Expandrive: All Disks Are Equal

LogoThere are many functionalities of USB and Firewire external drives that make things easier — saving directly onto them, backing up to them as a drive, and easiness to mount and see in Finder. These features have finally been brought to servers and online drives with ExpanDrive.

ExpanDrive, by Magnetk adds the functionalities listed above to network drives and servers. It treats all drives equally. Now, there are already a lot of file transfer apps and apps that connect to servers, but ExpanDrive is much different from all of these. Instead of having an external application to connect to a server, ExpanDrive uses Finder directly. It mounts a new drive in the Finder that is treated as a regular external drive rather than a server.

ExpanDrive makes it extremely easy to add a new drive — you simply click the New Drive button. The window that opens gives you the normal options for adding a server. If you choose to do so, you can even save the password for that server by clicking the “Save” checkbox. This is a great feature because you don’t have to enter the password in every time you connect to that server. It is as easy as that to add a new drive into ExpanDrive.

Screenshot

Once you have created a drive, you (in the ExpanDrive main window) either double click on the drive, hit command-k, or click Connect from the pull-down menu with the gear. What ExpanDrive will now do is mount a drive in the Finder which it sees as a normal USB or Firewire drive. However, you can not use rsync to backup to it, save to it, or treat it equally to all other drives.

Screenshot

In ExpanDrive’s menubar you can show the Drive Manager in case you close it on accident. This is also where you see recent drives, so you can connect with just a click. You can also view the preferences from here. They are very simple: Start at Login starts ExpanDrive at login so you don’t have to start it later. Show Drive Manager, when launched, just shows the drive manager window when you open the application. Warning When Quitting warns that you have drives mounted (with ExpanDrive) in the Finder. It warns you, because as soon as you quit, these drives will be unmounted. It would be very nice if, in the Finder, there was a universal keyboard shortcut that connected to the most recently used drive.

ExpanDrive, by Magnetk retails for $29, but you can pick it up through Facebook for $9. All you have to do is join the Facebook ExpanDrive group, and you will be able to get it for only $9! $29 may seem a bit on the expensive side for what ExpanDrive does, but ExpanDrive is the only app (that I have ever heard of) that will treat all drives equally in Finder. And remember, if you have a Facebook, you can pick it up for $9.

Comments

23 Responses to “Expandrive: All Disks Are Equal”

  1. Huuuze on May 3rd, 2008 7:48 am

    Where are they listed on Facebook?

  2. Joe Turner on May 3rd, 2008 8:35 am

    just search “ExpanDrive”

  3. Huuuze on May 3rd, 2008 9:15 am

    No dice, Joe. Can you post the Facebook link?

  4. Joe Turner on May 3rd, 2008 9:47 am
  5. Techslacker on May 3rd, 2008 11:12 am

    Nice app for me at $9. $29? Meh.

  6. Marty on May 3rd, 2008 12:25 pm

    Five words: Back To My Mac, baby.

  7. E.T.Cook on May 3rd, 2008 1:03 pm

    Doesn’t ExpanDrive only support SFTP connections? Shouldn’t you have mentioned that in the review?

  8. Joe Turner on May 3rd, 2008 3:48 pm

    @E.T.Cook: I guess I should’ve, but, IMO, SFTP is better, and is becoming more common. I still should’ve though

  9. CitizenJ on May 3rd, 2008 4:25 pm

    Almost the same icon as Unison, from Panic!

    Cabel may not appreciate =)

  10. E.T.Cook on May 3rd, 2008 5:16 pm

    I was actually referring to you not mentioning the type of web disk at all. Is it webdav? Does it have support for other protocols like Amazon S3? etc etc.

    I actually didn’t know what it actually did until I went to the website and saw it had to deal specifically with SFTP.

    No biggie. Keep up the good work :)

  11. Thom on May 3rd, 2008 5:44 pm

    You can accomplish the same thing using entirely free software – MacFUSE is free (ExpanDrive uses MacFUSE) and then you just add on MacFusion, which is also free to download and use (but the author does accept donations). Here are links to two recent articles that explain the process:

    Installing MacFUSE (you can probably ignore the part about sshfs because you don’t need it):

    http://www.crabappleforest.com/2008/05/your-remote-server-as-if-it-were-a-local-drive-installing-macfuse-and-sshfs/

    Installing MacFusion:

    http://www.crabappleforest.com/2008/05/macfusion-a-better-gui-for-macfuse-and-sshfs/

  12. Conrad on May 3rd, 2008 11:07 pm

    Coupon has expired and is now only $10 off. A good MacFUSE bundled interface would be nice, and at $9, I’d have payed for it. For $19 it’s a bit too expensive for me.

  13. Brian on May 8th, 2008 3:55 pm

    Beyond MacFusion, which is laden with bugs and has connection issues, ExpanDrive will connect seamlessly, and handles all network hiccups inherent to the in-development MacFUSE quite beautifully.

    I purchased ExpanDrive at full price for $29 after using out the trial, and have no qualms what-so-ever in my purchase!

  14. 3608dadfac91 on May 13th, 2008 7:20 pm

    3608dadfac91…

    3608dadfac91f88760c2…

  15. ExpanDrive 1.3: The Most Awesome ExpanDrive Ever | MacApper on October 20th, 2008 12:50 pm

    [...] couple months ago, I reviewed ExpanDrive, the application that gave a seamless way to treat SFTP/SSH drives like real hard [...]

  16. MacMacken on January 22nd, 2009 8:49 pm

    The price of ExpanDrive is now USD 39.95. That’s quite expensive, isn’t it?

  17. Elmak on January 22nd, 2009 9:43 pm

    Guess it went up. I’d gladly spend $60 on ExpanDrive for how I use it in my business. I think the pricepoint at $30 was more on the money though- a solid meeting point between Consumer and Consumer-Professional.

  18. Tony Webster on August 20th, 2009 4:27 pm

    Their Facebook coupon is now only $1 off. What a joke. Love the software, but $39.95, really?

    ExpanDrive FAIL.

  19. Sam on August 28th, 2009 3:02 am

    ExpanDrive started out at what, $9 via Facebook with a 70% discount.

    Now they’re $39.95 and offer a measly 2.5% discount via Facebook.

    Sure, having a cheap app at the start is a great way to get good reviews but jacking the price up by a factor of 4x afterwards is more than a little bit cheeky.

    I’ve read contradicting reports about the performance enhancements – from “no improvement over MacFUSE” to “night and day”. Just a pity MacFusion appears to be unmaintained.

    Sam

  20. Jay on February 8th, 2010 5:27 am

    Love the app, doubtful I’ll buy it at $40. That’s way expensive.

  21. Justin Parker on February 17th, 2010 6:38 pm

    Awesome app. Even though my IDE manages remote connections, I prefer this. If you’re not on linux where ssh is a mount away, this app will save you $40 in time spent juggling SFTP or SCP sessions.

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