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Author Topic: Problems using a Windows 8.1 as a file-server via VPN connection  (Read 2340 times)


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I need to create a simple "file-server" where anyone with permissions to access the files can add/edit etc. to the places they have permissions.  If possible I would prefer that this be done using a standard Windows 8.1 Pro system.

It works perfectly in a normal networked environment with all local connections.  The problems occurred only when the same people wanted access if they were not on the local network. Since i already had a VPN configured with all the users access permissions on another system i tried adding a few of these as a test and they worked with no problem.

I used Soft-ether <Thanks  4WD :) > which i have found to be the best VPN software I have ever used.  But I cannot leave these shared files on the Server 2008 System; Its normal use of hosting a SQL DB has too many restrictions on what I can do as far as virus-scans etc.

Everything i am doing is possible on Windows 8.1 Pro by creating additional users with "Local" accounts on the system hosting the files and it works as it should as long as the access is on the local network.  It also works as it should over VPN if I use the Server 2008R2 system as the host.  The problems come up trying to access those same files over a VPN  on Windows 8.1. 

The VPN connection goes through, the remote system is assigned an IP as though it was in the office, No errors are showing anywhere.  But there is no access to anything on the remote system using the the same files that work fine when the users is actually ON that network rather than connected via VPN.  I cannot even ping the host IP from the remote system even though it shows as being on the same IP range.

This leads me to believe it is something that is being blocked by Windows 8.1 that was not blocked by Server 2008R2.  In the past I have made many connections of this type using Windows 7 Pro systems as host with no problems.  What I found so far seems to be in some way related to the new Home-group  setup in Windows 8 n order to share in this manner but I am not sure if it is possible in a HomeGroup to set individual permissions at the shared folder level?

If anyone has already done this and could point me the way to a solution, I would appreciate it.  I hate to buy and load Server 2012 OS just to be able to share folders over a VPN unless that is the only way.


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You could consider something like: Owncloud (open source)

That will allow you to create users with passwords that can have access to separated and shared storage folders. Make that work locally on the Windows 8.1 machine. You can configure the storage folders to be anywhere on your local machine or network.

Now there are 2 ways to let your users connect to that Owncloud server:
1. Users still use the VPN software to connect to your network, then use a browser to connect to your local Owncloud server where they login and do their up- and downloading as necessary.
2. You make the Owncloud server publicly available on the internet. Users can then use a browser to connect to your Owncloud server where they login and do their up- and downloading as necessary.

Option 1 would be the easier/fastest/more secure option for you.
Option 2 would be the easier option for your users.

There are alternatives for the Owncloud software, if you don't like that particular piece of software.

Why the requirement of Windows 8.1?
There is a reason you should use Windows Server editions instead of normal Windows editions for these kind of jobs. Server editions are equipped to handle lots of concurrent network connections that allow your users to do their work properly. The limits of normal Windows versions in this aspect will become very clear, sooner than later.

Heck, even setting up a Linux server is likely going to give you less problems than the setup you propose.