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Accessing server files from Mobile device


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Ok, question for the experts, more like advice, how are you accessing data on your server with your mobile device, for me, it's an Iphone.  I've been looking at some apps, cloud storage, but I really don't want to use the cloud,  So there's an iphone app called Filebrowser which will let me access my files like SMB shares, which is half of my goal,  I would also like to be able to upload my photos, when I'm out and about, and delete from the phone to save space (or if I lose the phone) and skydrive seems to work for that, found another app called Tonido Desktop which may do both, haven't installed it yet.  If the the app worked for streaming , thatwould be great but not necesary,  so instead of reinventing the wheel, figured I see what you all may be doing.

 

http://www.tonido.com/tonidodesktop/

http://www.stratospherix.com/

 

 

 

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I use Server 2012 Essentials, so the site has a mobile version. That you can use to upload and download. I'm not sure about streaming, because .... 

That, and for music and video, I use Subsonic. Well, Madsonic. And I use URL Rewrite and ARR to "reverse proxy" subsonic, so it's all available from my purchased domain name.

 

 

But I've heard of tonido, a long while ago. Nice to know that they're doing good.

 

 

There are also some other self hosted options, like OwnCloud or Personal Online Host Backup. But both are not exactly great.

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I can access my whs 2011 with safari on the iphone, but I could only download files, not upload, the option just doesn't show up in the broswer, but now with the sky drive app installed (I just realized this), I can use that to upload the file back to my server (skydrive account), so that maybe an intern solution.    We've discuss own cloud over at WGS, I had some performance issues on my local network, but that could have been my hardware, HP N40l is not the fastest server, but I found it to be to complex for me, while I was successful in the installation, I don't think I want to deal with reinstallation, or managing the PHP or SQL updates,.  if something broke, more than likely, I couldn't fix it.

 

I do have high hopes with POBH, but I'm not sure what their direction is, right now it's only for desktop backup, if they add functionality for mobile devices, then yeah, this would be a good solution.

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And yeah, there aren't a lot of solutions. And the ones that exist are far from excellent.

 

There was HFS, IIRC. From a long while ago. 
 

And worst case, FTP would work. ANd it should be built into IIS (the MS web server). You'd just have to set it up though.

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what about VPN?  found a neat article about setting up VPN on the WHS 2011, and this app should work well for that, http://www.stratospherix.com/, but it doesn't help with backup of the camera roll,  I wonder if with VPN, and being on wifi, would you be able to sync your phone with iTunes if you had it running on the server, interesting. 

 

Drashna, which smart phone are you using?  I'm was looking at the getting a windows phone for the whs addin, but figured I'd wait to see what MS and nokia have in store for the 8.1 phone due out Q2 of next year.   While I'm not a fan of the iphone, I just got the 5S, but you can cancel your contract, pay the early termination fee, sell the phone on Ebay, and end up making a few bucks. 

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VPN may work. And there are mobile apps that could access "SMB" shares after you've connected the VPN.

 

Though I can't speak for the iTunes stuff. I've avoided the Apple eco-sphere completely.

 

 

And I'm using an HTC One S (though I really want/need to updated to the HTC One).  I'm an HTC fanboy. They're all I've used since the HTC Dash 3G (aka HTC Maple). So... yeah.

And I like Android. A lot more options, I think.  I liked Windows Phone, when it was still the Zune OS. But it doesn't feel as smooth now. :(

 

 

And yeah, ebay is a good method to make back the money. Especially during this time of year! :)

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I guess I was really asking about your mobile OS of choice, I'm a complete Noob when it comes to cell phones, couldn't tell you the difference between and HTC or a Samsung Note but I figured you'd have a windows phone.  I had a company issued Iphone at my previous company, but didn't do much with it, now I'm going to try actually use it to make my life easier, and maybe play some Temple Run.  hence this post.  

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lol. I should try Windows Phone 8. It may be better.

 

But I had an HTC HD2 (loved that phone), and I was able to try Windows Mobile, Android and Windows Phone 7 on that thing. I just didn't like Windows Phone's UI. Maybe because I was bitter with what was happening to Zune at the time. (Still am, in fact). 

 

But each Android phone manufacturer puts their own "skin" on the device. Meaning that it has anywhere between extremely light customization over "android source" (such as what Samsung does), up to and including a complete overhaul of the UI (HTC's Sense UI). Considering Google keeps on borrowing code and idea's from HTC.... and I love Sense, that's my choice. :)

 

But honestly, it's best to go in and figure out what you like. Find a store that has "live" phones, and not the dumby ones (I hate how that's becoming more and more common.... so you can't tell which you like, you just have to take a $600 gamble....)

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Looks like I'm going to get a chance to demo the windows phone 8 after all,  so what's the cheapest feature filled MP3 player that you can get these days, and I'm not talking about a $220 ipod touch, a no contract smart phone.  Bingo,  purchased a couple of nokia 520's for my kids, $60 on amazon.  I was up at midnight trying to buy them from the MS store for $50, but the site was hammered hard, couldn't even check out, and that's if I got lucky, gave up after about two hours. 

 

We'll wish me luck, I'm about to go brave some black Friday Shopping.   

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lol, well, it's too late to wish you luck now. But I hope the day was fruitful.

 

 

And yeah, I'm not surprised. Lots of good deals. Like the Surface RT 32GB for $200. :)

 

 

And I hope you like those Nokia's. I'm not a fan of Windows Phone, but it's by no means horrible. It's actually pretty decent. And I can definitely see it being a good MP3 player. :P

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The phone's are going to be used by my kids to watch movies, listen to their music, and I hope I can find a game or two to download..  You really can't beat the deal for a media player,  oh, and it has a camera for movies and pictures, I paid about the same for a Vtech camera some years ago, and aside from the fact that the Vtech was practically indestructible, it was a really crap camera, guess I need to get a really nice case for these phones.   I'll let you know what I think about windows phone 8. 

 

Oh, and black Friday shopping was a breeze, no one was knifed or tazed in my area,  but you would think everyone would have a crappy LCD TV buy now, but nope, they were lined up at the Target to buy those POS Westinghouse TVs,  40"  for something like $200, they had a 50" element for $229,  I bet the Picture Quality is amazing on those units.

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Here's my 2 cents, for what it's worth:  My number one choice is TeamViewer.  I've been using it on my Android devices for over a year now, and it works great to get to PC desktops. (And it's free for personal use. TeamViewer also has versions for iPhones and Windows 8 phones.)  Basically, it's like RDP to the PC of your choice (after you install it on the PC as well).  And it has a file transfer mode.  If you set up a free optional account with TeamViewer, then you can pick and choose which computers you want to connect to at any time.  For some reason -- limited access, I guess -- I haven't installed TeamViewer directly on my server.  Instead, I RDP into the server from the client computer that I connect to with TeamViewer.

 

One other nice thing about TeamViewer is that, in some ways, it can subjectively outperform RDP across the Internet when calling home with your laptop.

 

The second thing I've been using is AiCloud, which is embedded in current Asus Routers (RT-N66U/R is the one I have).  With AiCloud, you can play music and video files directly from the server to your device, and you can wake any of the computers on the router. There's an iOS version in addition to Android, but I'm not sure about Win8RT.

 

I've also used ES File Explorer around the house to get files from the server to my Samsung Galaxy SIII and Motorola Xoom on the LAN, but not so much anymore after discovering TeamViewer.

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Yeah, TeamViewer is definitely nice. :)

 

 

But my preference is and always will be RDP, because the server is a RDP Gateway. That means I don't have to install anything. It just works. And every platform has an RDP app for it. That, and I have 4-5mbps upstream, so it always plays nice.

 

 

But that router's features are very nice though! :)

 

 

And yes, ES File Explorer is awesome (also, if you VPN into your server, you could use ES File Explorer remotely as well, and it would be encrypted)

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Well, I see what you mean about every platform supporting RDP. I just discovered the free Microsoft Remote Desktop for Android in Google Play Store. It might replace TeamViewer as my favorite way to access my server and my other computers remotely from my phone and tablet. (It wasn't available when I got my Samsung Galaxy S3.) You can switch between mouse cursor and touch control of the remote desktop, so you can actually put the - ugh - Modern Start screen and apps in Win 8/2012 to practical use with an Android device.

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On the RDP app, set up a "Gateway" and you can use it to access any PCs, including your server, that you've enabled remote access to on your LAN. Each of those PCs would be set up in the app as "Remote Desktops", and when you set them up, you need to specify the Gateway you set up earlier.

 

So for me, I entered just the RWA (w/o the port, just as you'd connect if you were using RWA) address for my WS2012R2E as the Gateway. Name the Gateway with your server name. (I leave credentials blank and fill in when asked in case my phone ever gets compromised.)

 

Under Remote Desktops, enter computer name for any LAN computer you've set up for Remote access. What you'll wind up with is a list of your computers, including your server if you want to RDP into it, and a list of gateways, but probably just one of those which is also your server. Then when you use the app, you select the computer (Remote Desktop) you want to control and the app will use your server to get there. Naturally, if you select your server, you'll connect through it, but stay on it. When you run the app, you are asked for username and password twice: once for the target computer and once for the gateway. If you enter all this credential info at the time you set up the gateway and RDs (or later), I reckon you bypass those prompts, but I prefer to maintain more security than that.

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Mick pretty much nailed this one.

 

 

But yes, you'd need to specify the gateway (your homeserver.com domain name), in the "Advanced" tab, in the "Connect from anywhere" section. At least from the desktop app. 

There should be a "Gateway" setting for any mobile app, as this is a standard feature, usually used by enterprises for securely accessing work/enterprise machines remotely.

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I'm clearly not doing something correct.  Under Configuration>Settings>Gateway, I've added myhomeserver.homeserver.com RWA address,  New Remote Connection>connection name, I've called  it "Server name", PC name I've used both the my LAN IP and "server name", User name>I used my admin account, and admin Password.  now under user name is has domain\user,  I was only entering my user name, what would be my domain for WHS 2011?

 

I'm having a brain fart.

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To RDP to the server with the RDP app you need to port forward the RDP port (3389) to your server to access it outside of your LAN.

 

The easiest way to configure app for to connect to server is

 

New Remote Desktop

Connection Name (optional)

PC Name (xxxxxxxxx.homeserver.com)

Username (username) or leave blank to enter at connection

Gateway (no gateway configured))

 

WHS2011

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Actually, only ports 80 and 443, the standard RWA setup, need to be forwarded. Yeah, for traditional RDP - and for a specific computer without a gateway - 3389 should be forwarded as Doug said, but not necessary with WHS2011 or Essentials. If you can reach your server from the Internet with RWA, it should work as a Gateway and get you onto itself or another computer without 3389 (at least with this app on Android). And, think about it, when you RWA to your WHS or Essentials, you have the continuing option to RDP into any computers connected to the server, all without having 3389 forwarded.

 

I've got to say, dbailey75, that I was surprised how easy it was to get connected with this Android app. It did totally bypass the RWA interface and the Dashboard. Really, the only connection specs I used were (1) DDNS address for the RWA to the server for the Gateway (___.remotewebaccess or homeserver.com) and (2) the computer name, "Server" or whatever, for the Remote Desktop. No IP addresses. (I just double-checked my settings.)

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