Windows software for sharing files and folders like via FTP?

Maybe someone here would know of a free Windows program that would allow me to share a folder of files with another person over the internet - preferrably with a password. The thing is that I need it for a computer at home where I have an LTE connection which has most incoming ports blocked by the provider so I cannot use FTP or put up a HTTP server. However, remote desktop software like TeamViewer or AnyDesk have no problems with establishing connections - they have some special mechanisms (probably with the help of their servers) to work around such network restrictions.

Actually, both TeamViewer and AnyDesk offer file transfer mechanisms by providing a 2-pane file browser and they work very well except I always give access to all my drives in my computer with no way to restrict to a certain folder.

What I need:

  • choose a folder to share with a person who gets access credentials to it
  • the other person can browse the files and folders like with an FTP client or file explorer
  • direct P2P transferts - no file uploading like Dropbox or other cloud-like services
  • works accross NAT, routers, etc.

I thought this was a pretty simple set or requirements but searching for terms like file transfer, sharing, 2p2, etc. returns such a huge pile of trendy mess that I can’t really find anything concrete.

I have a disk with large amounts of data and I simply want to give access to it to someone remotely without having to upload this stuff anywhere.

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I’m curious about this need

It seems like using a repo, or maybe a thumb drive, would be the easiest way to transfer files without needing to worry about permission and security issues.

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What do you mean by a repo?

and send it by snail mail in the envelope?? Didn’t I write I wanted to share files over the internet? :smiley:

Yes you did, it was more on how I might possibly share some of my files with someone else.

eg. GitHub, Bitbucket.

Which, yes, you also said you didn’t want to do. Because this is how I would most likely share files, I was wondering what requirements you had that precluded this approach.

I have a whole disk with XX gigabytes of data, that’s why uploading all that to any service doesn’t make sense. I just want to put up the files for browsing so that the other person can choose what they need and download it. Something like an FTP server that works over a restricted network connection.


Maybe copy the files to a NAS, or put that disk connected to your router and give them read access to files there?

They need your IP and host-name but access could be restricted to the directory on the NAS or that disk on the router.

A friend of mine has connected a RaspBerryPi to a terrabyte harddrive and made it available through the Internet for saving and retrieving files. Access restricted by Username and password.

Perhaps using your computer instead of the RaspBerryPi would be better apart from the minimal power required to keep the RaspBerryPi available 24/7.

@Lemon_Juice, If you are interested I will ask for further details.

The main problem is not whether to use a NAS or RaspBerry Pi but my restricted internet connection that will not allow any incoming connections to a server service from the outside. My router has the ability to function as a NAS but this won’t help if my provider blocks the connections. I’ve been able to set up an FTP on my computer but it’s only accessible in my local network, port forwarding in my router doesn’t help.

That’s why I’m looking for an application that has mechanisms to work around that (like TeamViewer). I’ve read forums where people have the same problem with limited LTE connections and they say it’s possible to use a VPN to work around blocked ports and offer FTP in this way. But I’m not sure how I’d have to configure a VPN and still I’d have to get a VPN service from somewhere.

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So far I’ve managed to do more or less what I want with an awkward workaround: I launched a virtual machine with a Windows system and installed AnyDesk into it. I allowed access to the hard drive to share with VirtualBox shared folders and I assigned a drive letter to it. Now I can give another person access to the system in the VM via AnyDesk and he can access the drive contents through the mounted drive letter. A bit convoluted but works. The person now has access to all files in my VM (including the attached drive I want to share) but not on my main system.

I wish I could do this in a much simpler way…


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