Help me securely share folders across different networks
July 2, 2008 10:04 AM   Subscribe

Help me share a folder across the internet without compromising my firewall

I have a desktop at work with multiple hard drives and a large amount of data. Lately I have been working at several remote research sites and find the need to grab files from the desktop. So I shared some folders and restricted access to my username. The desktop has a static IP so the share works like so


so far so good. Zone alarm [on the desktop], however, denies access when I am on a different network. I've talked to the IT admins at a few of my research sites and entered those IP ranges into my trusted zone but it would be impossible for me to cover every single site (and the occasional coffee shop in the middle of nowhere). What can I do to get around this?

Sharing works perfectly when zone alarm is turned off. I could, for example, enter to as a trusted range but that would defeat the purpose of having the firewall. I'm stumped.

Both computers run XP
posted by special-k to Computers & Internet (11 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
You may want to look into a system like Hamachi ; it lets you set up a more secure VPN, which will help you here.
posted by jenkinsEar at 10:10 AM on July 2, 2008

Any chance you could put Hamachi LogMeIn on both machines? I do that to share files between home and a few work machines, and just disable the firewall on the Hamachi virtual network adapter.
posted by JaredSeth at 10:11 AM on July 2, 2008

Damn! Beaten to the punch.
posted by JaredSeth at 10:12 AM on July 2, 2008

Here's one way to do it, via OpenSSH and cygwin. You could use PuTTY on the client computer.

But, really, the best way of doing this is with a VPN. Talk to your IT dept., they could set one up.
posted by philomathoholic at 10:18 AM on July 2, 2008

You can store the files off-site somewhere on a dedicated server (recommended) or you can go the cheap route and install FileZilla server on your computer. Set it to accept only FTPS or SFTP. Create a login for everyone who uses it. Or one generic login if you must. Tell your firewall to open it to the world.

It also supports speed limits and lockout by IP after x amount of fails. Recommend you do the latter so no one can brute force your login/password.

If you continue to use windows networking for this then you really should remove "everyone" from sharing and make a user account for your buddies to use.
posted by damn dirty ape at 10:22 AM on July 2, 2008

WinSSHD works great and is easy to setup.
posted by wongcorgi at 10:27 AM on July 2, 2008

I use Hamachi (to share itunes) and tried this but the work desktop is on a domain (can't switch to a workgroup) and the laptop can't go on this domain. So that option didn't work for me.
posted by special-k at 10:28 AM on July 2, 2008

If youre on a domain without admin rights then this might be a good question for your IT department.
posted by damn dirty ape at 10:35 AM on July 2, 2008

Actually, I have full admin rights on the desktop. I could opt out of the domain [windows won't let me be on a domain AND a workgroup simultaneously] but it would prevent me from automatic backup to remote servers, printers etc.
posted by special-k at 10:41 AM on July 2, 2008

I'm a dummy. I had the old hamachi vpn running in my taskbar. I didn't know they specifically made an application for file sharing. Thanks everyone!
posted by special-k at 11:08 AM on July 2, 2008

I use Foldershare. I think it would work perfectly for what you describe. Just make sure UPnP is enabled on your firewall.
posted by nokry56 at 11:28 AM on July 2, 2008

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