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Internet, Networking, and Wireless Discussion of networking, internet, and wireless including Apple's Airport products.

Filesharing through internet?


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nukemm

 
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Is it possible to share files over the internet, ie. opening a sharing folder on my Mac and having my brother access it via the internet? If so, does anyone have any clue how? I'm stumped.


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sshrago

 
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If the goal is direct file sharing then a couple of ideas could be:

1. Set up a local webserver, and create links to the local file in an html page.

Pros: pretty easy to do (I think); familar download interface
Cons: not exactly secure (especially for sensitive files); doesn't automatically update with new files (without some clever scripting)

2. Set up a bittorrent tracker (Azureus makes this easy) and share the files using Bittorrent

Pros: fast; good for secure/direct transfer and sharing of files
Cons: takes a little time to set up; not really a viable solution if you are constantly updating the contents of the shared folder

3. Use an online file sharing service (there are loads to choose from) e.g. http://www.allpeers.com/

Pros: easy, non-OS specific
Cons: may not be as quick or direct as either of the two solutions

4. VPN connection e.g. Hamachi

Pros: Hamachi rocks for creating a LAN over the 'net; computers show up as members of the local network
Cons: not particularly straightforward to setup; not sure how Samba (windows filesharing on Mac) will work on it.

Anyhoo, have a go!

Good luck,

Steven
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Jem

 
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Slightly simpler than setting up a web server would be to just set up an ftp server. The easiest way I know of doing that is to use PureFTPd Manager (http://jeanmatthieu.free.fr/pureftpd/).

I use it from time to time to transfer files and it works easily - just create a user account and create links to the folders you want to share in the /Users/ftp/VirtualUsers folders.

The only thing to watch for is that lots of ISPs allocate you Dynamic IP Address - that means your IP address (e.g. 101.221.32.25) can change over time. If your Mac ftp server changes address then the client won't be able to find the server.

However, there are DNS services (e.g. www.dyndns.com) that allow you to register a domain name for your IP address (for free!) and this service can be automatically updated by some routers or by your Mac so as it always points at the correct IP address.

I tried setting up a few of the file share services but the free versions always had some kind of bandwidth limitation (of course, whaddya want for nothing?) and as I was trying to transfer 600+MB of files this just didn't do the job. The great thing about setting up the ftp server is you dictate the rules

Hope this is of some help!
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nukemm

 
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Thanks for the replies from both of you. When I get home tomorrow I'll give the Hamachi and FTP server a try. If all else fails, I'm sure I could set up an FTP server on my XP box as well, and access those files via the network from my Mac.


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