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Hard Drive accessible over the internet (off the local network)

My customer (not a business) wants to access a 250-300 GB HD connected to his router or to a Windows PC on his local network from his other homes (ie. across the internet).

How can he do this? Is there a **network** external HD that he can attach to his router to do this? Or can he do file sharing acroos the internet with an external HD connected to one of his home PCs (that are all connected to the main home router)?

If it is do-able, please provide links to HD's that will do it?

Avatar of SysExpert
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You can share access to the PC, and give remote control access via PC anywhere.

On the roter, he will need to set up port forwarind on te computer with th extra drive. It can be anything that Windows recognizes, Internal , USB etc.

I hope this helps !
This is free ->

all he has to do is share that HD on his home PC and follow the directions when intalling the software, which can be any internal/external HD
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How about free

If you go under Control Panel>Add Remove Programs> Windows Component > Internet Information Services> FTP services.  You can install FTP, forward the FTP port (21) to that PC on the router.


pay some money and get this


Maybe install Redhat Fedora Core 5 (or the latest when reading this note) which is free from Redhat, on the pc with the hard drive in it and setup nfs (Network File Sharing).  On the remote end you would either need another Fedora box running NFS and Samba or a client like WRQ (reflection nfs client) for Windows.
Avatar of mgross333


THANKS to all Experts for replying, However we are not there yet....

To SysExpert, I do not understand what you are saying. Please provide more details.

To pgm554, GoToMyPC will allow him to Read/Write his remote files. What about copy to his remote PC? The features for GoTOMyPC say "Move files and folders from one PC to another..." Pray tell HOW??? I mean Windows File sharing does NOT work across the internet to my knowledge so HOW?  Also can he open a file on the home PC with MS Word and execute Save As to his remote PC??? (Really the same question as about copying).

To Mazarrat, Please read my questions to pgm554 above and answer the same questions about LogMeIn. The features for LogMeIn say "Move files quickly between PCs". Again HOW??? Also it appears that LogMeIn Free only offers remote desktop capabilities and I must use LogMeINPro (not free) to get file copying, right ?? Also you say he has to share the HD on his home PC, WHY? Again Windows file sharing does not work across the internet so what difference does it make if he shares the external HD?

Is the answer that GoToMyPC and LogMeInPro both use FTP to copy files but the interface makes it **LOOK** like Windows File sharing?? Is that it??

To ECNSSMT, On my Windows XP Home SP2 PC, Control Panel>Add Remove Programs> Windows Component > Internet Information Services> FTP services does NOT exist. ie. Add/Remove Windows Components does NOT list  Internet Information Services or FTP as installable options/programs. They do list "Other Network File and Print Services". Is that the one you mean?

Regarding your first CompUSA link/product, NOW WE ARE TALKING !!! Except for a few things. I have researched a number of CompUSA HD enclosures (for an unrelated purpose) and User reviews consistently complain about over-heating problems. That the case is aluminum HARDLY solves the problem. WHAT IS NEEDED IS A FAN and they refuse to supply one because it would raise the price. (The lowest price HD enclosure that CompUSA supplies a fan in is around $140).

Also Note the following user reviews at that link.
Amos: Cons...runs hot
Network Admin  "..configure the ftp/smb folder and network permissons .." AND "..configure your router to port forward the ftp servers ip address.."
(reviews 5-7) JensFlex "I spent 3 evenings trying to make this work with my internet connection. With my setup, a Linksys gateway/router and Windows Me, I had to choose, do I want access to the drive or do I want to surf the web."

Remember, I said EASY. Those user reviews do not sound EASY to me.

Having said ALL that, my further question is: Do you need CuteFTP or similar FTP utility at the remove location to EASILY access the HD on the Home PC with this solution. I mean to access it EASILY, ie. a nice interface, customer does not have to be PC-Savyy to use it that kind of thing. ???

Regarding the D-link Product, I would have more confidence in D-link than CompUSA about the over-heating problem BUT it is $98 (vs. $55 for the CompUSA product) and it has a number of features that my customer does not need like it being a wireless access point and being useable for local network file sharing (again not needed here). It is the FTP part that is needed and I suspect the higher price is for these un-needed features. But something in the phone call with the customer suggested that he is quite wealthy and he may not care.

Also there are NO user reviews of this product. I suspect the set-up again for FTP use is NOT easy. On the other hand that is NOT a deal-breaker here if it is the best overall solution. It is a disadvantage but does not make it out of the question.

OVERALL SUMMARY: Although ECNSSMT's answer more DIRECTLY answered my question, It sounds to me like GoTOMYPC or LogMeIn is a far **EASIER** solution (IF file copying to the remote PC does really work, please reply on this). i,.e Connect a standard external 250-300 GB HD (i.e connect the usb cable, wait 30 seconds till the little pop-ups appear and the install is done!!), then install GoTOMYPC or LogMeIn and we are done.

I look forward to your replies/comments on the above.

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GoTOMYPC or LogMeIn may wind up being the 'easier' service to use.  (I haven't used them myself, the closest thing I've used to that is WebEx)

As for the FTP feature, yes FTP service should have been in the are that I described.  I've previously check on My WinXP Pro before making that statement , the URL was the overall explaination in regards to that.  I can only suppose now that XP home is a little more crippled than I previous thought.  In lieu of that CuteFTP may be an option pending the definition of easy.

The SOHO FTP servers in general run at least $100 and the CompUSA fanless FTP server was interesting and more than cost effective.  I suppose youcan take the review of the person you stated and not get that product or get a fan or cooling device in addition to that unit.  Specifically your choice there.

As for the D-Link, that was also an inexpensive choice, I thought the wireless would be a plus, but you are viewing it as a negative.

Once you've cleared these products; Netgear has a NAS that goes for $100 also.  And from there you basically run the gambit up to the small business NAS which gets considerably more expensive.

Most of these items do take some know-how to install, but usually with the instructions they provide it may be hard for a regular user to figure out, but usually a tech can make quick work of it.

If you are planning to have the user do most of this including the setup process, then using a remote access app's side feature may be favorable as they are better geared towards the general population.  (at least that's what I see in regards to WebEx, I can only assume that its similiar with GoTOMYPC or LogMeIn)

oh, I am assuming that with WebEx (and REALLY assuming with GoTOMYPC or LogMeIn) that there is someone on both sides to start the sessions, or at least with WebEx, its going to be a LONGGG session there.

I will be doing the setup BUT I suspect the ability to see his Home PC Desktop and do anything (not just access the external HD) may be worth the extra cost of GoTOMYPC or LogMeIn.

I have to check the cost of GoTOMYPC or LogMeIn Now.

My customer decided he could not afford to do this. However what I proposed (as the monthly fees for GoToMyPC (high) and LogMeIn (lower) OVER TIME would add up to a lot of $$ as he has **FOUR** clients involved) ended up being:

Samsung 300 GB IDE HD for $96 with shipping at
Triton TRI-NSS001 NAS enclosure (has a fan) for $86 with shipping at (Good user reviews) and it can be used as a FTP server per its documention.
SmartFtp client (Unlicensed version, free except to business's) at and the SW manufacturer's site .

Then I follow SysExpert's advice above to configure it with the router as a FTP server.