Sorry very new to this forum but since I seem to be looking on it every other day at other peoples discussions I though I'd join and I have a dillema!
I have set up a Home Server only running Windows 7 32Bit and all it does is store files and stream them to the devices around my LAN which is no problem because all I have to do is map the Network drive onto all the computers and when I want to manage and download files I just RDC to my lil server machine. Though what I'd really like is for my girlfriend to be able to stream media from it aswell though she lives 7 miles away so it would have to be done over the internet though I don't knowhow I could map the drives to her computer over the internet. I don't want to allow her to remote on and access the computer that way I just want her to have a selection of networked mapped drives to it in windows explorer is there ayway of doing this for free?
You could port forward the filesharing ports in your router. I forget the exact ones but microsoft uses 135,137,138,139,445 and maybe some others. Not all these ports are required but I am too lazy to look this up.
Still this is generally regarded a bad idea because of the security exposure. Also some ISP block some of these ports to help protect people who run without a router.
The safe way to do this is to run VPN software to allow access to your LAN. OPENVPN is one of the common free methods but you either must have a server to run it or have something like DD-WRT running on your router.
It is easier to just forward the ports but you will have to stay on top of the patches almost every major virus/malware outbreak attacked one or more of these ports.