Question Share a folder between two remote computers


Aug 11, 2018

First, I hope this is in the right category, if not please let me know so I can move it!

I'm looking for a way to set up a folder that can be shared between two PCs over the internet. Importantly, these computers are owned by different people (myself and a friend), but I'm happy to set up a new account on some service that might be able to do it where we can share a password.

The essential part of this folder is it needs to be able to sync all changes to both computers, and files are stored locally on both computers (actually downloaded, instead of just linking the cloud). We're trying to play a game with online content where both players need the same content, so we want a way to easily keep each other in sync without having to constantly give each other lists or .zip files. It's currently at about 8gb of data, but more is certainly welcome. The data isn't sensitive at all, and I trust my friend enough to not upload random viruses to my machine.

I've tried Google Drive but it seems you cant sync folders shared by other people. OneDrive's free account is limited to 5gb too so not that useful.

I do have access to a Ubuntu server with about 1tb free space, so also open to options that would let me share a folder from there if such a thing exists?



Dropbox only give 2gb on the free plan
Agreed, and even at that is going to require you to relocate the file each time you want to play anyway.

It would seem like using your server (could) be a way to go. Schedule backups to it from each machine, but would still require you to sync them yourself, or perhaps use robo-copy to make sure they are the same on a scheduled task...
You might could use Team Viewer to actually share it back and forth, but at the size of it could be clunky.

Sorry, wish I had better suggestion on this one.
The only cheap way to do this is going to be to place a server in one of your houses. It tends to not be safe to expose servers like this to the internet. The safe way to do it is to use a VPN between the locations and then access the server as if you were both on the same lan.
There used to be very popular VPN software to do this but the VPN companies have paid google so much in advertising it seem to be buried. Then again it was tricky to setup and I use routers.

So first you need at least one of the 2 locations to have a actual public IP address. If not you are going to be stuck using some internet based service.

What you need is a router that can run in server mode. This is fairly common. After this you can load a vpn client like openvpn on the machine in the remote location. This would be like if the person on the remote end needed to get into a work server, except the work server is in one of the houses. I don't like running vpn clients on my machines so I would use a router in the remote location that has "vpn client" mode. This is not as common as the vpn server. Most tplink and asus routers support it and you can load things like dd-wrt on other routers.

Now this is only the network part. You would need other recommendations for the file sync stuff. This is something I have little experience with. It is just a lot easier to find stuff that works when the software thinks both people are in the same building on the same network.

Bazzy 505

Jul 17, 2021
A reasonably capable VPN router at least on one end is certainly a basic prequisite to even start considering anything like this. And by reasonable i mean something capable of running at least 150mbps IPsec tunel. The trouble is, there are very few hardware options under 400 bucks that can do the job well enough. To keep things simple statically allocated public IP on the server side is a given. Not a big hurdle, most isp's will happily sell it to clients for 8-20 bucks extra each month.

Unless you already have all these already, forking out a few extra bucks for more space on OneDrive or Dropbox my be more sensible way to go.