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how to access my hard disk from the internet? advice please

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September 6, 2006 2:21:17 PM

hello all

im new to this, basically i have a router and a basic wireless network at home, and a belkin router/modem.

what i want to do, is to buy a NAS hard disk drive and plug it into the router. will i be able to access the files on the hard drive when i am at my office? is there any special type of nas i need? and any special software?

thank you for your help
September 6, 2006 3:33:17 PM

The short answer is that no, you won't be able to access the hard drive from the internet. In general, this is a good thing, as you don't want people snooping around your files...so some sort of secure connection is necessary.

If your NAS device has an FTP server (I'm not sure whether any do), you can tunnel FTP connection into your network (preferably over SSH, as this provides encryption which prevents your data from being read as it travels over the Internet). If you can't get a NAS with FTP, you can turn an existing machine into a NAS by putting a hard drive in it and setting up the appropriate server software. If neither of these is possible, then you can get a NAS and do something more radical, like tunneling Windows file sharing connections over SSH. I doubt your Belkin router has a VPN server, but that's probably the best option of all these if it's available (it doesn't require an SSH server).

I have to warn you that none of these options are easy, mainly because of the need to set up an SSH server on your home network. If you want to try any of these options, I'll be glad to help you with them (and I'm sure others will too). However, my time is limited, and ultimately the burden rests on you to understand what's going on. A misconfiguration could cause the project to fail in unexplained ways, or worse, expose your NAS to the internet so that some idiot can break in and steal all your files.

Just a heads up--I'll be away from my computer for the next two or three days.

Cheers

EDIT: FreeNAS is a good choice. I would still tunnel the connection over SSH, as you don't want to transfer files over the Internet unencrypted. VNC is not an acceptable choice because it provides no file transfer capability.
September 6, 2006 3:55:07 PM

whats the use to cause urself all that trouble and money?
i think the best way i think is to take the same computer u work at home and install a ftp server like bulletproof or what not. Create a usename and pswd for urself and access ur hdd from ur work pc....

that's what i would do...just dont give anyone ur ip addy and username and password....
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September 6, 2006 4:22:58 PM

Easiest way is FTP server on your current machine and setup your router. Then you just need ftp client at work.
September 6, 2006 4:39:30 PM

Buy NAS and setup appropriately, (shares, etc.).

Install PCAnywhere to home system, open appropriate ports in firewall and forward PCA ports to home system.

Note IP on WAN side of router.

Fireup PCA at work and connect to the previously noted IP.

Assuming you've setup everything properly you should have complete control of your home system including the NAS.

There are more secure ways to do the job as mentioned before. I would want to be sure my wireless was locked down before I locked the IP down. If you can do the wireless, the hardwire will be a no brainer.
September 6, 2006 4:54:23 PM

also something to remember is you don't have a static IP, that you'll have to use a Dynamic DNS service such as this http://www.dyndns.com/ to be able to access any server you set up :) 
September 10, 2006 7:38:32 PM

Just add more hard disks to your home PC, leave it turned on all the time, and run Hamachi on both machines to set up a secure VPN.

Then, your home PC is effectively networked to your office PC, and vice-versa
September 10, 2006 8:18:21 PM

Several posters have mentioned port forwarding, no matter the method of accessing a machine at your home (NAS, FTP, VNC, etc.) you will have to set up port forwarding, so you may want to read up on that or post a question separately about that.

I wanted to point out that if you are using XP Pro at home or are willing to upgrade to it you can use Remote Desktop to connect to it from any PC or Mac with the Remote Desktop Client.
September 11, 2006 12:24:21 AM

Quote:
Several posters have mentioned port forwarding, no matter the method of accessing a machine at your home (NAS, FTP, VNC, etc.) you will have to set up port forwarding, so you may want to read up on that or post a question separately about that.


Thats why I mentioned Hamachi as a simple solution that doesnt require port forwarding :) 
September 22, 2006 4:34:59 AM

well u know i tried RADMIN (remote administrator) and the ip is not the ip! i could connect 2 my self but when ur adapter ip is not the WWW ip, it doesnt work

radmin has full control, view only, hdd only, and other onlys
September 22, 2006 5:11:26 AM

Will remote desktop work, assuming you are using XP Pro?
September 22, 2006 5:39:49 AM

it might but NATed ip would not/ blocked ports
September 22, 2006 5:40:51 AM

i think remote desktop is used in lans, controlling another computer connected to ur lan network,

and most ppl dont have remote desktop

and that is y they inplant it in to pro
!