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soulbarn
03-08-2006, 10:12 AM
I would like to access my external hard drive (which is a networked drive, directly connected to my router) from the internet when I am on the road.

What is the simplest secure way to do this? I have thought about FTP and DynDNS but I have yet to find a good tutorial for a novice that actually makes this work for me. Is there a simpler way (I'd probably be accessing it from both my own mac laptop, as well as other machines - PCs, unfortunately.)

thanks,

dan

AHunter3
03-08-2006, 10:41 AM
Access to copy files to/from the external hard drive: FTP (lots of free and shareware apps, very easy to set up on the server end), SFTP (more secure variation), AFP (= standard Mac file sharing, mount remote volume on your Desktop / use directly in Finder), Timbuktu (option of either remotely controlling remote machine or copying file back to your road machine), and Apple Remote Access (Apple's alternative to Timbuktu). For AFP and FTP, you'll need to connect as an administrative user to avoid being restricted to your own Users folder which won't of course include the external drive.

Access to running apps that are on external hard drive: AFP again (will run them locally on your road computer's CPU/RAM), Timbuktu or Apple Remote Access again (will run them remotely on your regular computer's CPU/RAM and show you the video and receive your keystrokes & mouse actions), and VNC (free solution similar to Timbuktu and ARA w/o file-copying tool) and, for X11 apps and terminal-based apps only, ssh -X (starts a remote X11 session, apps run on regular computer's CPU/RAM but as a separate and unique session, i.e., it runs in parallel to whatever that machine is doing locally back at the office or back at home or wherever your external-drive computer is).

If your road machine is a PC, you can scratch Apple Remote Access, AFP, and I'm not entirely sure about ssh -X (although there's probably a Windows client out there somewhere); FTP, VNC, and Timbuktu are all possibilities. You may not have the option of installing it on "other machines" if they aren't yours, though, and — astonishingly enough — I don't think Windows even has built-in FTP client support. In a pinch, you can enter an FTP URL in the address bar of Internet Explorer, but that would be read-only FTP access (download, no upload or otherwise modifying what's on the external drive; navigation leaves a lot to be desired, a web browser makes for a lousy FTP client).

The most versatile and effective solution is Timbuktu. Again you'd have to consider the install-on-other-folks-PC issue, if these "other machines" are not your own to install things on, but if that's not an issue TB2 gives you the most effective, secure, and speedy full-GUI remote control + file copying / directory browsing control that's out there.

soulbarn
03-08-2006, 10:46 AM
Thanks - any recommendations or references to tutorials on a simple FTP setup...pretty much all I want to do is access the hard drive, and I imagine I can carry my own FTP client on a windows memory stick....

- dan

Raven
03-08-2006, 10:55 AM
Personnaly I'd go either for AFP or scp (associated to ssh) on Mac as they are the more secure ones out of the box. SFTP needs more knowledge as you'd need to setup an FTP server setup to connect only over sftp connections (standard FTP is realy not secure). Or maybe a DaV using https may be nice.

— I don't think Windows even has built-in FTP client support. In a pinch, you can enter an FTP URL in the address bar of Internet Explorer, but that would be read-only FTP access (download, no upload or otherwise modifying what's on the external drive; navigation leaves a lot to be desired, a web browser makes for a lousy FTP client).

This is not true. Windows has had FTP support for read/write I think since windows 98. All you need to do is to add a network place (such as you would for any other type of share you wish to access on windows, such as network folders, http, https, etc) and you simply start the address with ftp:// as usual. The IE part your talking about is simply to allow people to click on ftp links to download stuff fast on the internet from web sites... a way to have less headaches when you want users to be able to downlaod files. Not sure if there is built-in sftp support though.

AHunter3
03-08-2006, 11:57 AM
Shows how much I know about Windows. (Never owned a PC).

Thanks - any recommendations or references to tutorials on a simple FTP setup...pretty much all I want to do is access the hard drive, and I imagine I can carry my own FTP client on a windows memory stick....

Here's how to set up FTP in one easy lesson. Go to your Sharing Preferences Pane. Put a check in "FTP Access".

Any questions? ;)

OK, if you're behind a firewall, you're going to need to have your local IP NAT'ted to an externally-accessible IP address (but that would be true of any solution that would give you remote access). And whatever ports that FTP makes use of need to be enabled in the firewall. (likewise for any other remote-access solution). And if your IP is dynamically assigned (DHCP) and expires periodically, you won't know what address to shoot for (and for the 3rd time, that would be true of these other solutions, with the exception of Timbuktu which has a workaround).

Aside from those general-case dlsclaimers though, you're all set, FTP is easy.

Jterrell
10-25-2007, 03:56 PM
I know this post is old, but I have just purchased my new external hard drive. It's a Lacie brand and is connected to my router through ethernet. I wanting to set it up so that I can access it from my computer at work or while I'm on the road. I have tried using my ip address and several other ways to access it but I continue going to my router set-up page when I try it. I would like to know how to forward the ip to my hard drive. Any suggestions?

m61017
10-26-2007, 08:01 AM
Hi Jterrell,
here is what worked for me:
Get yourself a dyndns record because the external IP of your router probably changes each time your router connects to your ISP. Configure your router to update your dyndns record every time it connects to the internet (on your routers set-up page look for somthing like Dynamic DNS).
Now the port forwarding: check the IP address of your network storage (should be something like 192.168.xxx.xxx - in your routers set-up menu you should find an item like connected clients). Note that address and move to Port Forwarding in your routers set-up.
Here you can configure that connections from the internet to a spezific port on your external IP will be forwarded to a spezific client in the LAN behind your router. E.g. if you want AFP (Personal File Sharing) to be forwarded to your network storage enter

port protocol forward to
548 TCP [IP address of your storage]

Done. HTH --- joerg

PS: it may be a good idea to allow only clients in your LAN accessing your routers configuration page.

jlevi
03-29-2008, 02:50 PM
Hi Jterrell,
here is what worked for me:
Get yourself a dyndns record because the external IP of your router probably changes each time your router connects to your ISP. Configure your router to update your dyndns record every time it connects to the internet (on your routers set-up page look for somthing like Dynamic DNS).
Now the port forwarding: check the IP address of your network storage (should be something like 192.168.xxx.xxx - in your routers set-up menu you should find an item like connected clients). Note that address and move to Port Forwarding in your routers set-up.
Here you can configure that connections from the internet to a spezific port on your external IP will be forwarded to a spezific client in the LAN behind your router. E.g. if you want AFP (Personal File Sharing) to be forwarded to your network storage enter

port protocol forward to
548 TCP [IP address of your storage]

Done. HTH --- joerg

PS: it may be a good idea to allow only clients in your LAN accessing your routers configuration page.


Very good info. I set up an account with dyndns.org and put in the IP address. however, I cannot seem to get the widrive (my external hard drive, which is wireless) to work. Ever since I did that configation, and set up the DDNS on the router, now it seems I can't access the widrive (which I previously could access by going to 192.168.1.104 in my browser. I even set up the 104 address as a DMZ host temporarily, and it still didn't work.

Anyone know what to do about this?

Thanks!