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Mobile FTP server while travelling

Posted on 2014-11-30
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Last Modified: 2015-03-16
hi,

While travelling with multiple devices (windows 7 laptop, ipad, android phone), I'd like to be able to access an FTP server on my laptop, without being connected to the internet, ie directly between my laptop and ipad or phone.

Can anyone walk me through the steps. I have an FTP server setup already, and it works when I'm at home online, but when travelling offline i think i need to setup some kind of network. I've fiddled about but inevitably this is fishing in the dark.

Any help much appreciated.
Thanks
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Question by:xenium
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25 Comments
 

Author Comment

by:xenium
ID: 40473010
I've a "wireless to wireless adhoc network" setup on the laptop, the ipad can see it but fails to connect
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Expert Comment

by:Dave Baldwin
ID: 40473102
You need a router that puts all the devices on the same network.  Here is "Virtual Router" software for Windows 7: http://virtualrouter.codeplex.com/   I have not tried it myself but it claims to do what you want.  It was recommended in this article: http://www.labnol.org/software/wireless-network-without-router/11494/
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Author Comment

by:xenium
ID: 40473463
hi Dave, that's great thanks, I've tried it and seems to work a treat :-)
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Author Comment

by:xenium
ID: 40473467
Let me just run a couple more tests and then I'll close up the question. cheers
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Author Comment

by:xenium
ID: 40473537
I spoke too soon, it worked when I was also online. But if i start the virtual server when not online, the network is visible over wifi but i get an error on the ipad "unable to connect", same as if i try to connect to windows adhoc network. Any ideas?

thanks again
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Expert Comment

by:Dave Baldwin
ID: 40474102
Your virtual WiFi server/router should have it's own SSID and passkey and your devices should be connecting to that when your regular network is not available.
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Author Comment

by:xenium
ID: 40474170
Yes the virtual server/router has it's own SSID and passkey, but the ipad is only connecting to it when there is also an internet connection on the windows laptop. Any reason why this could be?
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Expert Comment

by:Dave Baldwin
ID: 40474200
No, I don't know.
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Author Comment

by:xenium
ID: 40476366
Any ideas how i could start diagnosing the issue?
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LVL 82

Expert Comment

by:Dave Baldwin
ID: 40476823
I don't have an iThing so I don't know.  Other than checking to see if your iPad is trying to connect to the correct network each time.  You can click on "Request Attention" above to get some others to look at your question.
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Author Comment

by:xenium
ID: 40483768
Ok cheers. I'll try request attention
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Author Comment

by:xenium
ID: 40484761
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LVL 53

Expert Comment

by:strung
ID: 40484873
If the iPad is giving you a cannot  connect error, that may mean the password is wrong. Go into the iPad preferences and tell it to forget the network, then reconnect and it should ask you for a password.
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Expert Comment

by:strung
ID: 40484874
Also make sure you are using WPA and not WEP.
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Expert Comment

by:Craig Beck
ID: 40484898
The iDevice needs an internet connection - that's just how it's coded.  You could go about installing a DNS server, web-server, etc to get it to work, but it's a bit of a faff.
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Expert Comment

by:Dave Baldwin
ID: 40484948
The iDevice needs an internet connection
Do you mean it has to "phone home" or something before it will connect locally?
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Expert Comment

by:strung
ID: 40484961
There are several suggestions as to how to make this work here:

https://discussions.apple.com/thread/4327536?start=45&tstart=0

The most promising suggestion is:  "check the subnet mask on your iDevice settings and set manually to 255.255.255.0, it could be acquired wrongly in DHCP to 255.255.0.0"
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Expert Comment

by:strung
ID: 40484963
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Expert Comment

by:Craig Beck
ID: 40484974
@Dave - yes it would appear so.  I install captive-portal setups a lot and sometimes iDevices don't connect to the network if internet access isn't available before authentication.  This sounds silly, I know, but we have to allow access to a whole host of URLs or IP addresses sometimes (particularly 17.149.160.87) in order to get them to work.
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Author Comment

by:xenium
ID: 40489523
The password is correct.

Moreover i notice the performance (speed) of the virtual router varies with the quality of the internet connection, even it i.m only doing local file transfers. So it seems the virtual router suggestion made at the start of this thread is a no-go, i need an offline solution.

Reluctant to fiddle with settings except as last resort, surely there.s a bit of software that can handle this automatically?
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Author Comment

by:xenium
ID: 40489527
Thanks all for your input. I will review again later when i.m at my desk.
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Author Comment

by:xenium
ID: 40491694
Subnet mask looks ok at 255.255.255.0, but i will monitor this going forward.

Seems to be working at the moment. I will try to replicate the issue again, though it's tricky as i'm on the move and conditions vary with location.

At the moment i have internet available at the hotel i'm staying at, and even if i disconnect i'm able to create a local network, which i was not able to do at my last location.
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Accepted Solution

by:
xenium earned 0 total points
ID: 40512279
ES file explorer on Android is working well as an FTP server without any internet. Slight fiddle needed though, open the app without wifi or hotspot, then turn on hotspot from outside the app, then turn on the ftp server from inside the app. Hey presto.

Would be great to have windows, or even apple, do this too, but i.m giving up for now.

Thanks all for your help.
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Author Closing Comment

by:xenium
ID: 40667495
This solution is working well, it's reliable and the transfer rates are fast.
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