7 Ways To Access Your Computerâ€™s Files Remotely Over the Internet.
Sharing files between two or more computers on the same network is very easy. All you have to do is create a workgroup using the file-sharing options on your system or using the popular network cable method. But these methods have their limitations. those. both machines must be in the same location, or at least on the same network.
But what if you want to remotely access files on your computer? Do you like to view files on your home computer from your office laptop or even your smartphone?
We have compiled a list of all possible ways to remotely access files on your computer. While all of the following methods are free, work on almost all platforms, and have no bandwidth limitations, some require the host computer to be constantly on and connected to the Internet. Otherwise, you will not be able to access your files over the Internet.
Related: How to Share Files Between Two Computers Using Wi-Fi
Remote access to computer files
1. Cloud storage services
Online backup services like Google Drive, Dropbox, OneDriveetc provide an easy way to access your files from anywhere. Just create a free account (almost every cloud service offers 10-15GB of free storage) and upload your files. Once downloaded, you can access these files and folders remotely. All you have to do is log into your account from any web browser or use their mobile app.
For Google Drive users
If you’re using Goole Drive, you don’t need to manually add files or folders to your Google Drive folder. Just right-click the folder you want to sync with Google Drive and select the option “Google Drive Sync this folder”. This action will sync the folder with Google Drive.
After syncing, you can access it by opening the Google Drive page in your favorite browser and then going to the Computers tab in the left pane.
For OneDrive users
OneDrive lets you access all of the files and folders on your computer without syncing them to the cloud. To access your computer’s drivers using OneDrive, open the OneDrive settings window by right-clicking the OneDrive icon in the taskbar, and selecting the Settings option.
In the Settings window, go to the Settings tab and select the Allow me to use OneDrive to get any files on this computer check box.
This is it. From now on, you can access any files on your computer from the OneDrive web app using any browser on any computer. All you have to do is select the “PC” option on the left sidebar. Remember that for this method to work, you need to turn on your computer and connect it to the Internet.
Pros: Easy to use, secure, remote access to any file without the need for a host machine (not applicable to the OneDrive method above).
Cons: You have limited space in any cloud storage. It is not possible to clone an entire hard drive to the cloud.
2. Dedicated NAS devices
NAS (Network Attached Storage) devices are like setting up your personal cloud storage. Think of it as a large external hard drive connected to your home network. You store all of your files on a NAS and access them over the Internet or from any device in your home. This method is great for sharing files and backing up multiple computers. You can even configure the NAS to access files via FTP and / or web browsers if you want.
Some NAS devices do not have this remote access enabled by default, but you can easily forward the port to make its web interface available on the Internet. If you are unsure of how to properly set up your NAS to access the Internet, this is not a secure method. Especially for beginners.
Pros: Remote access to any file without the need for a host machine. However, the NAS must be turned on and have access to the Internet in order for you to download files.
Cons: NAS are expensive and designed for LAN access. Remote FTP isn’t the only reason you should buy a NAS. But if you already have it, then it makes sense to use it to remotely download files over the Internet.
3. The router with a USB port
Most modern routers are equipped with a USB port where you can plug in an external drive or flash drive and then access all of its contents from anywhere in the world. For this setup to work, you need to enable remote access and configure dynamic DNS on your router. If you are not familiar with home networking, the following video or this step-by-step guide will help you.
Pros: Remote access to any file without having to turn on the host machine. Cheaper than NAS.
Cons: Most Internet file sharing features on consumer routers are insecure.
Another good option for remotely accessing your PC’s files is to install a VPN server on your PC. Using this VPN, you can access files on your computer just like on a local network. When configured correctly, VPN makes your remote computer part of the local network and provides access to all local file shares.
Thus, large companies provide remote access to their shared files. To solve the problem of insecure web interface, VPN servers are widely used with NAS.
Pros: Offers the most control of the other options available.
Cons: Requires Remote Desktop to remain on. Also, setup is complex and time consuming.
5. FTP server
FTP (File Transfer Protocol) is partly similar to VPNs, where you install them on your home computer and provide access to them from the Internet. Usually, FTP is not encrypted, which means that people can easily track your files on the way and spoof your passwords. This may not be an ideal method from a security point of view, as you will have to open the FTP server to the Internet.
To deal with this, you can use SFTP, which encrypts the connection over the Internet. But you must create self-signed certificates to create SFTP connection. The process can be a little confusing and complicated for beginners.
Pros: Offers the user complete control.
Cons: If you don’t use SFTP, FTP servers are not encrypted and considered insecure. Requires Remote Desktop to be enabled.
6. Remote desktop software
If you’re looking for a way that takes care of all the fun things and allows you to remotely access your computer’s files, try a remote desktop software. Some of this software include, but are not limited to, Unity, GoToMyPC, LogMeIn, PushBullet, etc. Let’s take a look at some of them.
LogMeIn Pro: This is a popular software that offers some additional features like remote printing, 1TB storage, unlimited users. But all this comes at a price. LogMeIn Pro for large businesses ranges from $ 349.99 per year to $ 1,539.99 per year.
GoToMyPC: GoToMyPC is similar to LogMeIn. In fact, it offers similar advanced features like dragging and dropping files in any other remote desktop application. GoToMyPC offers a $ 20 / month subscription service for one computer (Mac or Windows).
Pros: Easy and secure way to access files remotely. Cross platform support.
Cons: Requires Remote Desktop to remain on. You need to pay to use the service, there is no free version.
Finally, this is by far the best, easiest and safest way to access your files remotely over the Internet. Most people knew TeamViewer as a screen sharing program, but it has a hidden feature that also allows you to remotely access files on your computer.
TeamViewer is completely free for personal use. Plus, it supports Windows, Mac and Linux. It has no bandwidth limitations. But the best part is that you can access your files remotely from any device – even from your smartphones.
Pros: cross-platform support, easy and secure way to access files remotely.
Cons: Requires Remote Desktop to remain on.
Related: How to Access Files on Your Computer from Anywhere with TeamViewer
There are many ways to remotely access files on your computer over the Internet. But we recommend TeamViewer. Cloud storage services can be helpful if you enjoy syncing files online and don’t mind the limited storage available for each free user account. If you are a dedicated Windows user who also uses OneDrive, I recommend using the OneDrive method described above. This eliminates the need to install any third party software.
If you can afford to buy a NAS device or router, it can also help you access your files remotely. If you have a larger network, such as a business with multiple file shares, you can set up a VPN server. However, we do not recommend using VPN, SSH, or FTP servers unless you know what you are doing. If configured incorrectly, this can be a big risk.
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7 Ways To Access Your Computerâ€™s Files Remotely Over the Internet
7 Ways To Access Your Computerâ€™s Files Remotely Over the Internet