Mobile FTP server while travelling


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.
Who is Participating?

[Product update] Infrastructure Analysis Tool is now available with Business Accounts.Learn More

I wear a lot of hats...

"The solutions and answers provided on Experts Exchange have been extremely helpful to me over the last few years. I wear a lot of hats - Developer, Database Administrator, Help Desk, etc., so I know a lot of things but not a lot about one thing. Experts Exchange gives me answers from people who do know a lot about one thing, in a easy to use platform." -Todd S.

xeniumAuthor Commented:
I've a "wireless to wireless adhoc network" setup on the laptop, the ipad can see it but fails to connect
Dave BaldwinFixer of ProblemsCommented:
You need a router that puts all the devices on the same network.  Here is "Virtual Router" software for Windows 7:   I have not tried it myself but it claims to do what you want.  It was recommended in this article:
xeniumAuthor Commented:
hi Dave, that's great thanks, I've tried it and seems to work a treat :-)
Powerful Yet Easy-to-Use Network Monitoring

Identify excessive bandwidth utilization or unexpected application traffic with SolarWinds Bandwidth Analyzer Pack.

xeniumAuthor Commented:
Let me just run a couple more tests and then I'll close up the question. cheers
xeniumAuthor Commented:
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
Dave BaldwinFixer of ProblemsCommented:
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.
xeniumAuthor Commented:
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?
Dave BaldwinFixer of ProblemsCommented:
No, I don't know.
xeniumAuthor Commented:
Any ideas how i could start diagnosing the issue?
Dave BaldwinFixer of ProblemsCommented:
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.
xeniumAuthor Commented:
Ok cheers. I'll try request attention
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.
Also make sure you are using WPA and not WEP.
Craig BeckCommented:
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.
Dave BaldwinFixer of ProblemsCommented:
The iDevice needs an internet connection
Do you mean it has to "phone home" or something before it will connect locally?
There are several suggestions as to how to make this work here:

The most promising suggestion is:  "check the subnet mask on your iDevice settings and set manually to, it could be acquired wrongly in DHCP to"
Craig BeckCommented:
@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 in order to get them to work.
xeniumAuthor Commented:
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?
xeniumAuthor Commented:
Thanks all for your input. I will review again later when i.m at my desk.
xeniumAuthor Commented:
Subnet mask looks ok at, 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.
xeniumAuthor Commented:
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.

Experts Exchange Solution brought to you by

Your issues matter to us.

Facing a tech roadblock? Get the help and guidance you need from experienced professionals who care. Ask your question anytime, anywhere, with no hassle.

Start your 7-day free trial
xeniumAuthor Commented:
This solution is working well, it's reliable and the transfer rates are fast.
It's more than this solution.Get answers and train to solve all your tech problems - anytime, anywhere.Try it for free Edge Out The Competitionfor your dream job with proven skills and certifications.Get started today Stand Outas the employee with proven skills.Start learning today for free Move Your Career Forwardwith certification training in the latest technologies.Start your trial today
Wireless Networking

From novice to tech pro — start learning today.