ExpanDrive v6.1.11 is out! You can get the update from our download page or via the auto-updater.
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.
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.
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.
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?
ExpanDrive v6.1.8 is out fixing a variety of small issues and improving overall performance and stability. You can get this update from our download page or via the auto-updater. Detailed release notes are available on our support page.
ExpanDrive v6.1.6 is out with improvements for the context menus on Mac and Windows – sync state will now be noted in the sub menu. There are also a variety of small improvements for SFTP support merged in. You can get this update from our download page or via the auto-updater.
ExpanDrive v6.1.5 is out with improvements for large uploads in Dropbox, non-ascii character handling in Dropbox on Window, improvements to the Shared with Me folder on OneDrive for business, fixes for the dock visibility toggle in Windows, improved uploading on hubiC and a variety of other small fixes. You can get it from our download page or via the auto-updater.
Today we’re excited to launch ExpanDrive v6.1.3 which is primary a bug-fix release. It improves support for editing office files on Sharepoint as well as has some small improvements to the WebDAV connector. In addition, OneDrive for Business now has a “Shared with Me” folder where a user can view their shared files.
Download Now or grab it on the auto-updater
Today we’re excited to launch ExpanDrive v6.1 – it adds support for macOS High Sierra, which also launches today. ExpanDrive v6.1 is available to download at expandrive.com or via the auto-updater.
If you haven’t tried out ExpanDrive v6 yet now is a great time to give it a spin. We continue improve and enhance pretty much everything about the app. ExpanDrive v6.1 is a free upgrade if you own ExpanDrive v6 or a v5 license purchased after March.