When Amazon launched the new unlimited cloud drive, I noted that perhaps the worst part of the new service is the lack of a decent desktop client for accessing the storage. The client Amazon has released, for lack of better word, sucks. Who knows perhaps that was Amazon’s plan all along, not wanting to take on Dropbox, Google Drive and others head on, though I find that hard to believe. Amazon is not one to back down from a fight. It did mean that people wanting to use their unlimited cloud drive storage had to wait for a decent desktop client to either be released by Amazon or hope that a third party app would be released that filled the void.
Thankfully Amazon Cloud Drive Unlimited users no longer have to wait. ExpanDrive, the desktop application that lets you mount several cloud storage services like Google Drive, Dropbox, Box, OneDrive, SFTP and Amazon S3 as a local drive now also lets you mount Amazon Cloud Drive as a local drive drive. With ExpanDrive you can now mount your Amazon Cloud Drive as a local drive, copy files to it, backup file to it and even open remote files and play them as if they were local. To use ExpanDrive as your Amazon Cloud Drive client there are two steps you need to take.
Step 1: Sign up for Amazon Cloud Drive
If you don’t already have and Amazon Cloud Drive account you will need to create one. If you already have an Amazon account you will simply have to login. Unfortunately Amazon Cloud Drive Unlimited is not available in all countries, as of this writing it was only available in the United States, but this hopefully will change in the future. If you are in the US though you should have no problems. You can get a free trial before you have to start paying.
Step 2: Download and Install ExpanDrive
ExpanDrive offers a free 7 day trial which is enough to get you started testing it with Amazon Cloud Drive. After the trial a full version starts at $49.95. You can also use it with Google Drive, Dropbox, Box, OneDrive, SFTP and even a WebDav server. The application runs on Windows or Mac so the majority of computer users will be able to use it. Once you have the application installed you will need to setup the connection to your Amazon Cloud Drive account. ExpanDrive will walk you through the setup and it is easy to do. Once that is done you will have your Amazon Cloud Drive available to you on your computer. You can browse, copy/move files and do pretty much everything you would if it was a regular drive attached to your computer.
Overall ExpanDrive is a very well done piece of software and the addition of Amazon Cloud Drive certainly makes it worth purchasing if you want a decent desktop client to manage your files with. The fact that you can make a one time purchase of ExpanDrive makes it a little easier on the wallet then you only need to continue to pay for your Amazon Cloud Drive account. Using ExpanDrive with Amazon Cloud Drive also opens up the possibility of using all of the unlimited space for other things such as encrypted backup.
In my testing of ExpanDrive with a trial Amazon Cloud Drive account I had no problems adding and removing files, playing uploaded files through the Explorer interface and I was even able to get COMODO Free Backup to successfully backup to the drive as well as having the Windows 8 File History turned on and have it save to the Amazon Cloud Drive. I would not recommend using File History because of the lack on encryption but it did work.