Private file sharing over LAN
August 2, 2008 3:14 AM   Subscribe

Computer 1 (XP SP2) and Computer 2 (XP) are connected to a router. I want to transfer and manipulate files from one on the other. I don't want to use File and Print Sharing. Any solutions?

Ideally, I'd like to

queue files for download or upload,
be able to pause & resume,
password protect,
rename, move, delete files on the other (don't need remote desktop app, but if it does the trick, fine)
know if files are being transferred or manipulated on my current station

Now, I've tried a few private P2P apps, like Gigatribe and Remobo but they all seem to operate across the public Internet. I want this app installed just on these 2 computers.

posted by daksya to Computers & Internet (12 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Well you can always use FileZilla free FTP server and client. it'll do everything you ask for.
posted by PowerCat at 3:25 AM on August 2, 2008

Response by poster: I already use FileZilla as a FTP client. It seems the server is a separate app. I prefer a integrated service.
posted by daksya at 5:54 AM on August 2, 2008

What's wrong with file and print sharing?
posted by gjc at 6:07 AM on August 2, 2008

I agree, that's a weird constraint. I don't know of any off-the-shelf products that will do what you want without a server daemon of some sort, but if you were a developer it's conceivable you could hack one of the open-source p2p apps like gnutella to run only on your subnet.

You could also, I suppose script something together for bittorrent- detect new files, create torrent, publish somehow to the other computer, other computer loads download-only (no sharing) instance of bt with that torrent.
posted by mkultra at 7:13 AM on August 2, 2008

Really, though, the proper (IMO) way to do this is to run rsync over ssh even though it requires a server component on one machine. Functionally, it'll do everything you want, and none of the queuing funny business, and it's totally secure.

On the UNIX (and Mac) side, it's a standard piece of the architecture, and it's so annoying that I can't access a standard Windows box this way. Maybe Cygwin is your answer- run rsync and ssh that way.
posted by mkultra at 7:17 AM on August 2, 2008

rsync does not offer queuing, is unidirectional (although you can specify which direction) doesn't offer pause/resume nor does it allow you to rename or move files.

daksya's list of requirements precludes just about everything besides an ftp server.
posted by furtive at 8:24 AM on August 2, 2008

Why an application to do what is built into the operating system? Why not File Sharing?

Well - here is what I do (because I generally do lock down my wife/kids computers and disallow File Sharing ;-) )

I bought a cheap NAS device, which has it's own file sharing service and security - then I store all my files there.
posted by jkaczor at 8:24 AM on August 2, 2008

Define integrated. The ftp server runs as a service when installed.
posted by damn dirty ape at 9:55 AM on August 2, 2008

rsync ... doesn't offer pause/resume

it totally does .. check the -u option. I mean, you can't exactly pause, but you most certainly can resume.
posted by judge.mentok.the.mindtaker at 10:16 AM on August 2, 2008

In case you still haven't found a solution, check out HFS - HTTP File Server
HFS - HTTP File Server is an easy to use drag and drop file server for personal file sharing. It runs as a standalone executable and does not require any installation. The program is very easy to use, just drag a file into it to share it with the world. You can customize the port it is running on, specify the IP address and monitor connections from the tray icon. HFS presents the shared files on a simple HTML page, that includes the file name and size. With some HTML knowledge, you can completely customize the HTML template to meet your preference. HFS can also integrate into Windows Explorer, allowing you to easily share files from the right-click menu.

posted by KebertXela at 10:38 AM on August 2, 2008

I can't think of anything that fits all your criteria, but if the only thing wrong with the P2P apps is that they contact the internet, perhaps you can just use a software firewall on each computer to keep them off the internet? (i.e. prevent them from connecting to any non-local IP)
posted by equalpants at 3:35 PM on August 2, 2008

Response by poster: if the only thing wrong with the P2P apps is that they contact the internet, perhaps you can just use a software firewall..

It's not just a matter of contacting the Internet, which by itself, is fine. In Gigatribe, when I setup a simple username, the response was that it was already taken. So even though it's a private P2P app, there's one public Internet-wide namespace. I don't want that. I want a truly private local app.

So far it is looking like I'll just go with the Filezilla server. But I'm still open to suggestions.

As for what's wrong with native sharing: no queuing, pause & resume, rate control, no indication of what's being copied at the moment from my station..etc.
posted by daksya at 10:30 PM on August 2, 2008

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