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Connect from laptop to desktop over internet sans logmein

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
So im going to get a MBA 13' pretty soon and I wanted to be able to connect to my desktop at home from the laptop at uni over the internet. I know logmein is pretty decent but i wanted to not exactly stream the desktop over the net but rather just access folders and vieweing files directly. I don't know if im explaining it properly. So I dont really wanna CONTROL my desktop so much as I want to access files from it, kinda like a server? but i have no idea how to set it up
I think this may be done via SSH with ubuntu or another linux? Though I don't know anything beyond that, if someone can point me to a guide
So i want to access FROM macbook air with OS X TO desktop with windows 8 or linux (which can be installed)
Also goes without saying that i'd want it on a secure connection, if possible at least

Thanks for any input guys smile.gif
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Corsair Lagoon
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post #2 of 8
You could do it the easy way, get a Google Drive/Skydrive/Dropbox and use that to sync your important files, as well as back them up to the cloud. That sidesteps the messy process of configuring your Mac to pull files off your desktop. Its also more secure than a direct SSH and cheaper than hosting a secure VPN. There are other ways to do it, but one of those services makes it simple.
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post #3 of 8
I'd look into running an SSH server. It's not only command line access in a terminal window. It can also do "SFTP" to transfer files. There are client programs for using that. They can look like an FTP client, you can browse around the folders on the machine, etc.

You can run the SSH server on some weird port number so it's a little hidden, then configure your router to forward that port number to your PC. That should be it.

I don't remember how it works with the keys for encryption. You have to copy the generated keys around to all machines involved or something. There's also access through login name and password, but that's not secure for Internet, I think, only good for the local LAN.

Dropbox should not be any worse because you will have to send your stuff over Internet anyways. You will have access to those files even if someone shut off your machine at home or it crashed or its Internet is down. You'll also be able to share files with it. You can't share the SSH access.
post #4 of 8
Thread Starter 
yea i thought of drop box and drive, in fact i use drive for word documents/pdfs, but i wanted direct connection to access large files that you can't upload to drive. large files like tv series because the mba ill get is the 128gb ssd version, and really dont wanna pay 200$ for 256gb, because even after that 200$, 256 is not that big when it comes to media files. I have a 3 hour break in between classes on mondays and thursdays so i wanted to access movies and tv shows without putting them on the laptop ssd.
I know at this point i may as well use netflix or stream off of itunes cloud, but i want access to some game recordings as well and screw around it with aftereffects or something, make some intros out of a compilation of game scenes.
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post #5 of 8
There should be something better in that case. With SSH, I don't think you can use that to access files directly without downloading first, so you can't directly open them with a video player and stream.

Perhaps see if there's encryption for SMB. That's the name of the method Windows uses to access folders on the network. The Linux open-source server for that is called Samba. It feels scary to open the Windows file sharing stuff up for access over the Internet. I don't know if that's smart.
post #6 of 8
For what you want in that case, just get a 1TB external drive for like 100 bucks. Keeps all your stuff handy, no need to risk opening up your computer to attacks. Its more work to keep all your stuff updated but it shouldn't be too hard
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post #7 of 8
I looked around a bit because it sounded interesting. There's no good way to do this with just NFS or SMB or something like that by itself. You may not open those services up to the Internet. It's not a good idea.

You would have to connect your two machines with a VPN. At home, you'd have access to your SMB shared folders over your LAN. For remote access, your laptop would set up a VPN connection to a VPN server on your home machine.

I don't know how to set something like that up, but it sounds interesting. I think you would have to read up on how to edit route tables and things like that. This is because usually the GUI wizards you'd use for setting up something like a VPN connection will want to use that one as a gateway for everything, Internet etc. You'd just want traffic to that single machine routed over this connection, not anything else.
post #8 of 8
I think if you just use hamachi (from logmein), you can browse the shared folders on your PC as if you were on the local network.

I would try that, then if the videos still don't stream try setting up one of the media streamers people use for their xbox/ps3.
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