Cloud drive (mounted, no local copy)

I would like to have a cloud-based drive that I can mount like an external drive. I need to use it to sync folders that are too large to have a local copy on my laptop.
I know about selective sync, and smart sync for dropbox, but they won’t do the job.
Ideally, something like DriveHQ, but not crazy expensive. (By crazy expensive, I mean $100/yr for 11GB.)
A terabyte would be nice, but I could probably live with 500GB.

I suppose some sort of personal cloud would work, as long as it backed up to backblaze. That’s kind of the idea, to have local copies where I want them, and a cloud copy as well. The cloud drive serves as a conduit, so to speak.

I own ChronoSync and Arq v5. My iMac Pro stays on all the time (at the moment) so I can connect with Screens Connect.

Suggestions appreciated.


But not having a local copy isn’t going to work with Backblaze.

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What about a small Synology?

You can adjust the disk size
to whatever you need and can
sync OR backup to various
cloud services with the included


Dropbox wil do all that for you.

Part of the data I need to sync is on an external SSD I hang on my laptop, and part on a Windows share at the lab. I need access on my laptop, without having a copy on the internal drive.

I’m confused. You want to mount the external SSD and the Windows share, then sync them with a cloud drive without keeping a local copy - is that correct? If that’s the case I’d use Chronosync for the syncing and Expandrive to mount your cloud drive of choice.

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Does CloudMounter possibly fit your thinking? Also available on SetApp, and as a Windows client in addition to macOS.

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mountain duck may be what you’re looking for.

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I have actually recently started using cloudmounter to allow me to use my google drive space as quasi remote NAS to offload some older files off my SSD. The best bit is that it allows you to encrypt the volume; so I can keep my personal stuff in drive without getting that uneasy feeling about google and their prying eyes. I actually encrypt only one folder in drive so I can still use drive for google docs I need to collaborate on. So far the app, encryption and speeds have been pretty flawless. The fact that the app is actually free if you use Drive/Dropbox or Onedrive coupled with googles pricing make it a fairly inexpensive solution.

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I appreciate all the suggestions!

I’ve tried ExpanDrive, and it works with Dropbox (as advertised). Pretty cool.
Cloud Mounter has encryption though, which is really cool. I’ll DL and give it a try too.
Thinking about the Synology, as I have been off and on for a while.

It’s kind of a weird use case, and I’m a bit confused myself, @dfay.

It’s essentially all to work around the 512GB SSD in my laptop. (Switched to a 1T from OWC, but got kernel panics so reverted.)

Autosyncing is slurping up my (1T) bandwidth at home, so this “on demand” setup will be better for that. As I process my data, I don’t want gigs of intermediate files syncing to a cloud service. Waiting for the final product is fine.

Thanks again.

I’ll probably go with ExpanDrive.
CloudMounter jumped in and started encrypting files and file names. Of course I set the options, but a little more warning would have been nice. It didn’t stop when I canceled, so I rebooted. Dropbox support is rolling my account back to before the event. I think this has clenched the deal on what cloud service I’ll be using in the future. They’ve been very helpful. I’ve also learned it’s better to wait than to do things like this after a long day.

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Follow up on ExpanDrive :no_entry_sign:

ExpanDrive kind of lost its mind, and has been trying to upload the same 4 files out of 184 in its queue. It also won’t let me create a folder and name it what I like, insisting on changing the name back to untitled folder. This prevents ChronoSync from copying things into folders, saying they don’t exist.
Tech support replied to my email with instructions to clear the queue, warning that I could lose files. No reply yet about the folder issue.
The impetus for this is to create a secure sync/backup solution, so ExpanDrive isn’t going to work.


I’ve ordered a Synology. Hopefully that will be a robust solution. This has been at the back of my mind, so thanks for the suggestion @csf111. You cost me about a grand :slightly_smiling_face:

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Great choice, what model did you order?

DS918+ and 4 x 4TB drives.
I went with WD Red NAS drives, as reviews say they are supposed to be quiet and reliable.

Great choice! But I encourage you to fill all the bays and enable the dual disk reduncancy. If the unit is located far away from you or if you travel a lot I recommend to use one drive as a “hot swap”. Having dual drive redundancy isn’t only more secure but makes a rebuild of the data set faster when (not if) a drive fails.
Since most of the units that I manage are a couple of hundered miles away from me, I always use the hot swap to when one drive fails it will automaticly replace the failed drive so I don’t have to jump on a plane to replace the one drive…

RAID configuratons really don’t like to have the power cut. I strongly recommend to put a battery backup in place and use the special usb cable to connect the Synology to the UPC for power management.

If you can connect a local USB drive for back-up and use BackBlaze for cloud.

If you do all this chances that Mr. Murphy will knock on your door are very slim :wink:

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+1 == For my DS416play, about a year ago, I added a CyberPower UPS with USB connection to the UPC as @MacExpert recommends. This has had my back several times due to the frequent power outages we have. Never had any damage to the Synology due to sudden power drops or spikes.

Make sure you keep the Synology DS operating system up to date, and the apps on the server at their current levels. Be sure to enable proper firewall protections. Twice in the past 6 months I’ve had the Synology reject (block) access from hackers located in .ru domains (Russia or pretending to be Russia). There are lots of folks who sniff for Synology servers to worm into.

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I appreciate the advice everyone!
Synology has been in place a few days, and the UPS is on the way. Still lots to learn.
One challenge is the overlap in packages, e.g. Cloud Station Server and Drive Station (I think they were).
Anyway, this should last me a good long while, and help my peace of mind.


When I did service work an aerospace customer had a drive crash. They swapped in their backup platter and crashed it, then got a backup out of the safe and tried that one too. End result is they lost six months work. That has stuck with me over the years.

@MacExpert is this SHR2 or is this SHR1 and a hot swap?

SRH2 plus and hot swap.

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