After several hours I am out of ideas.

I have a phone. I connect my PC to its hostspot to get internet.

I want to connect to my PC's (Win10) shared folders, but it is Impossible!

I don't understand why.

If I connect my android to my PC hotspot, then yes - I can smb into my PC's shared folders, but not if hotspot is coming from my android.

What am I doing wrong? Am I not on the same subnet? If not, than portforwarding? Proxy server? Which port/IP would I need to forward to which IP/port? (I'd appreciate a lot some example settings if that's the case)

(is it impossible with the regular tools due to some obscure reason? )

Thank you!

ps. while I'm at it - is it possible to have a two way connection with my setup. So that I could browse my android's filesystem on PC as well as my PC's from my android? Or is that only possible if I create an explicit SAMBA server on my android?

3 Answers 3


Try connecting to your hotspot, then check the ip on the laptop in CMD ( ifconfig ), Then try use "Cx File Explorer".. And make sure you connect to the hotspot not as Public.. Public Network on windows is blocking moste connectivity ports (smb is one of them)

P.S. i would suggest you make your share password protected.. as is sometimes needed in order to communicate with linux based systems.

  • I apologize for the late response. Yes!! Thank you. it finally worked! Cx File Explorer is the way to go. I have a two way super fast LAN connection to share files, while being connected to my Android for my internet simultaneously. Good Stuff. Very convenient.
    – Nils Riga
    Mar 30, 2020 at 13:38
  • For those interested here is a short video I found: youtube.com/watch?v=aNDILBGt-fE The password and user are your PC's password and user, welcome screen.
    – Nils Riga
    Mar 30, 2020 at 13:39
  • Though it's weird why another app called MixPlorer can't connect using the same settings.
    – Nils Riga
    Mar 30, 2020 at 14:14

Windows SMB isn't designed to work over the Internet. Many if not all ISPs will block incoming connections to ports involved to prevent hacking.

If your PC and another device are connected to the same router (a hotspot is a router) then going through an ISP doesn't happen and things work.

You need to use a third party service (like OneDrive or Google Drive) or a filesharing service you can host on your own network, such as NextCloud or Sharepoint.

  • Nonono.. You misunderstood me. There's no internet. I have a laptop on my lap and a smartphone in my palm. When the PC creates a hotspot to which the phone connects, an smb client on the phone finds my PC in the subnet and connects via smb. But when my phone creates a hotspot to which my PC connects, my phone's smb clinet no longer finds my PC as a samba server. I tried to connect using PC's subnet IP, phone's router's IP and hostname //<PC-name>/<shared-path>. And nothing. But there's no problem for my PC to connect to a http,ftp,dlna server running on the phone.
    – Nils Riga
    Feb 5, 2020 at 5:30

The issue with your setup is that you have:

  1. Android has it's mobile internet connection, via it's sim card and mobile antenna. This is acting as the network client, as far as Android is concerned. This interface lives on, say, network
  2. Android has a second connection, which is its hotspot connection. This is special in that Android has created a bridge between interface #1, and this one. Android doesn't offer an interface to alter the routing table for this new gateway (at least to the best of my knowledge). This interface lives on, say, network
  3. Your PC is connecting to interface #2, via it's own WiFi interface. It's being assigned an IP address by the gateway ( say, in this example). Let's say the PC gets assigned an IP address,

Now, Android will be using interface #1 to handle all of its level 3 and 4 networking needs (IP, TCP, UDP, etc.). There is no user access (again, AFAIK) to control anything networking-ee about interface #2.

Therefore, when you're using your Android device, you're attempting to access (the PC), from interface #1 (Android mobile antenna).

The mobile antenna will not have a MAC address for this IP address in its ARP table, so it'll forward the message on to it's default gateway, say: (your network operators router), to see if it knows where (the PC) lives. It won't know, and the request will eventually be dropped.

The way to get around this, would be to:

  1. Configure interface #2 to forward outgoing requests (those that aren't in its network on to (your network operators router).
  2. Configure interface #1 to use interface #2 as it's default gateway.

Without root access this is a no go... But with root access, at least in theory, this should be possible, although, probably not worth the trouble. It would also need to be reset when the hotspot is turned off, otherwise your device will have no internet access.

Maybe an app exists to handle this somewhere? xda's site maybe? But I really don't know.

That's the problem you're facing though, if you want to look in to it further.

  • I apologize for the late response. Thank you. It's a very good explanation. And now a lot of things makes sense. Thought it's weird why in that case I just succeeded making a connection using the Cx File Explorer app. And also it's weird how can I view a local development server running on my computer through my Android's browser @, in my case.
    – Nils Riga
    Mar 30, 2020 at 14:19
  • I see in this app, "Cx File Explorer" that they have separated a LAN connection and a SMB connection, with no further explanation. Maybe that has to do with something.
    – Nils Riga
    Mar 30, 2020 at 14:23
  • Ah. I see the app "MixPlorer" was using SMB v1, which you have specifically enable in windows 10. Now it works. using smb// So yes. The only explanation that's left is that Android is bridging the #1 and #2 interface automatically.
    – Nils Riga
    Mar 30, 2020 at 15:33

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