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[Tutorial] How To Access Your Files Anywhere In The World (FREE)

Discussion in 'PC and Retro Gaming / Open Free Discussion' started by RemainNameless, Aug 2, 2011.

  1. 56

    RemainNameless Loyal Member

    Jul 5, 2011
    Flint, MI
    Skill Required:

    Cost Required:

    Files Needed:
    1) No-IP Account (Free) - http://www.no-ip.biz
    2) DUC (Dynamic Update Client) - http://www.no-ip.biz
    3) Static IP Address on the computer you want to access
    4) Router Administrator Access
    5) FTP Server (FileZilla Server) - http://filezilla-project.org/
    6) FTP Client (FileZilla Client) - http://filezilla-project.org/

    Normally, to access your files across the Internet, you need some way to connect to your home network. You can easily make this happen by purchasing a static IP address from your ISP (Internet Service Provider). That costs money.

    You can also access your files using a dynamic IP address, but it requires a little bit of setup. I would suggest reading the entire guide before deciding if this is what you want. I will be watching this thread closely to lend a helping hand whenever I can. I will also state that you can use other FTP software to accomplish this (I personally use FlashFXP), but this tutorial is meant to be completely free. Also, some routers have a Dynamic DNS option, but this tutorial is meant to fit everyone 100% no matter what equipment they have.

    No-IP Account:
    1) Go to www.no-ip.com:
    View attachment 483

    2) Create a free account (I would suggest using your real email address instead of a temporary one. No-IP hardly sends any spam:
    View attachment 482

    3) Once your account is created and activated, log in:
    View attachment 481

    4) Once logged in, you should see the Welcome screen:
    View attachment 480

    5) Once you're logged in, you need to add a host to your domain. You need to click on HOSTS/REDIRECTS near the top-left of your browser:
    View attachment 479

    6) Once you are page the HOSTS/REDIRECTS page, you will notice that you don't have any hosts set up. We will configure that next. Click on the "Add Host" button:
    View attachment 478

    7) Once you are on the "Add Host" page, you need to configure a host PC. This is where it gets a little tricky. You should create a domain name that you can easily remember, but is also not TOO easy for anyone to guess. I'll use "[email protected]" in this example (Don't try to hack me, it's not a valid domain...). You need to pick a free No-IP domain to use after your name. I highlighted the list for you guys:
    View attachment 484

    8) Leave all the rest of the settings as you see in the picture in step 7. Click on "Create Host" to.... create a host.

    9) On the next page, you should see that your host has been created (or will be within 1 minute). I have X out my IP address, but you should see your IP in that spot. Keep in mind that it will not be 192.x or 172.x like you may be used to when you're behind a router. This will be your WAN IP that the Internet needs to contact your network:
    View attachment 485

    DUC (Dynamic Update Client)
    1. Great! Now that you have created your free No-IP account and have added your first host, we need to install an application called the DUC (short for Dynamic Update Client). The DUC is an application that runs on your PC that updates your dynamic IP address and communicates with your No-IP domain to make sure you can connect. The DUC basically takes your CURRENT dynamic IP address and updates your No-IP domain with the correct IP address. If you don't have this client installed, your connection will cease to work after a couple of days when your dynamic IP address changes.

    2) If you're still logged into your No-IP.com account, look on the left side for "Download Client". If you're not logged in, log in:
    View attachment 486

    3) Once you are on the download page, download the correct version for the Operating System you are using. I am aware that the DUC works on Windows, Linux, and Mac. I will continue this tutorial using the Windows DUC, but it should be similar when using a Mac or a Linux box:
    View attachment 487

    4) Download and install the DUC appliaction. If you need help with this, ask and I can help.

    5) Once the DUC application is installed, you need to start the application. You can find it here:
    View attachment 488

    6) The DUC application is going to prompt you for an email and password. These credentials are the same as your No-IP.com account you created in the beginning of this tutorial.

    7) Once logged in, you will be prompted with a screen like this:
    View attachment 489

    8) Click on your host that you just created. My temporary one is RemainNameless.servebeer.com. Yours will be different.

    9) Once you select you host and click "Save", You'll see that the DUC is working properly. You should set up the DUC to start up on your computer when you first boot, so you don't have to start it manually every time you restart your PC. You can find the startup option in "File > Preferences". Check the box like the following image:
    View attachment 490

    10) Once you are done, you can click on the "X" to exit the application. It should stay on in your System Tray.

    Static IP Address:
    If you need help with this, ask.

    Router Administrator Access (For Port Forwarding)
    Before messing with any router settings, it is a good idea to back up your configuration settings. Most routers have this ability. It is also a good idea to know how to factory reset your router in case of a mistake. All routers are created differently and have different GUIs. Consult your router instruction guide or the website for more information.

    1) Log into your router as an Administrator. If you need help, I can try to walk you through logging in. A good webpage with all the default logins for routers can be found here:

    2) Once logged into your router, you should be looking for something along the lines of "Port Forwarding". It may not be named this exactly, so if you need help, Google this:
    (Router Name and model) port forwarding
    Example: Linksys WRT54G Port Forwarding

    3) Once you find the place for Port Forwarding, we need to enable the port forwarding for FileZilla. You need to add port range 50000 - 50050 (or some other port range >1024), and use the static IP address you set for your computer you are trying to access. It is recommended to have your port range higher than 50000. In other words, I am trying to access my computer (IP address where the files are stored. Again, each router will be a little different, but you can get a general idea from the following image:
    View attachment 500

    4) You MAY need to turn off SPI (Stateful Packet Inspection). Sometimes an FTP server cannot connect with this turned on. Only turn this off if you can't connect later in the tutorial.

    5) Once you are done, save any changes and exit your router.

    FTP Server (FileZilla Server)
    1) Once you have set up the backend stuff, you need to download and install an FTP server on the machine you will access later on. You should be able to install this without an issue. Just choose the default options. Take note of the port on the following screen. It will be important when we are setting up FileZilla Server:
    View attachment 492

    2) Click "OK" on the next box to log into your server. Don't worry about the IP address. This just means you are connecting to yourself, which is what you want to do:
    View attachment 493

    3) Once you are logged into your server, we need to configure some settings. Click on the "Settings" button as shown in the following image:
    View attachment 494

    4) Under "General Settings", I usually limit the number of users to "2". You can set this as high as you like, or "0" for unlimited. I usually recommend to set this as low as possible. Also, under "Passive Mode Settings" you need to set the following option (Make sure to use your No-IP domain instead of mine - RemainNameless.servebeer.com):
    View attachment 501

    5) Under "Admin Interface Settings", I would recommend setting an Administrator Password:
    View attachment 499

    6) Once those settings are complete, we need to create access account(s) to your server. We also need to specify what folders we are going to share. To do this, click on the "Users" button, which is the button directly to the right of the "Settings" button.

    7) Under "General", click the "Add" button to create a user account. This will be the user account you will use to log into your FTP server:
    View attachment 496

    8) At this point, I would HIGHLY suggest setting a password for this user account. You can do that here:
    View attachment 497

    9) The next tab down is "Shared Folders". This is where you will choose which folders you want to be able to access. Click on "Shared Folders" and then click on "Add" to add folder(s). I will use my Pictures directory for this example:
    View attachment 498

    10)At this point, you can add more folders if you want. Just repeat the process in step 8. You can also set your permissions to the right of this. I usually want write access, but you may not need it if you are trying to be a little more safe.

    FTP Client (FileZilla Client)
    1) Now that the FTP Server is configured, you should be able to connect to your shared folders anywhere in the world. Although there are a few different ways to connect to an FTP server, I am going to use FileZilla Client in this tutorial.

    2) Download and install the FileZilla Client on ANY machine you want to access your files FROM.
    I am out of town and I am at a friends house. I would install the FileZilla CLIENT on their computer.

    3) Once you have the FileZilla Client installed, you need to configure it to work with your server. Click on "Edit > Settings":
    View attachment 502

    4) Under "Active Mode", make your settings the same as the following image:
    View attachment 503

    5) Under "Passive Mode", you MAY need to set this option:
    View attachment 504

    6) Once you have all your settings set, you should be able to log into your server now! Here is how you should access it:
    View attachment 505

    7) You should make sure to set "Host" to your No-IP domain name, set "Username" and "Password" to the username and password you created in FileZilla, and set your "Port" to 50000.

    That's it! I know there was a TON of steps, but if you follow the tutorial from beginning to end, you can look l33t in front of all of your friends. Oh, and it works well when you need something in a hurry.

    There is going to be differences in everyone's setup. Once you get it, it's worth every second of work. I'll also recommend a remote access application (such as LogMeIn) to perform maintanance if the need arises. I will be making a tutorial for that a little later on.

    I will be editing this for spelling, formatting, etc. in the near future, but my hand is cramping and I have to take a rest right now.
  2. 780

    xPreatorianx Loyal Member

    Jul 7, 2011
    Home Page:
    Nice guide dude. As for the IP in the setup box would http://www.whatismyip.com/ help with that? That gives you the actual IP address of your internet accessible network. Not your local area network.

    EDIT: Logmein is a nice piece of software. I have only used it while maintaining a minecraft server that someone already installed, so I have no idea how to properly install it myself. I can't wait for that tutorial!
  3. 23

    Captin Loyal Member

    Jul 4, 2011
    Thanks for the tutorial.

    Personally I use Teamviewer, it a FREE remote control application. It does file transfer, like FTP, but need no dynamic IP hosting, like No-IP. It's far better than log-me-in.

    Just setup teamviewer on the pc's you want access to, create a FREE account so that it keeps the pc's details. Put the free client on a USB flash stick and take it with you where ever you go. You'll have remote access to your pc's and can transfer files to and from them.

    There's no need to mess with your router or setup a no-ip account.
  4. 56

    RemainNameless Loyal Member

    Jul 5, 2011
    Flint, MI
    You could use Whatismyip or IPChicken, but that would only give you your CURRENT dynamic address. Within a few days it'll change, and you'll have to run it again. Plus, unless you have remote access to your FTP serving machine, if you're out of town, you're out of luck. No-IP and the DUC alleviate that problem. Plus, you would still need to set up port-forwarding on your router to access it from your Internet IP, which is (for most people) the hardest part of this guide. Might as well go all the way, right? ;)

    I love Logmein. I use it for about 30 of my business clients. That will probably be one of the best and most useful guids I'm planning.

    I also use TeamViewer a lot. I use it for customers that I only need temporary access to their machines. Permanent access is ALWAYS Logmein in my opinion. Team Viewer has a nice file-transfer built in. Thanks for reminding me about it.

    The reason I use No-Ip over Team Viewer for FTP services is because there is a TON more flexibility, in regards to file-transfers. You can set up different user access, different groups, different permissions, bandwidth limitations, time of day, etc. If you only want a couple files every once in a while, Team Viewer definetely does its job. All-The-Time access, for me, is better with No-IP and a DUC.

    Also, if you want permanent access with Team Viewer, you need to install it as a service, which is less secure than just using an FTP server. If someone cracks the FTP server credentials, they can only access whetever files you are sharing. If someone cracks your Team Viewer credentials, they have free reign over your computer, including its files.

    I personally do NOT use FileZilla anymore. I bought a dedicated Western Digital World Book for FTP access. It was probably one of the best purchases I have done. It connects to my router through Ethernet and I can just run a DUC on any machine in my network and access the Hard Drive.

    I also use FlashFXP for FTPing now. I like its user interface more than I like FileZilla's. Doesn't mean it's better, it just means I like it more.
  5. 23

    Captin Loyal Member

    Jul 4, 2011

    I also use logme in and have done for years. I do know what you mean about FTP and not giving access to all your files. But there are some limitations with it. You have to go through their website and there's no chat option. I like teamviewer because I can talk to the pople I'm remotely connected to (a bit like skype) or just text chat.

    For a very secure file transfer I use Log-me-in Himachi. It's sets up a VPN between the computers you install it on. Using is just like using another drive on your pc, except it's just over the internet. Once setup it runs at boot up and connects each pc together as if you are all on the same network.

    I run filezilla server for my personal FTP, just mainly emulation roms and stuff.
  6. 56

    RemainNameless Loyal Member

    Jul 5, 2011
    Flint, MI
    Agreed. Himachi is an awesome service. Also, the chat feature is nice, but I'm usually on the phone with my clients when using Team Viewer. Most of my business clients don't like permanent access unannounced through Logmein or Team Viewer.
  7. 23

    Captin Loyal Member

    Jul 4, 2011
    I'm looking at it from a home point of view. In business I do agree logmein is better.

    For the peeps that dont like perminent access I use the teamviewer quick service program. They just download and run it, no install needed, and when the session is finished the connection is cut.
  8. 2

    sircjquimar Loyal Member

    Feb 28, 2011

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