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-   -   Setting up an NAS and/or drive on the home network for remote access. (https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/travel-technology/1175817-setting-up-nas-drive-home-network-remote-access.html)

cblaisd Jan 23, 11 8:12 pm

Setting up an NAS and/or drive on the home network for remote access.
 
I have an older 250GB NAS on my home network. One of the nice things about it is that it has two USB ports that can serve for attaching external drives, printers (the NAS has a built-in print server).

I have a spare 150GB external drive (in USB housing) that I want to connect to the NAS.

Ultimately I'd like to be able to access either or both drives while traveling. I have opened a port forward on my Linksys router before (so can probably figure out how to do so again), but what I don't know is what I need to be able to access those drives directly remotely.

The NAS box does NOT come with web server software installed.

Is there any way to install web server (is that what I need?) software on one or both of the drives (either NAS itself or the external USB drive attached to it), open a port forward (is that the terminology?), and then be able to access the drive(s)? -- without either drive being directly attached to a computer (I assume this question becomes easier if I put a computer on the network and used it as a remote entry, but I am wanting to know if I can someone just put what I need on the drive(s))

Ideally, I'd like some kind of Windows Explorer-like interface that I could simply use to access files remotely.

If this is possible, baby steps, please :)

ScottC Jan 23, 11 10:29 pm

With limited knowledge of what exact setup you have, I'd recommend against messing around with this unless you know exactly what you are doing.

Better yet - invest in a Pogoplug and make life easier.

tkflyer Jan 23, 11 10:31 pm

Easiest way is probably a VPN to your home network, then yo can access anything you want. As mentioned mostv Linksys routers can operate DD-WRT a 3rd party software with lots of additional features including a VPN.

cblaisd Jan 23, 11 11:58 pm


Originally Posted by ScottC (Post 15720719)
With limited knowledge of what exact setup you have, I'd recommend against messing around with this unless you know exactly what you are doing.

Better yet - invest in a Pogoplug and make life easier.

Looks intriguing, but webpage says "Out of stock in US"

I see that eBay has some though.

It doesn't sound, though, like you can access anything except attached USB drives (i.e., won't be able to get to the NAS drive)

Btw, this is what I have: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16822154327

number_6 Jan 24, 11 1:03 am

Presumably you want to use Simpletech's NAS Finder software with it; luckily the product comes with free and unlimited tech support, so you are best to ask Simpletech what limitations their software has. Presumably their NAS is running Linux, but as a closed box so you cannot a web server. VPN is probably the best choice, but I've never used Simpletech (too little capability to be interesting for what I need) so not sure what they can enable/disable. Should be an easy question for their tech support.

TraveltheWorld Jan 24, 11 1:08 am

http://www.synology.com/us/solutions...cess/index.php

Flahusky Jan 24, 11 6:40 am


Originally Posted by TraveltheWorld (Post 15721247)

While a great product, it does NOT address the OPs question.
The OP will need to connect to his home network then remote desktop to a computer on it to access his NAS.

The simplest way to do this is via Logmein or TeamViewer or even VNC.
Other options are FTP and the above mentioned vpn/rdc.

deubster Jan 24, 11 7:28 am

Unless I'm missing something, this seems fairly simple: 1) VPN to home network, 2) map a drive to the IP of the NAS or access it directly without drive mapping. Setting up PPTP in a DD-WRT router is fairly easy, and allows you to easily connect with any Win computer (Mac - not as easy).

To VNC or logmein, you need to leave a computer on. The VPN solution does not require this.

nmenaker Jan 24, 11 9:17 am

pogoplugs should not be out of stock anywhere, you might have been checking on an older stock number. There are about three models at the moment, all of which should be available from about 45-100$ depending on features. You could probbably get a V1 version for about 30-35$ on ebay or craigslist, does everything the other versions do other than built IN multiple USB ports (which can be added with a 5$ dongle)

Ultimately, a VPN or NAS with server might be a better more robust solution but the pogoplug really does work quite well and offers more features than a NAS server or VPN can.

ScottC Jan 24, 11 10:46 am


Originally Posted by nmenaker (Post 15722750)
pogoplugs should not be out of stock anywhere, you might have been checking on an older stock number. There are about three models at the moment, all of which should be available from about 45-100$ depending on features. You could probbably get a V1 version for about 30-35$ on ebay or craigslist, does everything the other versions do other than built IN multiple USB ports (which can be added with a 5$ dongle)

Ultimately, a VPN or NAS with server might be a better more robust solution but the pogoplug really does work quite well and offers more features than a NAS server or VPN can.

Product seems perfect for someone who has trouble normally getting a VPN working (like the OP). From unboxing to connecting can be done in under 5 minutes. Awesome product.

tkflyer Jan 24, 11 11:32 am


Originally Posted by ScottC (Post 15723348)
Product seems perfect for someone who has trouble normally getting a VPN working (like the OP). From unboxing to connecting can be done in under 5 minutes. Awesome product.

Pretty cool for the non-super tech savvy. ^^^

Global_Hi_Flyer Jan 24, 11 11:52 am


Originally Posted by tkflyer (Post 15720728)
Easiest way is probably a VPN to your home network, then yo can access anything you want. As mentioned mostv Linksys routers can operate DD-WRT a 3rd party software with lots of additional features including a VPN.

VPN highly recommended.

OpenVPN is a far more secure option that PPTP. OpenVPN server and client is *free* and OpenVPN is already built-in to several builds of DD-WRT.

I recommend against just opening ports on the router. That's asking for trouble unless you know - for certain - that everything in your network is secure. A friend of mine just got burned by installing a VNC solution w/open ports on his network. He caught a hacker sucking *everything* off his Linux box. With a VPN solution you can keep the ports closed to the outside world, while still maintaining full access to your network (limited to you).

Any solution that requires open ports puts data at risk. Be careful.

ScottC Jan 24, 11 11:54 am


Originally Posted by Global_Hi_Flyer (Post 15723837)
A friend of mine just got burned by installing a VNC solution w/open ports on his network. He caught a hacker sucking *everything* off his Linux box. With a VPN solution you can keep the ports closed to the outside world, while still maintaining full access to your network (limited to you).

The problem becomes worse when people don't know what they are doing - in your example, the person actually noticed the data theft - most people wouldn't even know where to look.

gfunkdave Jan 24, 11 12:51 pm


Originally Posted by ScottC (Post 15723854)
The problem becomes worse when people don't know what they are doing - in your example, the person actually noticed the data theft - most people wouldn't even know where to look.

And, frankly, anyone who opens an inherently insecure protocol like VNC straight to the internet probably doesn't know what he/she is doing.

boberonicus Jan 24, 11 1:00 pm


Originally Posted by nmenaker (Post 15722750)
pogoplugs should not be out of stock anywhere.

For U.S. customers, the "regular" pogoplugs are out of stock. But the same-priced "Pro" model (with Wi-Fi) are in stock.

ScottC Jan 24, 11 4:48 pm


Originally Posted by gfunkdave (Post 15724271)
And, frankly, anyone who opens an inherently insecure protocol like VNC straight to the internet probably doesn't know what he/she is doing.

Agreed. VNC is so simple to use - and that IMHO is where so many people go wrong.

I have remote access enabled on my WHS box - but with username/password and a two-factor hardware key generator.

gfunkdave Jan 24, 11 5:37 pm


Originally Posted by ScottC (Post 15726108)
Agreed. VNC is so simple to use - and that IMHO is where so many people go wrong.

I have remote access enabled on my WHS box - but with username/password and a two-factor hardware key generator.

How does the hardware key generator work?

I just block everything but leave sshd running on my Tomato router. Passwords disabled; keypair authentication required.

TraveltheWorld Jan 24, 11 6:38 pm


Originally Posted by Flahusky (Post 15721981)
While a great product, it does NOT address the OPs question.
The OP will need to connect to his home network then remote desktop to a computer on it to access his NAS.

The simplest way to do this is via Logmein or TeamViewer or even VNC.
Other options are FTP and the above mentioned vpn/rdc.

or.. purchase the Synology NAS to replace the old NAS, copy the files over, enable remote file sharing and view the files remotely via https or FTP

I think you can also plug a USB drive into the Synology NAS too.

cblaisd Jan 24, 11 7:29 pm

Picked up a Pogoplug from CL for $30.

Thanks, Scott!

nmenaker Jan 24, 11 8:08 pm

okay
 

Originally Posted by cblaisd (Post 15727075)
Picked up a Pogoplug from CL for $30.

Thanks, Scott!

okay now, WHO told you to get one off CL? Buehler? :-)

ScottC Jan 24, 11 8:08 pm


Originally Posted by cblaisd (Post 15727075)
Picked up a Pogoplug from CL for $30.

Thanks, Scott!

Don't forget the iPhone app! Oh, and load it with some music and video as well - the Pogo streams that nicely too.

cblaisd Jan 29, 11 10:01 pm

Seller sent it two day mail. Amazingly easy to set up. I thank you again, Scott!

Playing with the iPhone app; I need to bone up, though, on what kind of videos the iPhone won't play. :(

cordelli Jun 27, 11 1:00 pm

According to a post over on Fatwallet, Pogoplug has released a software only version of their product. Free for local network use, $29 for internet access. But they are giving away hundreds of copies of the $29 version for freeeeee!

http://www.fatwallet.com/forums/hot-deals/1107993/

They sent out an e-mail right away with the license code and installation instructions.

With a review from PC magazine here

http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2387550,00.asp

PTravel Jun 27, 11 1:19 pm


Originally Posted by cordelli (Post 16633637)
According to a post over on Fatwallet, Pogoplug has released a software only version of their product. Free for local network use, $29 for internet access. But they are giving away hundreds of copies of the $29 version for freeeeee!

http://www.fatwallet.com/forums/hot-deals/1107993/

They sent out an e-mail right away with the license code and installation instructions.

With a review from PC magazine here

http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2387550,00.asp

I had a Pogoplug device and found it far too frustrating -- it was accessible only with special driver software. A good (and simple) option is Tonido (www.tonido.com). It's free, and allows web-based access to any drives reachable on the machine that's running it (I have it on my file server at home). It creates what is, essentially, a private cloud. It also works with software like Net Drive, that permits mapping directly to home drives from any machine anywhere. I use it so that my writing partner can access large audio files that are too big to email and that I don't trust to commercial cloud services.

nmenaker Jun 28, 11 8:28 am

which
 

Originally Posted by PTravel (Post 16633779)
I had a Pogoplug device and found it far too frustrating -- it was accessible only with special driver software. A good (and simple) option is Tonido (www.tonido.com). It's free, and allows web-based access to any drives reachable on the machine that's running it (I have it on my file server at home). It creates what is, essentially, a private cloud. It also works with software like Net Drive, that permits mapping directly to home drives from any machine anywhere. I use it so that my writing partner can access large audio files that are too big to email and that I don't trust to commercial cloud services.

I think the software is simply a client unless one wants to have like a menu bar add on, or sync tracker. Just like something like dropbox? And the data is always accessible on the website access, no client or "driver" needed.

cblaisd Jun 28, 11 8:41 am


Originally Posted by PTravel (Post 16633779)
I had a Pogoplug device and found it far too frustrating -- it was accessible only with special driver software.

Not correct. Can be accessed through the web interface. One can install the client, but it's not necessary.

PTravel Jun 28, 11 8:54 am


Originally Posted by nmenaker (Post 16638390)
I think the software is simply a client unless one wants to have like a menu bar add on, or sync tracker. Just like something like dropbox? And the data is always accessible on the website access, no client or "driver" needed.

Tonido also makes the data available via a web interface, requiring no client or driver.

nmenaker Jun 28, 11 9:39 am

all good
 

Originally Posted by PTravel (Post 16638526)
Tonido also makes the data available via a web interface, requiring no client or driver.

That is all well and good, I just wanted to point out that the pogoplug data is NOT "ONLY" available with a driver install or client, as you commented above.

cblaisd Jun 28, 11 9:41 am

As was I :) Glad we have FT to help all of us get the correct information ^

ScottC Jun 28, 11 12:23 pm

I recommend Pogoplug because it just works. I've yet to send someone to it and hear that it was hard to install.

PTravel Jun 28, 11 1:41 pm


Originally Posted by nmenaker (Post 16638766)
That is all well and good, I just wanted to point out that the pogoplug data is NOT "ONLY" available with a driver install or client, as you commented above.

Understood. What I didn't like about Pogoplug was that, even on my local LAN, the only way I could map to it was by using the driver. In my opinion, a NAS should operate like a file server, i.e. you can access its drives by mapping to an IP address and a drive letter. A NAS that only permits access via a browser interface or with a driver is of little use to me on my LAN, particularly when I access it remotely via VPN. Tonido offers the same kind of access, but its free and, through standardized Open Source software permits mapping (and automatic connect at boot-up of the remote machine) if, in fact, that's what you want to do.

My NAS is thin client with 3 TB of Raid 5. Because it's actually a "mini" file server, I can easily map drives, both on the LAN and via WAN using VPN. Additionally, it runs an FTP server, so I can get to my files that way as well. Finally, it's running the Tonido server software, which simplifies my writing partner's access to our project and gives me an "access technique of last resort," either through Net Drive (for mapped access) or a browser interface if I'm a third-party machine at which I can't create a VPN connection or that doesn't have an FTP client (though those are available in limited form in most browsers). I even have an UltraVNC server running on the thin client that permits file transfer via VNC.

In short, there are a lot of ways to set up a NAS to maximize accessibility, both locally and remotely. I wouldn't rely on something like Pogoplug as a primary means unless remote access wasn't all that important and I really didn't need what was, for all intents and purposes, an effective file server on my local LAN.

cblaisd Jun 28, 11 4:14 pm


Originally Posted by ScottC (Post 16639634)
I recommend Pogoplug because it just works. I've yet to send someone to it and hear that it was hard to install.

My experience exactly. I will continue to go with your expertise. ^

willyroo Jun 28, 11 5:45 pm


Originally Posted by ScottC (Post 16639634)
I recommend Pogoplug because it just works. I've yet to send someone to it and hear that it was hard to install.

Too often "it just works out of the box" is forgotten.

I have a Netgear ReadyNAS Duo, and access it remotely both for file access and for FTP remote backup for a small server.

Yes you can do all these things.

However - it's a steep learning curve and only FT tragics would persist with it!


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