As digital media gets more and more popular it becomes necessary to share files between people. It's no longer always possible to simply email a file. Usually sending a video through a phone results in reduced resolution. A better solution is a dedicated file sharing tool.
File sharing tools solve these problems and offer many other features that can be useful.
What Is File Sharing?
File sharing is transferring files from one user's device to another. It can be on the local network, over the internet, from phone to PC, or from NAS to friends. Depending on what kind of file-sharing you want to do, there are many choices available.
Before setting up a file-sharing system it is a good idea to establish some goals. Not all file-sharing systems will accomplish all of those goals, and you may have to set up more than one.
Types of File Sharing
One of the first things you should decide when choosing a file-sharing system is how many people are going to have access to it and how many people are going to have the ability to change the files.
For instance, if you share files using a torrent system, then once you publish the file you can no longer change it. qBittorrent and Deluge are popular torrent clients.
Alternatively, if you use a personal sync then you can change the files any time you want. With some personal sync systems, you can even allow other people to change the files as well. A popular personal sync system is Resilio.
If instead, you use a server-based cloud, then you can have files hosted for many people to read and write to and you can send files to people who are not in your personal cloud ecosystem. Examples of this type of system include Nextcloud and Seafile.
All of the above systems can benefit from port forwarding, but some of them can function in a limited capacity without setting up a port forward.
Port Forwarding for File Sharing
Each file-sharing system uses its own dedicated set of TCP and UDP ports. As long as the port ranges do not overlap, you can run multiple file-sharing systems on the same network. For instance, you can run Seafile as a server-based sync at the same time as Deluge as a torrent client. Simply forward the correct ports listed below to the device running each service.
For more information about port forwarding visit our Ultimate Guide to Forwarding Ports in Your Router.
List of File Sharing Tools
Below is a list of tools that can be used to share files with people outside of your network. Some of these are software solutions that you install on your PC, some of them are apps that you install on a NAS, and some of them are hardware devices dedicated to file sharing. All of them will help you allow access to your files in a controlled way.
If you want to access your files from the internet, you will need to set up a port forward pointing at whichever solution you choose. We have port forwarding guides to help you with that. First, select your file-sharing tool from the list below to get to our guides. You will then need to choose your router from a list. Our detailed port forwarding guides show you how to forward ports on your specific router.