Nowadays we’re all about sharing and having content available everywhere. This has been made possible by the rapid growth in Internet utilization in more devices and of course, Internet speed. While sharing isn’t an issue any more, sometimes we have problems locating and keeping track of all the information that we have. This is something that happens in our homes also, where we have files spread on different devices.
Making your files available from anywhere has become a very simple task, and with only a minimum of knowledge and a Internet connection, you can achieve this in a matter of minutes. Today we’ll be showing you exactly how to how to access your files from anywhere in the house, and from any other location for that matter. There are a few ways in which you can make your content available across multiple devices or multiple locations: here they are.
Access Files Anywhere in the House
Before we move on to showing you how to make your files accessible from everywhere in the house, you must keep in mind a few things. First of all, ensure that you have Internet access to all your devices if you want to make your files accessible via Internet, or connect all your devices if you want to create a local network. Also, pay attention to security, as you will be adding personal files to a network or service, you have to ensure that they are protected.
If you are all set, then you will have to figure out if you want to access your files via the Internet or via a local connection. Each of them have their own advantages and disadvantages, and therefore, you have yo know which one is the most suited for your needs. We’ll be explaining each of them and when you’re done reading this, you will be able to chose the one that is best for you.
Making files accessible over the Internet
Thanks to the multitude of services that are available on the web, this is probably the simplest way to make your files accessible from everywhere in the house, and because it is Internet based, you will be able to access your files from anywhere in the world, as long as you have an Internet connection available.
1. Using Cloud Storage
Probably the simplest way to make files accessible over the Internet is to create a backup of them on a cloud storage service. There are a lot of such services that offer free space, but if needed, you can also upgrade your space over time. This is perfect for making your photos or other media accessible from everywhere, and thanks to the easy access that these services offer, you will be able to view your files in seconds.
Also, if you use multiple devices, these services also offer mobile apps for gaining access on smartphones and tablets, as well as the desktop clients and web interfaces for accessing files from computers. In a home, this service is very useful, as you can quickly add files from one device and have them on any other within seconds, but due to the fact that they have limited storage, and even with a sturdy Internet connection, large files are not easily uploaded or downloaded.
If you want to use this service, keep in mind that it works best with small files, like photos or documents. Here are a few cloud storage services that might interest you:
2. Set up a Remote Interface for your computer
We’ve talked about this option in the past. There are a number of services that allow remote access to computers, and these work pretty good to some extent. However, they also work best with small files as they heavily rely on the speed on your Internet connection. Keep in mind that this method only allows users to access files on one computer at a time, therefore, it might not be what you are looking for if you wish to have access to files spread across multiple workstations.
If you are interested in how to remotely access your computer, check out our tutorials and the different services that allow you to do this:
3. Setting up a home server
Sometimes, having a separate computer act as your own home server is the way to go when you want to make your files accessible from all over the house. Although this system requires some skill to set up, it might be exactly what you need if you want. In order to make this work, you would need a computer that will be dedicated to the task of being your home server and nothing more, as it will store your files and allow you to connect from other computers and add or remove files.
Also, from your server, you will be able to stream video files or other media to dedicated devices, or you can use it just for usual storage or backups. Nevertheless, it requires you to keep it permanently on and it will have to run on a dedicated operating system, such as Windows Server or something similar. Keep in mind that these operating systems have to be configured, therefore, you might need to have some knowledge of how they work.
On a home server you can even set up a VPN service that will allow you to connect from anywhere in the world and access the files that you have on your server. Also, you can create a special webpage and use it as the main interface to add or receive files from your server.
4. Access files from anywhere by using a NAS
This method is probably the preferred one by many. Adding a NAS (Network Attached Storage), you essentially create a hard drive array that is connected to your network or to the Internet and this allows you to add files to it and read them from pretty much any device. To some extent, a NAS can be considered an external hard drive, which makes it easy to use and because it provides lots of memory, you can add many files on it.
Also, some routers can be hooked up to regular external hard drives, which essentially turns them into a NAS device, however, there aren’t as many router models that allow this feature, and so, you must first find one that does, and then see if it is feasible (the cost of the router and the external HDD can exceed the cost of a stand-alone NAS).
Accessing your files on a local network
If you only want access to to your files from your home, without the need of an Internet connection, there is a simple way to do this. You can create a network between two or more computers and share the files that you want to be visible from other locations. Also, keep in mind that if you want to create a network between more than two computers, you will need a switch. This method is pretty basic, and for those who need only local access to the files, it is a perfect solution, as it is very easy to set up and the cost of LAN cables is low. Also, for multiple computer setups, a switch is also pretty cheap.
These methods will allow you to make your files accessible from everywhere in the house. Also, if you know other methods of achieving this, either over the Internet or on a local network, please let us know by leaving a comment and we’ll be sure to add them to the list.