FileBrowser – Access files on remote computers
I’m somewhat surprised it’s taken me this long to discover a program like Filebrowser which lets you browse and view the contents of your desktop machine. It’s not Remote Desktop, instead you get access to all the files on the system. You can then open and view those files, like PDF or JPG or you can transfer them down and save them on the iPad. There is also the fantastic ability to play MP4 and MP3 files directly from a remote machine.
I really like this app for a slew of reasons. First, you can move and copy files around on the remote machine without sitting in front of it. You can view files directly from your "server" without actually storing them on your device. This basically means that you get unlimited storage space for the iPad. The thing I really like though is that I can get to files I don’t want with me all the time. For example, I can play music without having it take up space. I can watch a movie without it actually being in the device. I can view docs or scan through images without having them stored locally. It also means that I can grab files with ease. Normally you have to push files to the iPad while sitting at the desktop. This turns things around and makes the iPad the client. You can grab whatever files you need from wherever you happen to be. I find this method to be much more convenient.
Another feature that is a big win is how easy everything is to set up. You don’t need any additional software on your desktop, all you need is the client piece on the iPad. I downloaded the NetPortalLite app to make sure I could get a connection and see a small demo of how the software worked. I connected to my Windows Server 2003 and Windows 7 machines by specifying a username and password. There was no other configuration needed. I viewed a couple of files and even played a sample MP4 from the server itself. It took only a minute before I upgraded to the full version.
I love the way this apps works and the $2.99 price is a real bargain! I’m amazed at how easy the devs make the iPad to Windows integration. If you’re looking for a way to view files from a local or server, stream movies or make file transfers work from a remote location this is the way to go. The UI is simple to use and it should take you less than a minute to have the software installed and connected to your desktop. This app is well worth looking into!
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