You can now easily see transferring status from our tray icon so you can quickly know what is going on.
Download ExpanDrive 5 from our website or from the auto-updater within ExpanDrive. This update is available to all existing customers for $24.95 through the end of July and free to try out for 1 week. If you bought ExpanDrive 4 after May 1st, your key has been upgraded for free.
Additionally, we’re finishing off our Linux/server version, coming later this summer. If you’re interested in tesing on Linux or Windows server, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks!
Google Drive provides a first party sync client that you can download for Mac and Windows that lets you sycn the contents of your Drive to your desktop. But if you want to actually map Google Drive as a drive letter on Windows 7 or 8, you’re going to need ExpanDrive. to connect to the Google Drive API and provide you with a virtual drive connection.
ExpanDrive lets you turn Google Drive into an actual shared drive. This has a number of advantages. First, you don’t have to sync in the entire library of content to actually use it. If your laptop only has 128G of storage, it’s pretty hard to make good use of a 10TB Google Drive account.
First Download ExpanDrive for Mac or Windows and install it. ExpanDrive sits in the system tray near your clock – just like the Google Drive client. Next you add a new Google Drive to ExpanDrive, click connect – and you’re done. You can now access Google Drive as a virtual drive from within any application on your Mac or PC. For more detailed instructions, check out our documentation on how to Map Google Drive as a drive using ExpanDrive.
ExpanDrive v4.3.1 is out on the auto-updater. This is a small bug fix release that does a lot to improve compatibility with MS Office 2013 saving to S3 and Swift connections. S3/Swift don’t allow you to set the modification time of a file, and in certain cases Office with get confused and suggest somebody else edited the file. This fix also incorporates a change for parsing dates in Swift that does a better job accounting for time zones.
New in v4.3.1
- CHANGED Improved support for editing MS Office documents on Swift and S3
- FIXED Fixed timezone issue on Swift.
ExpanDrive v4.3 is out on the auto-updater. It adds support for NTLM authentication to improve compatibility with Sharepoint installations as well as improves support for versioning in Google Drive and Box.com connections.
New in v4.3
- NEW Support for NTLM authentication for Sharepoint, etc.
- CHANGED Improved support for versioning on Google Drive and Box
- FIXED Fixed timezone issue on Google Drive.
We’re excited to add support for Microsoft OneDrive for Business, part of Microsoft’s Office 365 suite of products. OneDrive of Business is the enterprise version of Microsoft’s online storage service and offers unlimited storage at no additional cost. With ExpanDrive you can connect to your OneDrive account directly from within Finder, Explorer or any other app on your computer.
Mac users should be particularly excited since Microsoft still has no Mac App for OneDrive for business. ExpanDrive is currently the only game in town! You can download ExpanDrive v4.2 at http://www.expandrive.com/expandrive or using the ExpanDrive auto-updater