Map or Mount Box as a Network Drive on Mac and Windows

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.

Download ExpanDrive for free – supports Mac & Windows

Box as a network drive

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.

Download ExpanDrive for free – supports Mac & Windows

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.

ExpanDrive v5.1.3 and OS X El Capitan

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

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

Introducing ExpanDrive 5

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 linux@expandrive.com. Thanks!

Map Google Drive as a Network Drive

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.

Download ExpanDrive for free

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

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

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.

ExpanDrive v4.2 adds OneDrive for Business/Office 365

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.

OneDrive-forBiz_rgb_EN_Blue

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

ExpanDrive v4.1.9

ExpanDrive v4.1.9 is out on the auto-updater. Most notably it fixes an issue that cropped up on the Mac with Dropbox authentication. Upcoming v4.2 will add OneDrive for Business and Azure support as well as improve the write-behind cache further. I’m also including notes from v4.1.8 because there didn’t end up being a blog post on that release.

New in v4.1.9

  • FIXED [Mac] Dropbox authentication now fixed
  • FIXED OneDrive renaming and moving now correctly works
  • FIXED [Mac] larger operation timeout on Mac to avoid certain -36 errors from finder
  • CHANGED [Mac] No longer install into ~/Applications, prefer /Applications
  • CHANGED [Windows] Compatible with OpenSSH 6.6 key-exchange algorithms

New in v4.1.8

  • NEW Support for OS X Yosemite Dark Mode
  • NEW Support for displaying account quota as free space on Dropbox/Google Drive/Box/Swift
  • NEW OS 10.6 re-introduced due to popular demand
  • NEW Reconnect at login now happens quietly, no notifications or reveal
  • NEW [Windows] SFTP keep-alive packets now sent every 60 seconds on both Windows and Mac
  • FIXED [Windows] .tmp/.swp files sometimes not getting cleaned up in editors has been fixed
  • FIXED [Windows] Box.com authentication fixed in certain scenarios on Windows
  • FIXED Dropbox folder creation fixed
  • CHANGED Larger write-back cache, 5GB

VIM with SFTP/FTP on Mac and Windows

If you’re a developer there is a pretty good chance that you spend a lot of time in either Sublime Text or MacVim [gVim on Windows] wrangling code. MacVim is one of the most popular and modern incantations of the vim editor, which is itself an improved version of ancient vi editor initially developed by Bill Joy (also popularly  known as co-founder of Sun Microsystems) in 1976. You’re doing something right if your interaction paradigm hangs around for nearly 40 years.

vim_header
Vim has a robust environment for plugins and a solid community of developers using and creating plugins to extend the functionality. There are a couple plugins out there to connect Vim to cloud storage, like vim-sync but as you can see [at least of the time of this writing], they are fairly spotty. Just hanging out in Github with a few commits and not much maintenance.

Connecting Vim to an SFTP server

Combining Vim and ExpanDrive is a powerful workflow – you actually edit and manipulate files on SFTP/FTP or S3 in real-time from directly within the editor. You don’t need to download the file, edit it, and then re-upload it. Here is a quick tutorial on how to get it going

Download ExpanDrive
First you want to download the latest ExpanDrive release here.  ExpanDrive is free to download and try out and is available on Mac and Windows. While these screenshots are on the Mac, it looks pretty much the same on Windows.


Create new SFTP Drive
Once you have installed ExpanDrive, you create a mapped drive to the remote server . This screenshot shows how you’d get going to setup MacVim with SFTP.


Select Authentication
Setup whatever SSH configuration options are needed for your connection, and then save the connection.. We generally use public key authentication combined with Google Authenticator for multi-factor authentication. You can even set a remote path so that you can mount /etc and twiddle configuration files directly. Once you’ve connected you’ll have a network drive accessible that you can easily use to browse the files on the SFTP server.


Server in Finder

Now you’re ready to start editing files via SFTP in Vim. A nice fork of Vim is the Alloy MacVim fork, which adds a sidebar to browse your project as well as a quick open, among other things. Vim purists will hate this, but I benefit from having a project structure visible.


macvim_screenshot
Now you can edit any file directly within Vim and have the entire tree visible in the sidebar. Like I mentioned above, there are some other options out now for accessing SFTP servers from within Vim, I feel pretty confident that ExpanDrive is the best. We have rock-solid background saves that let quickly save . You’ll have no delay as the file is saved instantly and pushed out to your server in the background.

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