I want to access and play media files on machine S (Windows XP) from machine C (Windows XP). Using Windows File Sharing ("share this folder" stuff), if it works, I would share the folder containing media files on machine S, and I would be able to play media files, sitting in front of C, using any media player I want. Windows somehow ensures that the remote files behave like local files.

But Windows file sharing won't work for me, is there any alternative?

If two machines were both Linux, I would install an SSH server on S and use Nautilus from C to access and play media files.

The reason why I can't use Windows file sharing is, my campus use two different subnets, I have S and C on different subnets and it seems that the firewall governing the whole network in campus doesn't allow file sharing between different subnets. I tried changing Windows Firewall settings on S to allow C in, it still wouldn't work, so it must be the other firewall.

5 Answers 5


You could set up a VPN with something like OpenVPN (semi-permanent, flexible, more difficult to configure) or Hamachi/LogMeIn (less flexible, start up the program and log in to connect the vpn, very easy to set up).

  • I'm using Hamachi now. One thing that I found helps performance is disabling compression (implying a third person can see the traffic, which can be bad).
    – RamyenHead
    Mar 18, 2010 at 13:10

I would still use SSH. You could check out SSH for Windows. Another option would be for you to set up a web server on machine S. It's not too difficult to do.


I think you should really use set up a webserver for yourself.

If you want to stream, vlc does it, but I think you have to do it to individual files.

As for the webserver: You have a few (I center on the small and lightweight):


You could try using SSH port forwarding for SMB.
According to a question on serverfault, this should be possible.

You'd have to install a SSH server on S and for example use Putty on C for the port forwarding.


Most video players support UPnP. I suggest to setup UPnP server. So You will be able to stream your media but also browser them.

VLC suggested by Krazy_Kaos has web gui and remote telnet based cli, so there is option for VOD.

  • Linux file browsers (for example Nautilus) manage to make remote files over ssh behave like local files, but Windows Explorer doesn't seem to do that.
    – RamyenHead
    Mar 18, 2010 at 12:27

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.