How to Remotely Access Files on Your Network Storage Device: Step 1 of 3

Manipulating files on your ShareCenter network storage device is easy: Fire up your device in the network section of Windows Explorer to add, delete, move, and copy files to your heart’s content.

But what if you want to access these files from a computer that’s outside of your network? Lucky for you, I’ll cover that in this and the next few blog posts.

First, if your network storage device is behind a router — and I hope it is, for maximum data security (among other reasons) — you’re going to need to forward a port to your ShareCenter device. Why? Your router needs to know not to block requests for your network storage device’s Web server. By forwarding a specific port, you’re essentially creating a digital tunnel, which you then use to forge a connection between an external system and your network storage device.

To forward a port on a D-Link router, follow these steps:

  1. Fire up your router’s web configuration screen, log in, and click on the top navigation button to get to the “Advanced” menu.

  2. Click on Port Forwarding in the sidebar.

  3. Enter a name for the Port Forwarding. I use, simply, “NAS.”

  4. Enter your NAS box’s IP address in the “IP Address” field

  5. Enter “80” for both the TCP and UDP ports.

  6. Save your settings

Those should be all the options you need to set. Although the specific fields could vary depending on your router, the options should be clearly labeled and similar to the above steps.

Port forwarding is a super-useful concept in networking, one whose greater applicability I’ll explore further in the future. However, for your network storage-to-external system file-sharing, the next concept you need to master is dynamic DNS — conveniently, the subject of my next post!

Prefer to learn by watching? Click here to watch a video showing these steps in action.

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