By Ellie / Last Updated July 15, 2022

How to access my computer files remotely

“My job requires me to travel frequently. But sometimes, I may need an important file stored on my office computer. It was really troublesome to ask my colleagues to open my computer and send it to me. So I wonder how to access my computer files remotely?

- Question from Reddit”

Six ways to access computer files remotely

Actually, accessing files on remote computer is not a difficult problem. There are several different ways to achieve this. Here, we listed six methods. Some of them even allow you to transfer files between remote computers.

Method 1. Remote access software

There is pretty much remote access software that allows you to access computer files remotely from anywhere. For example, AnyViewer. With this tool, you can easily access files on remote computer following the steps below:

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Step 1. Download, install and launch AnyViewer on both computers. Go to Log in, and then click Sign up. (If you already have signed up on its official website, you can log in directly.)

Log in AnyViewer

Step 2. Fill in the signup information.

Sign Up for AnyViewer

Step 3. Then you can see you successfully logged in to AnyViewer. Your device will automatically be assigned to the account you've logged in to.

Free Editions

Step 4. Log in to the same AnyViewer account on the other device, then you can achieve unattended remote assistance by clicking Remote control.

Connect to My Devices

Step 5. Then you can control the host computer and access any files on it. You are also able to transfer files between them. Find the File on the toolbar.

Files

Step 6. Then a File Transfer dialog box will appear. The path of the Controller computer is shown on the left of the box, and the path of the Recipient computer is shown on the right. You’re able to transfer files between devices freely by clicking the arrows after choosing the target files.

Choose Files

✍Note: Using remote access software to access files on remote computer is fairly easy and convenient. A similar tool like AnyViewer is Windows Remote Desktop, which could also enable you to remotely access PC from iPhone.

Method 2. VPNs

You can also install a VPN server. Then your machine will be recognized as a member of your local network and will have access to all local file shares. This allows you to access shared Windows files and other network storage devices that are normally restricted to the local network. Let's see how to set up a VPN on Windows 10.

Before you begin, consider the following:

  • If it’s for work, seek VPN settings or a VPN app on your company’s intranet site, or contact your company’s support person.
  • If it’s for personal use, visit the website of the VPN service you subscribe to see if the VPN connection settings to use are posted there.

Step 1. Navigate here: Start > Settings >  Network & Internet > VPN. Click Add a VPN connection.

Add a VPN Connection

Step 2. In Add a VPN connection, fill in the following information to create a VPN profile on your PC. Then click Save.

Fill in VPN Connection

Step 3. When you have a VPN profile, you’re ready to connect. On the far right of the taskbar, select the Network icon. Then select the VPN connection you want to use.

Connect to a VPN

Method 3. Cloud Storage Services

Online backup services such as Google Drive, Dropbox, and One Drive, among others, make it simple to access files from any location. Simply sign up for a free account (almost all cloud services give 10 -15 GB of free storage) and upload your files to your backup services. Then you can view those files and folders remotely. Your account can be accessed with any web browser or through their mobile app.

Google Drive

Method 4. Dedicated NAS Devices

Setting up NAS (network-attached storage) devices is similar to setting up your personal cloud storage. Consider it a large external hard disk that is linked to your office network. You keep all of your files on NAS and can access them via the internet or any device in your home. This strategy is ideal for file sharing and backups across numerous PCs. You may even configure your NAS to access files using FTP and/or web browsers if you like.

Some NAS devices do not have this remote access enabled by default, but it is simple to forward a port to make its web interface available via the internet. It is not a secure method unless you know how to properly configure a NAS for internet access.

Network Attached Storage

Method 5. Router With USB Port

Some routers include a USB connection that allows you to connect a USB hard drive. Any machine on your local network can then access the USB hard disk. Your router may also allow you to share any connected storage devices over the Internet. Store your PC’s critical files on a network storage device and access them via the Internet.

Router with USB Port

Method 6. FTP Servers

FTP (File Transfer Protocol) is similar to VPNs in that you install it on your home computer and enable Internet access to it. Because FTP is typically unencrypted, anyone can simply monitor your files in transit and spoof your passwords. however, this may not be very secure as you’d have to expose your FTP server to the Internet. 

To deal with this, you can utilize SFTP, which encrypts the internet connection. However, in order to establish an SFTP connection, you must first generate self-signed certificates. For newcomers, the process can be a little complicated and difficult.

FTP Servers

Conclusion

This post introduces six options for you to access computer files remotely. But we recommend the first method, free remote access software AnyViewer. It has the advantages of being free, simple, and convenient when compared to other ways. AnyViewer is the best solution if you are a computer novice and need to access files on a remote computer.