Forum Thread

Access home files/folders from anywhere

miller351 428 62 October 14, 2015 at 08:39 AM
I would like full access to files and folders on an external HD connected to my wireless router and I would like to be able to securely access those from anywhere (Not just on my home network).

Is there a way(s) to do this using a website (URL)?


I have a Asus RT-AC66U wireless router and a external 2TB HD connected to it via USB.


Thank you in advance

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#2
It would not be secure to do just a URL. Your router can be used a VPN server too, I would suggest going down that route. What devices are you looking to access the files from?

What are you looking to do exactly? There might be a cloud service that could do this more easily.
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#3
Teamviewer. Free for personal use.

Create a network drive on your home computer if its on 24-7 or get an older laptop and leave it on 24-7.

Check your router, it may already have the functionality and all you would need to do is set up port forwarding.
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#4
Teamviewer would certainly be the easiest for setup. You could also setup OpenVPN on your router and then securely remote in from your laptop. Although less secure you could do an FTP server, either at home or through a 3rd party host. Google drive and dropbox can also be used fairly easily.
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#5
Quote from LiquidRetro View Post :
It would not be secure to do just a URL. Your router can be used a VPN server too, I would suggest going down that route. What devices are you looking to access the files from?

What are you looking to do exactly? There might be a cloud service that could do this more easily.
I am an instructor in the military, and the students will need to access these files/folders on the external hard drive from any internet source. We currently use One Drive, however, since the base network is very outdated/slow, we are looking to create our own "cloud" within the schoolhouse.

The students need the capability of downloading multiple files at one time and they need the capability to upload files.

Would teamviewer work with multiple people access the HD at once and will it will if there is no computer physically connected to the router or hard drive?
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#6
Quote from miller351 View Post :
I am an instructor in the military, and the students will need to access these files/folders on the external hard drive from any internet source. We currently use One Drive, however, since the base network is very outdated/slow, we are looking to create our own "cloud" within the schoolhouse.

The students need the capability of downloading multiple files at one time and they need the capability to upload files.

Would teamviewer work with multiple people access the HD at once and will it will if there is no computer physically connected to the router or hard drive?
why not just use dropbox? Teamviewer is not exactly known for secure file and folder sharing application.
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#7
Quote from miller351 View Post :
I am an instructor in the military, and the students will need to access these files/folders on the external hard drive from any internet source. We currently use One Drive, however, since the base network is very outdated/slow, we are looking to create our own "cloud" within the schoolhouse.

The students need the capability of downloading multiple files at one time and they need the capability to upload files.

Would teamviewer work with multiple people access the HD at once and will it will if there is no computer physically connected to the router or hard drive?
Wow, glad I asked. What you were asking everyone was thinking home/personal use. Adding a military network in the equation and I would assume (and hope) that nearly everything here will be blocked. I know my state government blocks things like teamviewer, dropbox etc from their normal office building networks.

I think your only option if you want the files to be hosted on base but accessible off base is to contact your IT department and work through this with them. Many of the midrange NAS offerings from companies like QNAP can host various types of servers and this might be a good route to go if you can get approval. Personally I think an SFTP makes sense. You can have a folder everyone in the class has access to download a set of files and then each student can have an upload/submit folder they have write permission to.


Quote from xxtanisxx View Post :
why not just use dropbox? Teamviewer is not exactly known for secure file and folder sharing application.
TV won't really work for multiple people at the same time anyways and I will assume (and hope) that it's blocked by the network admins. Teamviewer is also designed as a remote access software so without a PC hooked up to the router this won't work.
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#8
Quote from LiquidRetro View Post :
Wow, glad I asked. What you were asking everyone was thinking home/personal use. Adding a military network in the equation and I would assume (and hope) that nearly everything here will be blocked. I know my state government blocks things like teamviewer, dropbox etc from their normal office building networks.

I think your only option if you want the files to be hosted on base but accessible off base is to contact your IT department and work through this with them. Many of the midrange NAS offerings from companies like QNAP can host various types of servers and this might be a good route to go if you can get approval. Personally I think an SFTP makes sense. You can have a folder everyone in the class has access to download a set of files and then each student can have an upload/submit folder they have write permission to.




TV won't really work for multiple people at the same time anyways and I will assume (and hope) that it's blocked by the network admins. Teamviewer is also designed as a remote access software so without a PC hooked up to the router this won't work.
Dropbox, I would assume, would run much like OneDrive, in which case, would not work for us here.

The "cloud" we are looking at creating, would be run over commercial network and will not be using the base network.
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#9
Teamviewer would require at the very least a secure VPN connection and it would not be free either.

Do NOT try to do this all by yourself. Get your Network Admin involved and let him or her get it done. Otherwise you could have the government on your back.
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#10
I am not doing this by myself and I am a network admin. It just, however, happens that I am not all that familiar with "cloud" options and/or ways to access files from any internet source.

This is a downward directed task, so the "government" is with me on this.

Can someone provide more options?
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#11
If you provide us with more context we may be able to give better advice. How big are the files? What is the class about?

You're a "network admin" and you can't handle using a network share of some kind or internal web server to distribute these files and seem completely ignorant policies that could get you in serious trouble if violate them?
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#13
Since this is education, I know there are systems designed specifically for the education market that facilitate this type of thing. Blackboard is a popular software suite that does this. It has the controls to distribute files and allow people to upload and submit to say turn in an assignment etc among lots of other stuff.

At the end of the day I think your going to need something more complex than the consumer ASUS router you mentioned. You might be able to use the ASUS as a VPN host (depending on class size, simultaneous logons, and amount of data being transferred) with a server (VM) behind it (Possibly SFTP). Or look at a 3rd party corporate package from someone like Box or Dropbox. There are lots of other "Private" enterprise cloud companies, but they get expensive as they usually sell you hardware. It might be overkill but we have no idea how many users/data your servicing here. Spiceworks might have a few good ideas if you mention what your actually trying to do (Mention it's military education though) and or talk to some of your peers at other locations and see how they are handling this directive.
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#14
If it's by govt, have you considered using a server with secure authentication process?
You should be able to simply set up a VPN connection as the HD is connected to your router, but giving out usernames/passwords to so many users may not be the best. You'd have to set permissions so they cannot edit/modify network.

came back to read up on this again.
If you're network admin, you should not have this many issues.
You should be extremely familiar w/ security of files and network security.
I'm sure you know that just because your students are military, doesn't mean they like to do their own work also (copy other's work)
For ones stating use Teamviewer, would you trust your PC/network to students?
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Last edited by aznboicn October 19, 2015 at 04:12 AM
#15
Owncloud can run on a router, although only if you're using third party firmware. I'm also not sure how appropriate the performance would be for a classroom of students.
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