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1965 posts

Uber Geek
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Topic # 63342 24-Jun-2010 20:39
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Someone please help me.  All I want to do is allow a friend to access a file (to download) from a directory on my PC, over the internet.  I would basically like him to access the file via Internet Explorer, using a url I've set up on

What is the easiest way for me to set this up?  I've tried messing with Filezilla FTP server, but couldn't get it working.  I'm very green in this area so please be gentle with me.


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178 posts

Master Geek
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  Reply # 345031 24-Jun-2010 21:49
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If I can recommend another option: Remote Desktop Connection. It's built into every version of Windows, and it's easy to use. You just need to remember to configure it on your end so the drives you want to give him access to are ticked. Of course, it's hard to prevent access to certain files, if confidential; but if you trust him, I think it'll be the quickest and easiest method.

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Master Geek
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  Reply # 345039 24-Jun-2010 22:13
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Why don't you try a solution like Dropbox  . It's like a shared folder in the cloud that can be accesed from most operating systems. The Free version gives 2Gb, which can be increased if you refer more users.


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Master Geek

  Reply # 345068 25-Jun-2010 00:26
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You don't mention what OS you're using but I'll assume it's windows XP or better (worse?!).

If so it'd pay to check that you have configured your firewall to allow incoming ftp connections, which filezilla would need to work. Filezilla would probably have been my suggestion for the task if you hadn't already mentioned it.

You also need to make sure your router is correctly routing port 21 (assuming you're using 'proper' port numbers for filezilla) through to your PC. Different routers will do this in different ways but 'port forwarding' and 'virtual server' are a couple of likely candidates. Please excuse me if I'm teaching you to suck eggs (so to speak!).

Another possibility would be to download Apache and install it, put the file in the /www/html directory and provide your friend with the full path and you should be all go. You could check that (and filezilla) is working locally by using your browser: http://localhost/filename (for Apache) or ftp://localhost for filezilla. I'd use the commandline ftp client for the latter but that should work - if not try with ftp://localhost:21 to force the port number or use cuteftp. As long as it works locally it should do the same externally so long as your firewall/router are set up correctly.

Cheers, P.

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Master Geek
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  Reply # 345103 25-Jun-2010 07:31
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Setup an account on Windows live Id and place any documents you want on the sky drive(cloud computing) many feature are available Plenty of space available Google Docs can do the same.


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Mod Emeritus

  Reply # 345105 25-Jun-2010 08:17
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marpada: Why don't you try a solution like Dropbox  . It's like a shared folder in the cloud that can be accesed from most operating systems. The Free version gives 2Gb, which can be increased if you refer more users.


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  Reply # 345107 25-Jun-2010 08:20
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If you just want to share a few files then the Windows Live Skydrive is the way to go. Once you have your SkyDrive, you can create folders and let your friend access that folder only.

FTP will require you to configure your PC, make sure the firewall is not blocking incoming connections, and your router is correctly configured.

Remote Desktop will give your friend complete access to your PC, like sitting in front of it - you can restrict the account but still is a lot more than you really want your friend to access.

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  Reply # 345128 25-Jun-2010 10:17
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I recently had a similar challenge, and a mate put me onto Orb.

It's main use is to allow you to share media from your "home PC", such that you can stream it in real time via the internet to other PC's, and even mobile devices (I have had success at streaming MP3's from my home pc to my XT handset, though it pays to be on a 2GB data-plan if you plan to do much of that!!!)

But it also works brilliantly as a way of accessing ANY files on your home PC. 

You log on via the orb web page, and it has a browser mode where you can access files just like using windows explorer.  You can even access USB storage devices that are connected to your PC.   The benefit from a non-techie user perspective is that you do not need to muck round with any Firewall settings, nor upload anything online.  You do however need to download a free piece of client software (and have that running), and create a free account. Your home PC obviously needs to be on and connected to a broadband connection too.

Not being an expert on the security of such products, I cannot vouch 100% on its watertightness. But its seems to say the right things in the security area, and I know a number of people who use it without fear. (Would be keen to hear from other users to see what they think of the security of this type of solution).

Hope this helps!

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  Reply # 345130 25-Jun-2010 10:21
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Forgot to mention you can create "shares" of a file, a directory, or a playlist of files.

When you create the share, you choose if it is:
- a public one (ie anyone you give the URL too can access those files)
- a private one (your friend will need to create an orb account, and be "friended" by you before they can access the share via the URL)

So this gives you the ability to access ALL your files, but limit access to a friend to just a few files or a directory, and restrict anyone else from accessing.

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  Reply # 345181 25-Jun-2010 12:25
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Wow, thanks for all the replies people.  Looks like I have a few things to try out tonight then!

I'm not keen to have to use an online resource rather than have my friend access the file directly from my PC.  Will see how I get on with the suggestions above and come back if I need more help.


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Master Geek

  Reply # 345218 25-Jun-2010 13:36
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I find works well for Windows PC-PC sharing

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  Reply # 345280 25-Jun-2010 16:30
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windows live sync will do what you want, unlike mesh it is not cloud based so your PC has to be on for it to be available.

Very confusing that microsoft have 3 similar products that operate differently, but I think that sync will be what you want.

mesh is better if the PCs are not on at the same time or if you are going from one to many since it goes via their servers, whereas sync is direct computer to computer with no copy stored in the cloud.


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