File Sharing over the Internet (NetBIOS like)

Posted on 2003-11-07
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2010-04-13
I'm trying to share a simple folder over the Internet.
I have Windows 2000 machines, and I want to have access to text files in the folder and share Excel workbooks in real time (in Excel click Tools->Share Workbook). I can currently do it over the LAN with NetBIOS, but cannot do it over the Internet.

NetBIOS would have probably been the perfect solution for me.
However, I found out that my cable provider completely blocks ports 137-139 (NetBIOS). So even my best effors to open NetBIOS will be wasted.  (I already tried).  But then maybe it's a good thing (because of NetBIOS security issues).

So, I am looking for a different solution.  And hopefully simple and cheap.
I searched for VPN, RRAS and other things, however I don't see a simple clear way to share the folder(s).  I was unable to locate VPN or RRAS software either.  Also, I'm not exactly sure if VPN and RRAS will do what I want to do.  

I don't have RRAS (unless I'm looking in the wrong places in Win2K)
I don't want "remote control" software, since I don't want to "be" at the remote computer, but just use its folder.

I was thinking of maybe setting up a distributed file sharing system that automatically updates the updated files.  But no.  It's too advanced/complex for my task.  It will also take more resources by unneeded replication.  I'd rather have a single folder location if possible, and have other computers (clients) access it across the Net.

So, summary:
I am looking for something that will give me "NetBIOS"-like file sharing.  Or NetBIOS-like service that runs on a different port.
FTP client/server will not work for me, because it's lacking a specific feature:  I can't open a file directly from the remote FTP server, and save it directly to the remote FTP server.  If there is an FTP client/server that allows me to do that, then it may be a solution for me.

do you know if there's any software or methods to share a folder like that ?

Question by:dennismv
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Expert Comment

ID: 9704355
well, since what you are looking to do isn't secure at all anyway.......

you could register a domain name and then name your computer in that naming scheme with a fixed ip, then create dns records (A and CNAME) that point to that IP and computer name. then people should be able to look at shares on your computer using the DNS name.........the downside is I give your computer about 5 minutes before it gets hacked to pieces...... :)

Have you thought about setting up a terminal server and having people log into it to access the excel file?
LVL 24

Expert Comment

ID: 9704415
LVL 24

Expert Comment

ID: 9704437
some of the other tools might be sharity, samba and swat.
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Author Comment

ID: 9704771
Setting up my own A and CNAME seems to be complicated, yet is an option.  Are you sure I'll be able to see the shares ?  Ports 137-139 are completely blocked by my cable provider.  Will these shares be using ports other than the ones NetBIOS uses ?  
Also, will it get hacked into pieces even if I set up a password of utter and immense complexity ?  How's that ?
Thinking further though ... I don't know if it's possible to set it up in conjunction with my cable and my LAN, as I use NAT connection sharing for the cable LAN.  It may or may not be a problem.  But then I really don't want to tinker with things for days, I'd rather go for something simple, even if it's not as secure.  It seems to be such a simple thing conceptually, there must be some software already doing that.  I'd pay a reasonable amount for one if there is one.

LANster seems to be for the local LAN only.  I'm looking for the WAN type sharing.

sharity, samba seems to be for *nix systems, haven't found it for Windows.
I haven't located swat yet, but it may be also for *nix.  I'm looking for Win2K to Win2K type connection.
LVL 24

Expert Comment

ID: 9704896
Netbios may not work properly over NAT.

Colligo Workgroup Edition

also check this article.
there is one more product called baseline winpop up. i do not know if this suites u,
LVL 14

Accepted Solution

spiderfix earned 750 total points
ID: 9705116
Freeware, simple and it works. Clients use their browser to access
your computer.

LVL 14

Expert Comment

ID: 9711252
>>So, summary:
I am looking for something that will give me "NetBIOS"-like file sharing.  Or NetBIOS-like service that runs on a different port.<<

So did you even try WWW File Share? I doubt it, if you did you would see
it provides you with exactly what you asked for...you become a WWW
file server on port 80 (or whatever WWW port you want to use).

If you want to revert back to 250 points then do so but going for a question delete is a bit outside the realm of reality here. You got exactly
what you asked for.

>>Nobody's answer resolved my problem much at all<<
Care to expand on your use of the word "much"?

Author Comment

ID: 9716331
>Netbios may not work properly over NAT.
I'm going to use a computer that's directly connected to the Internet, so NAT should not be a problem there.

>Colligo Workgroup Edition
That was an interesting experience trying that software.  It seems Colligo is really pushing for something.  (at least a new word in the dictionary --colligo)  However, I couldn't do what I wanted to do.  It does share files, but I can't open them and save them directly to the remote host.

>baseline winpop up
It seems to do things on LAN only, not WAN, and is more of a messaging system.

Great software, nice interface, great idea.  I liked it for its purpose.  
However, it goes a step below than FTP.  And FTP is a step below than what I want.  

By steps I mean this:
WFShome allows you to download files, but not upload them or alter them.  You cannot save files directly to the remote server.
FTP allows you a bit more -- alter and upload/download files.  But it doesn't let you save directly to the remote server.
NetBIOS allows you to save files directly to the remote host. (for my purposes it's same thing as sharing files in real time, i.e. Excel files)

I can't use NetBIOS, since cable blocks it.  And I'm looking for NetBIOS like sharing without using NetBIOS.


revert to 250 points is fine.

Author Comment

ID: 9720797
I found something that probably matched my needs the closest.  However, it still doesn't do what I want to do.
WebDrive at http://www.webdrive.com/
It's like FTP, but you can edit files and save them directly to the remote server.
However, it still doesn't do the Excel Sharing.  Perhaps Excel depends on a more developed file system with more advanced notification system.  i.e. it works with NetBIOS.
And it requires the use of an FTP server.  But that's ok, since I can install one on one of my computers.  I've noticed that WebDrive also works with WebDAV and FP extensions.  I don't know if those have better notification system, which will allow me to share Excel files though.



Author Comment

ID: 10050088
Thanks for all who helped.  While ultimately I didn't get the answer I was looking for, I appreciate the comments.

As I said before, WebDrive at http://www.webdrive.com/ fits closest to my needs.  It even attempts to share Excel Files.  However it can't do it like NetBIOS did it -- it doesn't ever update your Excel files, if it was updated by someone else.  NetBIOS does update it upon saving the file every time.

Author Comment

ID: 10050095
Oh ya, WWW File Share was the cutest program for its purpose, which was to let you share files by turning your computer into a mini-web server without all the hassles.  (It wouldn't let you modify files though, or share them in real time.)

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