I have a Mac Mini that I run as a home server and I'd like to share some folders on it over the Internet. I need the following:

  1. It needs to be a client app that talks to a central server (like Dropbox), not a server software that requires a public IP or VPN.
  2. I should be able to access this anywhere over the internet through a web interface, or something else like webDAV etc.
  3. It should just be an app, not something that requires installing any kexts or filesystems.

Note: I'm not looking for a cloud storage service, I'm looking to access the files on my machine remotely, but through a central third party service rather than needing a public IP to that machine or a VPN.

So far the only thing I've found that does something like it is the PogoPlug Software. However I find it rather unstable, very inelegant and requires installing a filesystem driver, which I'm not happy for it to do.

Are there any other services that offer something of the like but with a better made client app?

  • Can you elaborate why you consider Dropbox unsuitable for your needs?
    – bdecaf
    Commented Mar 1, 2012 at 10:41
  • Clarified above :)
    – kLy
    Commented Mar 1, 2012 at 20:26
  • Have you tried "back to my mac"? Sounds it provides what you ask for.
    – bdecaf
    Commented Mar 1, 2012 at 20:45

5 Answers 5


Back to My Mac (iCloud)

If you're running Lion and have an iCloud account, you can use Back to My Mac. With Back to My Mac, your server will show up in the Finder's sidebar under Shared, just like it would if you were on the same local network.

This solution does not have a web interface, but I personally prefer connecting to my file servers the same way (through the Finder) whether I'm on the LAN or connecting remotely.


An alternative to iCloud that doesn't require Lion is Slink, which I highly recommend. I've been using Slink as an alternative to VPN for about a year without any problems.

Slink works similarly to VPN, connecting you to your network, not just your file server, but is extremely easy to setup (doesn't require entering a public IP anywhere). You setup your server by installing a System Preference pane (the Slink Agent), then setup the Slink app on each of the client computers.

Like Back to My Mac, this solution does not have a web interface. Also, like Back to My Mac, your server will show up in the Finder's sidebar once you've used Slink to make the connection.

You can purchase Slink from Slinkware directly or on the Mac App Store. They also have a demo available.


TeamViewer is a common cross-platform solution for remote control and file sharing over the Internet, and it's free for personal use. It doesn't integrate with the Finder as Back to My Mac and Slink do, but being cross-platform definitely has its advantages. It also doesn't have web-based access, but there are TeamViewer clients for OS X, Windows, Linux, iOS, and Android, which may make up for it.

LogMeIn Pro

For a web-based solution, you could use LogMeIn Pro. Because it's web-based, it's also cross-platform, and there are client apps for iOS and Android. Unfortunately, the free version doesn't include file sharing.

You may also want to check out LogMeIn Hamachi, which functions more like Slink, but with more options. I haven't tried Hamachi in a long time, but when I tested it, it was less reliable and more difficult to setup than Slink, so I went with Slink instead.


There are several cloud storage companies offering that, as you mentioned, Dropbox being one of them.

Box.com is another, they seem to offer more storage from the get go.

My lab uses Dropbox with a paid account which we like, but we're considering box.com due to more flexible pricing.

To share the files outright, we use URLs from dropbox which we give to collaborators. Are you looking to share files with the world? Or just close friends/associates?

  • You misunderstand. I do not want a cloud storage solution on someone else's servers. I want storage hosted on my machine, but through a third party service rather than my own public IP / VPN. I will clarify the question.
    – kLy
    Commented Mar 1, 2012 at 19:41
  • Ah, ok. As mentioned below, LogMeIn does an ok job for accessing your desktop remotely.
    – gmoney
    Commented Mar 2, 2012 at 17:35

I've recently become a big fan of LiveDrive BriefCase. For $140/year you get 2TB of storage space that you can use to sync or share your files.


I was going to point out LogmeIn but Joelseph got in first, I've used logmein a few times from the office, since its web based you shouldn't have many problems accessing it anywhere


You could always use no-ip.com - they offer a free dynamic dns service (so no need for a static ip, but you do get a domain name) - then you could ftp to it.

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