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This may be a very simple question, but I'm not sure what the best solution would be. Thanks in advance for your help!

We have a couple of users in our domain that need to access network shares (remotely. We don't have a VPN set up, and in the past this had been accomplished via FTP. Would FTP be the most effective way to go about doing this? The users need to be able to read and make changes to files and folders within whatever share they're accessing, and it needs to be secure - so that nobody accesses anyone else's files.



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FTP is fairly clunky by today's standards, but it certainly works. The main problem with FTP is that passwords cross the wire in cleartext (anybody monitoring networks between the client and the server can obtain the user's FTP password). You can run FTP over SSL, but client support for FTP over SSL isn't as ubiquitous as plain ol' FTP. FTP can be a pain to get working through some (typically low-end) firewalls.

You don't mention what your server and client OS's are, but the phrase "network share" makes me think yu're talking about Windows. Using WebDAV over SSL can provide a better user experience than FTP. You can "map" a "drive" to a WebDAV over SSL share from the client. On the server-side, the same old NTFS permissions that are used to control access still apply, since IIS will "impersonate" the authenticated user when accessing their files.

Here's a resource for configuring WebDAV on recent versions of Windows Server:

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Thank you Evan! I will look into WebDAV. – Anthony Jul 19 '10 at 15:02

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