We’ve already covered how to remotely connect to your office computer via VPN on your iPad, this article will cover how to browse files hosted on your office server via your iPad. Remotely connecting to your computer can provide the advantage of controlling your office PC and accessing server files as well. However, browsing files and controlling a computer screen via a small touch display can be awkward and un-intuitive without a mouse. FileBrowser makes browsing files on your office server much simpler by providing a native touch interface, very similar to that of other iOS apps. It’s important to mention that if you’re working from outside of the office, you’ll first need to establish a VPN connection on your iPad. For more on how to do this, please refer to our previous article on setting up VPN on iPads.
In order to connect to a Windows server, you’ll need the following:
- Server IP address or hostname
- Active Directory username and password
If you don’t have any of the previous info, check with your local IT contact or vendor.
To begin, FileBrowser gives the option of adding various file sources. Some of these include Dropbox, Box, SkyDrive, Time Capsule, etc. We’ll be focusing on adding a Windows file server, so go ahead and create a source by selecting the “PC” type. Once selected, fill in the Description field with something obvious (we used ETNY Server). Finally, you’ll need to enter the fields for Server IP or Name, Username, and Password. This is the info you would’ve acquired through your IT contact. When all is filled in, tap Save, and Connect. FileBrowser should take about 30 seconds to connect to your server and it will immediately list the folder directory you’re used to seeing on your computer.
FileBrowser has an extensive list of supported filetypes:
- Text, PDF, Numbers, Pages, Keynote, RTF
- Word, Excel, Powerpoint
- JPG, PNG, GIF, RAW, BMP, etc.
- C/C++/Objective C, Java, HTML, Python, etc.
- Zip files can be extracted with FileBrowser
FileBrowser goes for $5 in the App Store, a bit more than what you’d usually pay for an app. However, the list of features and ease of access it provides can boost productivity and make working on the go much more convenient.