There are a few acronyms which scare many of my fellow Mac users. FTP. sFTP. SSH. Essentially, these are file transfer and control protocols for the internet. To upload a file to a web site, a user must have an FTP utility; preferably a secure FTP utility. SSH is another protocol which can use the Mac’s terminal to log on to a remote computer. How many Mac users don’t use such tools because they’re foreign and complex? What Mac users really want is security and ease-of-use. Two words: ExpanDrive.
Alright, it’s only one word made of two words. Expand and Drive, as in hard drive. As in make a remote computer connection work as if it’s part of your Mac already. That’s what ExpanDrive does.
Despite the inherent scariness for many Mac users when it comes to remote connections, we actually do it all the time. Macs in the home are easily connected using Bonjour.
Shouldn’t connecting to remote web sites or remote servers be just as easy as connecting your Mac to another Mac? That’s what ExpanDrive attempts to do. And succeeds.
For example, when you plug in an external FireWire or USB hard drive, the drive’s icon shows up on your Mac’s Desktop, and in the Finder. Easy, right? Then, all you need to do is drag and drop files back and forth.
ExpanDrive acts just like a USB drive plugged into your Mac. Open, edit, and save files to remote computers from within your favorite programs—even when they are on a server half a world away. ExpanDrive enhances every single application on your computer by transparently connecting it to remote data.
See how easy that is?
Install ExpandDrive with a double-click and drag and drop. It’s almost zero configuration.
Our client is dead simple—there is nothing to install or configure on the server. No complicated instructions. No administrative hassles. Just use your existing login credentials to securely access your remote files.
Ah, yes, you have to use your remote connection’s login ID and password, but that’s it. ExpanDrive saves the information and makes the next connection easy and fast.
My Mac is loaded with remote connection utilities, including an enhanced version of Terminal, Panic’s great Transmit, CyberDuck for free FTP, YummyFTP for fast FTP, and a couple of others.
ExpanDrive becomes a good, but not quite complete, replacement for many of those utilities and their endless list of configurations.
With ExpanDrive, you can securely access any remote file server directly from Finder, or even the terminal. No need to open a separate transfer client just for file transfer. ExpanDrive extends the way all applications on your Mac can access data.
This is an important point. With a typical FTP utility you’re stuck using it to move files to a remote server or back again. It’s a one trick pony. ExpanDrive works inside your Mac’s Finder so it’s available as a remote connection in any of your basic Mac applications and utilities.
In other words, open a Word document on your Mac, and save it to a remote server, securely, without using another utility. Sweet.
ExpanDrive speaks a number of the basic file transfer and connection protocols you’ll need to move files securely and quickly (usually mutually exclusive). FTP, the basic file transfer protocol of the internet, but it’s on inherently secure.
sFTP is a secure version of FTP. There’s also SSH connectivity, with or without using your Mac’s inherently scary Terminal utility. ExpanDrive also connects to Amazon S3 server accounts (a feature in Panic, but not in YummyFTP).
Instead of worrying about remote connections and which utility, ExpanDrive acts like a drive attached to your Mac. It’s in the Finder so you can drag and drop files back and forth. It’s in the Finder so it works with most of your Mac application’s Open and Save dialog boxes.
Even better, there’s not much else to configure or remember other than your login ID’s and passwords for the remote connection. ExpanDrive is highly recommended.