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Remote Web File Manager for FreeNAS: What You Need to Know - TechJunkie



Remote Web File Manager for FreeNAS: What You Need to Know




If you have a FreeNAS server at home or in your office, you might want to access your files remotely from anywhere and any device. But how can you do that without compromising the security and performance of your network-attached storage (NAS) system? In this article, we will explain what a remote web file manager is, why you need one for FreeNAS, and how to set it up in two different ways.




remote web file manager for freenas



Introduction




What is FreeNAS?




FreeNAS is a free and open-source operating system based on FreeBSD and the OpenZFS file system. It allows you to turn any computer into a NAS device that can store and share files across your network. FreeNAS has many features and benefits, such as:



  • It supports various file sharing protocols, such as SMB/CIFS, NFS, AFP, FTP, iSCSI, WebDAV, etc.



  • It has a web interface that lets you easily manage your storage pools, users, shares, permissions, plugins, etc.



  • It offers data protection and integrity with ZFS snapshots, replication, encryption, deduplication, compression, etc.



  • It has a plugin system that allows you to extend its functionality with applications such as Plex Media Server, Nextcloud, Transmission, etc.



  • It is compatible with many hardware platforms and devices, such as x86-64 servers, Raspberry Pi, smart TVs, smartphones, tablets, etc.



What is a remote web file manager?




A remote web file manager is a software application that allows you to access your files stored on a remote server via a web browser. It usually provides a graphical user interface (GUI) that resembles a file explorer or a file manager. With a remote web file manager, you can:



  • Browse your files and folders on the server



  • Upload and download files between the server and your device



  • Create, rename, move, copy, delete files and folders



  • Edit text files and view images



  • Share files with others via links or email



  • Search for files by name or content



  • Compress and decompress files



  • Change file permissions and ownership



Why do you need a remote web file manager for FreeNAS?




A remote web file manager for FreeNAS can be useful for many reasons, such as:



  • You want to access your files on FreeNAS from outside your local network (e.g., from another location or device)



  • You want to access your files on FreeNAS without installing any software or configuring any settings on your device (e.g., from a public computer or a friend's phone)



  • You want to access your files on FreeNAS without using any file sharing protocol that might be blocked by firewalls or routers (e.g., SMB/CIFS or NFS)



  • You want to access your files on FreeNAS with a simple and intuitive interface that does not require any technical knowledge or skills (e.g., for non-tech savvy users)



How to access your files remotely on FreeNAS




There are two main options to access your files remotely on FreeNAS: using an SFTP client like FileZilla or installing Nextcloud plugin on FreeNAS. We will explain each option in detail below.


Option 1: Use an SFTP client like FileZilla




SFTP stands for Secure File Transfer Protocol. It is a protocol that allows you to transfer files securely over SSH (Secure Shell). SSH is a protocol that allows you to remotely access and control a server via a command-line interface. By using an SFTP client like FileZilla, you can connect to your FreeNAS server via SSH and browse your files with a GUI. To do this, you need to follow these steps:


Step 1: Enable SSH service on FreeNAS




To enable SSH service on FreeNAS, you need to log in to the web interface of your FreeNAS server and go to Services > SSH. Then check the box next to Start Automatically and click Save. You can also change some settings such as port number, root login permission, compression level, etc. if you want.


Step 2: Install and configure FileZilla on your device




To install FileZilla on your device (e.g., Windows PC), you need to download it from https://filezilla-project.org/download.php and follow the installation instructions. To configure FileZilla for connecting to your FreeNAS server via SFTP/SSH, you need to open FileZilla and go to File > Site Manager. Then click New Site and enter the following information:



  • Host: The IP address or hostname of your FreeNAS server (e.g., 192.168.1.100 or freenas.local)



  • Port: The port number of SSH service on your FreeNAS server (e.g., 22)



  • Protocol: SFTP - SSH File Transfer Protocol



  • Logon Type: Normal



  • User: The username of an account that has permission to access the files on your FreeNAS server (e.g., root)



  • Password: The password of the account that has permission to access the files on your FreeNAS server (e.g., freenas)



Then click Connect and accept the host key if prompted.


Step 3: Connect to your FreeNAS server and browse your files




Once you are connected to your FreeNAS server via SFTP/SSH using FileZilla, you will see two panels: one for the local site (your device) and one for the remote site (your FreeNAS server). You can browse your files and folders on both sites by clicking on them. You can also upload and download files between them by dragging and dropping them. You can also perform other actions such as creating, renaming, moving, copying, deleting, editing, viewing, sharing, searching, compressing, decompressing, changing permissions, etc. by right-clicking on them.


Option 2: Install Nextcloud plugin on FreeNAS




Nextcloud is a free and open-source software that allows you to create your own cloud storage service. It has many features such as file synchronization, sharing, collaboration, calendar, contacts, notes, tasks, etc. By installing Nextcloud plugin on FreeNAS, you can turn your FreeNAS server into a cloud storage server that you can access from any web browser or mobile app. To do this, you need to follow these steps:


Step 1: Install Nextcloud plugin from the web interface




To install Nextcloud plugin from the web interface of your FreeNAS server, you need to log in and go to Plugins > Available Plugins. Then find Nextcloud in the list and click Install. You can also change some settings such as jail name, IP address, network interface, etc. if you want.


Step 2: Configure Nextcloud settings and users




To configure Nextcloud settings and users, you need to open a web browser and go to http:///nextcloud (e.g., Step 3: Access your files from any web browser or mobile app




Once you have configured Nextcloud settings and users, you can access your files from any web browser or mobile app. To access your files from a web browser, you need to go to http:///nextcloud (e.g., http://192.168.1.101/nextcloud) and log in with your username and password. To access your files from a mobile app, you need to download and install the Nextcloud app from the App Store or Google Play Store and enter the same URL and credentials.


Once you are logged in, you will see a dashboard with various icons for files, photos, activity, talk, mail, etc. You can click on the files icon to browse your files and folders on your FreeNAS server. You can also upload and download files between your device and your server by clicking on the plus icon or the three dots icon. You can also perform other actions such as creating, renaming, moving, copying, deleting, editing, viewing, sharing, searching, compressing, decompressing, changing permissions, etc. by right-clicking on them or using the toolbar.


Conclusion




Summary of the main points




In this article, we have explained what a remote web file manager is, why you need one for FreeNAS, and how to set it up in two different ways. We have shown you how to use an SFTP client like FileZilla or install Nextcloud plugin on FreeNAS to access your files remotely from anywhere and any device. Both options have their advantages and disadvantages, so you can choose the one that suits your needs and preferences.


Call to action and recommendations




If you want to learn more about FreeNAS and its features, you can visit https://www.freenas.org/ or https://www.truenas.com/community/. If you want to learn more about SFTP and FileZilla, you can visit https://filezilla-project.org/. If you want to learn more about Nextcloud and its features, you can visit https://nextcloud.com/.


We hope you have found this article helpful and informative. If you have any questions or feedback, please feel free to leave a comment below. Thank you for reading!


FAQs





  • What is the difference between FTP and SFTP?



  • FTP stands for File Transfer Protocol. It is a protocol that allows you to transfer files over a network. However, FTP is not secure because it does not encrypt the data or the credentials. SFTP stands for Secure File Transfer Protocol. It is a protocol that allows you to transfer files securely over SSH (Secure Shell). SSH is a protocol that allows you to remotely access and control a server via a command-line interface. SSH encrypts the data and the credentials.



  • What is the difference between Nextcloud and Dropbox?



  • Dropbox is a cloud storage service that allows you to store and sync your files online. You can access your files from any web browser or mobile app. However, Dropbox has some limitations such as storage space, privacy, security, etc. Nextcloud is a software that allows you to create your own cloud storage service on your own server. You can access your files from any web browser or mobile app. You have more control over your data, such as storage space, privacy, security, etc.



  • How can I backup my files on FreeNAS?



  • You can backup your files on FreeNAS using various methods such as ZFS snapshots, replication, encryption, etc. You can also use plugins such as Bacula, Duplicati, Restic, etc. to backup your files to external destinations such as another server, USB drive, cloud service, etc.



  • How can I share my files on FreeNAS?



  • You can share your files on FreeNAS using various file sharing protocols such as SMB/CIFS, NFS, AFP, FTP, iSCSI, WebDAV, etc. You can also use plugins such as Plex Media Server, Nextcloud, Transmission, etc. to share your files with others via streaming, syncing, downloading, etc.



  • How can I secure my files on FreeNAS?



  • You can secure your files on FreeNAS using various methods such as ZFS encryption, deduplication, compression, etc. You can also use plugins such as ClamAV, Fail2ban, OpenVPN, etc. to protect your files from viruses, brute force attacks, unauthorized access, etc.




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