Okay here's the problem ....

I need to connect to my friend's PC and access data in his hard disk and share mine also. Both of us are connected to the internet and are at different ends of the world.Data is huge. Which software allows us to do that on windows or on Linux and how ?

Note: we both might have different OS ...

  • Do you want to download data from his disk, or accessing them like if it was a hard drive on your machine ?
    – merours
    Jun 20, 2014 at 16:16
  • Download and access both.... Jun 20, 2014 at 17:39
  • Do you want the disks to appear on your machine? Should they just look like network drives? That would be simplest for non-techies? Or are you happy with solutions like Bittorrent synch, FiileZilla, etc? Most importantly (you might even want to update your question) - is this some set of data which must also be present and in synch on other's machines, or can you pick & choose from each other's drives and may not have the same matching data? Jan 5, 2016 at 11:08
  • You just want to share data? Not run programs on each other's PCs (do you want to prevent the latter?, or just don't care)? Jan 5, 2016 at 11:11

4 Answers 4


You can use BitTorrent Sync to share and access data directly from another PC, or even a mobile (Not through cloud). It supports Windows and Mac, unfortunately not Linux. You can use it in Android, Windows Phone, iOS also. No file size limit. And it's free.

  • That was my first thought (+1). But what if they don't always want the same data to be in synch? Jan 5, 2016 at 11:09

I use FileZilla FTP server on Windows + some FTP client on the device that needs to retrieve the file:

  • free
  • no size limit
  • many features like set read-only or limit bandwidth
  • with habit takes less than 1 minute to set up

Use Teamviewer.

You can access another persons' computer (after his permission), use his keyboard and mouse, and transfer files.

It's available for Windows, Mac and Linux, and it's free for personal use.

When you have to transfer big files I recommend setting up an account with a file transfer service. You may find that more reliable then using the direct transfer through Teamviewer, because you can do repeated attempts, you can do it while not connected to your friends computer, etc.

When you have to transfer reeeaaaally big files set up an FTP server as Franck said.

Note: this does not answer how you can directly access his drive, like you have a program running on your PC that needs to directly access files on his. I don't know enough about that.


Server side

If the server (machine hosting the files) is running Linux, you can easily set up your SFTP server (example for Debian GNU/Linux) :

  • Make sure the SSH/SFTP server package is installed: sudo apt-get install openssh-server
  • Enable the SSH server at boot sudo update-rc.d ssh enable; start the server sudo service ssh start
  • Recommended: set up SSH public key authentication.
  • Allow incoming SSH/SFTP connections: sudo iptables -P INPUT DROP; sudo iptables -P FORWARD DROP; iptables -P OUTPUT ACCEPT; sudo iptables -A INPUT -p tcp --dport 22 -j ACCEPT and save your iptables rules. Alternatively you can use ufw which is a simplified iptables interface: sudo apt-get install ufw; sudo ufw enable; sudo ufw allow 22/tcp
  • If your server is behind a NAT (e.g home router), forward router ports to your server.
  • Give your friend the username/password (or authorize his key) for the user account you want to share, and the address of the server (either direct IP address or get a sub-domain name at http://freedns.afraid.org/).

If the server is running Windows, you can load your Linux distro in a virtual machine like VirtualBox and set up your SFTP server the same way.

Client side

There are SFTP clients for both platforms:

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