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I have a home server (running Windows 7 Media Center 24/7) on my home network - sitting behind a NAT ADSL router.

I want to enable access to music, movies, pictures etc. from the Internet.

I want to know what you think is the best way of sharing files in this setup?

I'm thinking of FTP or Standard Windows Share? FTP would require port 21 open in the router and redirected to the Media Center... but which ports are required for Windows sharing?

Are there other better and more secure alternatives?

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You can always use Windows Home Server to host your files. You should be able to access them remotely from anywhere and should be secure enough for your purposes. –  JFV Jun 6 '09 at 15:05
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closed as off topic by Kara Marfia Jun 6 '09 at 12:42

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3 Answers

up vote 2 down vote accepted

hfs http file server http://www.rejetto.com/hfs/

It wont let you stream anything, but it will let you login with a username/pass and download anything that you have made available to the app.

Its totally free and does all of the setup for you. I have registered a domian name and pointed it at my home server. When I want a small file I just visit the site and download it.

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This is exactly what I was looking for. I can see why one would think that it was a streaming solution i was after. But this tool is very light weight. Also it has a nice web interface and the administration interface is straight forward, and a lot of quite advance options (if that's what you want). But the best thing is that it is just a .exe file, and no install (but can still be configured to start with Windows). So this will be a part of my toolbox in the future. –  Thomas Jespersen Jun 6 '09 at 20:46
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Who are you sharing them with? Have you considered whether something like Live Mesh (or there are other similar solutions with higher capacities) would work for you, for example?

I think using Windows file sharing over the internet represents a large security risk and probably won't be a very satisfactory solution anyway, due to issues like speed and the likelyhood of the traffic probably being blocked by every other firewall and filter you encounter.

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I've just looked at Live Mesh. I might get it wrong, but it looks like it is a sync service, with 5 GB space on a online server. I have 1.5TB of movies, mp3 and pictures so I'm not sure it is the right way. Also I have a synchronous 25/25 Mbit fiber connection (yes... I know I wrote ADSL, but it is the same principle ;-), so I don't care if I have to get a movie ad hoc. –  Thomas Jespersen Jun 6 '09 at 13:02
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You might want to take a look at TVersity we have used it to share multimedia across several devices across our LAN, there is no reason it couldn't be used across the Internet other than upstream bandwidth provided by ADSL.

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TVersity looks cool. It was not exactly a streaming solution I was looking for, but I just spend the last hour trying it out. The iPhone support got me ticked. But wow that didn't work nice. Videos has to be converted before streaming!!!! For a PC front end it is a better story. But I have all my DVD's ripped as .vob files, and the TVersity interface for this is horrible. Also there is no support for subtitles. The Administration interface is very nice, but the web front end is awful. It should be the other way around! So now I'm uninstalling. Hope the codec's didn't mess up. –  Thomas Jespersen Jun 6 '09 at 12:56
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