If you use ssh, or similar to log into a web server it can after a while get slightly annoying with the text only interface. Although you can install various apps and packages to make it look more pretty, sometimes you just need a good GUI, especially if you are a new user and not particularly confident with the terminal interface. I have been wanting to review this application for ages, but haven’t had the chance since I didn’t have a remote server to test it with.
This program is called ExpanDrive. It is a remote SFTP program that is designed to login into your server, display your files and let you use it as a normal hard drive or disk. It is really simple to use and create for any one that needs this sort of program.
Setup is really simple. Once as you have launched the program all you have to do is enter you details. Server, is you IP address or host name. Username is the user name you want to use to login. Password is used if you have set up SSH to use a password. Otherwise you leave it blank and it will pick it up from your known hosts in you SSH settings. Drive Name is the name you want to call it in in the Finder Bar. Remote Path is used to define where ExpanDrive will start from. If you leave it blank it will open the home folder, you can’t navigate any higher. If you type in a forward slash (/) it will open it up in the root folder. Likewise you can change it to any location you want.
Once as you have set it up correctly and it has logged in correctly the drive will appear in your sidebar. It works exactly like a normal harddrive, except it lags a bit when opening folder, which is normal since it has to pull it off a server.
You can do quite a lot of stuff with it. Open, rename, create and save files. The only thing you can’t do with this is change the file permissions, you will still have to use chmod. Otherwise it works great. There are some limitations. For example you can’t edit in secure folders where you would have to use sudo. The only niggle I have with this program is that it doesn’t create a dock icon so you can Command(Alt)+Tab into it, you have to either use expose, or the item from the menu bar.
Tell me what you think about this application. It is priced at $29 which isn’t to bad. May be slightly overpriced for its features, but it is always great to support and upcoming publisher. Hopefully a MacUpdate promotion will appear as I need to to buy it and save some money.