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Sharing an External Hard Drive over the Interwebz?


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#1 ITzzJake

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Posted 18 April 2011 - 10:24 PM

I have a 500gb Western Digital external hard drive that is hooked up to my Macbook. It is already shared on my network, but is there a way I could enter something like www.jakepercy.com/files and have my external hard drive's files come up? I have looked at PogoPlug but it seems that you have to pay for that, which I would not like to do. I have DynDNS, but to be honest, I'm kind of lost with it.

Thanks for your help,
-Jake

Edited by ITzzJake, 18 April 2011 - 10:34 PM.


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#2 keyboardNinja

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Posted 18 April 2011 - 11:34 PM

If you wanted to connect by way of SSH, http://lifehacker.com/#!205090/geek-to-live--set-up-a-personal-home-ssh-server

See the part near the end titled "Mac SSH Server".

I have setup an SSH server on a Windows 7 PC using freeSSHd, but not on a Mac before, so I can't give specific instructions on how to do it with your external hard drive.

Or if you want to use a program like XAMPP, that would work, too. It all depends on what you want exactly.

Edited by keyboardNinja, 18 April 2011 - 11:35 PM.

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#3 ITzzJake

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Posted 19 April 2011 - 02:42 PM

Okay, I decided to install XAMPP.

But err.... what do I do next? :blink:

#4 keyboardNinja

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Posted 19 April 2011 - 03:51 PM

I probably should have mentioned you should install it on the external hard drive (drag the XAMPP folder to the external drive instead of your Applications folder).

After that, if you put the files you want to be able to access over the internet in a subfolder (called myfiles, perhaps) of /XAMPP/htdocs/ (try something simple like a text file or PDF at first), you should be able to access that folder over the internet by typing your IP address into your browser's address bar (for example: 74.125.159.104/myfiles) if port 80 is open in your router (and your ISP doesn't block it).

Bear in mind that without changing the settings, anybody who has your public IP can access the files. Also, you will not be able to edit, add, or change files in this manner. It's like visiting any other web page...read only.

This is where SSH would be better, in my opinion, as you can edit existing files and save new ones onto your external from anywhere you can SSH in from.
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#5 ITzzJake

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Posted 19 April 2011 - 05:50 PM

Okay, well that is out of the question then. I would need to edit/add/change files.

...so back to the SSH stuff. I did what the LifeHacker told me to, and enabled "Remote Login" in my system preferences. What now? That's all the blog post said to do.

How do I access it? And how could I have www.jakepercy.com/files redirect to the files on my External Hard Drive?

Thanks again for your help,
-Jake

Edited by hamluis, 19 April 2011 - 07:20 PM.
Removed unnecessary quote.


#6 keyboardNinja

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Posted 19 April 2011 - 07:30 PM

How do I access it?

On a Windows machine, you can run WinSCP (one of my favorite programs) or WinSCP Portable.

On a Mac, you can use Filezilla (similar to WinSCP, albeit slightly more difficult to use in my opinion) or MacFUSE (never tried this one).

And how could I have www.jakepercy.com/files redirect to the files on my External Hard Drive?

This will not work for reasons stated previously:

you will not be able to edit, add, or change files in this manner. It's like visiting any other web page...read only.

If you have your Mac setup as an Apache server (which is what XAMPP does, essentially) and you access the files through http in your browser, you can only download them (unless you know enough about HTML or PHP to code an upload page....which I don't).

On the other hand, connecting by SSH allows you to edit existing files and save new ones onto your external from anywhere you can SSH in from. Once you connect, it's like any other file browser, with the exception of SSH being secure. Linux is the only operating system to my knowledge that has SSH built into the file browser (Nautilus).

All you need to remember is your Macbook's public IP address. The easiest way to get it is: http://www.ipchicken.com/

Enter your public IP and username into your SSH client of choice and connect. I've never SSH'd into a Mac before, so I don't know exactly what the experience will be like, but it should work.
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