ConnectedNAS Free SMB Client is a robust, full featured file sharing application that transforms your Android smartphone or tablet into a participating member of a Windows, Linux, or MacOS network. ConnectedNAS is unique and is different from other Android SMB applications in two significant ways. First, the ConnectedNAS client is integrated into Android. Most SMB Clients are integrated into a File Browser application which enables you to browse and copy files between your Android device and computer. But these files are not visible to applications such as Word, Powerpoint or other apps until you have copied them locally onto your device. By integrating ConnectedNAS into Android, all apps that utilize the relavent Android features, have access to your files even when they are remote. This means you don’t need to copy files back and forth and you don’t need to use a File Explorer kind of application to access your files. Second, Connected NAS has a professional version that includes a SMB Server. This allows you to expose files and directories that are stored on your smartphone or tablet with other computers and Android devices on your network.
This help document is designed bring a user up to speed on the use of ConnectedNAS and to explore various features of the application. Please also view our help page on the ConnectedWay website for more information.
NOTE: ConnectedNAS leverages Android’s Storage Access Framework (SAF) and requires Android 4.4 (API level 19) or greater.
The ConnectedNAS professional version supports both an SMB Client and an SMB server. The walkthrough for the professional version sets up a loopback configuration where apps on your phone are able to access files on your phone through the ConnectedNAS SMB client and server. The ConnectedNAS free version only supports an SMB Client so you will have to have a share already exported from some Windows, Linux, MacOS, or NAS storage device on your network. This walkthrough assumes you know how to do that and that it has already been done.
Connected SMB can be installed directly from from Google Play Store. The Connected SMB Play Store App page is:
To run, either hit “Open” from the ConnectedNAS Play Store App page or locate the “ConnectedNAS” Icon in your phone’s apps and click on it to open.
You will then be shown the ConnectedNAS Storage app main screen. The professional version has three tabs (File Servers, Exported Directories, and Realms) while the free version has just one tab: File Servers. Your main app screen should appear as:
These screens will look like:
The main screen has a title bar with a pulldown menu on the right side of the title bar. Below the title bar is the main window of the app. As you use the ConnectedNAS as an SMB client, you will populate the File Servers tab with information about remote computers that you wish to access.
Select the “Menu Options” icon in the top right of your screen to the right of the ConnectedNAS Title bar. This is sometimes called the “Kabob Menu” for obvious reasons. You will see four menu options: About, Settings, Files App and Help. This is shown below:
Please take the time to read About page by clicking the About menu item. Clicking on the Files App menu item will bring up the Android built in file explorer which you use to browse remote files. This will be discussed more later. The Help page will load the help text in a browser window. The settings menu is greyed out. It is only relevant for the professional version.
In order for local applications to be able to access shares on remote computers, you must add that computer to the File Servers tab.
In our case, we are looking for the name of the remote computer that has a share on it that you wish to access.
Once selected, you will see the information field of IP and Port filled in with the resolved IP address and port. You do not need to be concerned with this.
See the section on Discovering Remote Computers for more information on disccovering servers.
The most common case for why your phone or some desired server is not visible is simply that the discovery algorithm has not found it yet. Allowing the algorithm to run for a longer time will allow the server to be discovered and added to the list. But waiting may not always be the best option, nor may the discovery option ever find the server. So, if you do not see your server, you can select <new…> in the “Select Server” pulldown. This will bring up the Remote Address Dialog.
This allows you to manually enter a server and address/port pair for the server you wish to access. You will need to know the IP address of the PC that you are sharing files from.
Select the field to the right of Remote Alias and type in a name that you wish to use to refer to the file server. In our case, you may want to type “MyServer”
Select the field to the right of DNS or NetBIOS Name or IP Address and type in the IP address of your file server PC.
To the right of Server Type there are a pair of radio buttons, one for computer and one for phone. Select computer if the file server is a Windows, Linux, MacOS or some commerical NAS storage device. Select Phone if the file server is another phone running ConnectedNAS.
When done, hit “Set”. You will be brough back to the File Server dialog and the IP/Name and Port of the recently added server will appear.
Back in the Exported Directories dialog, Select the field to the right of Description and enter a Description for the file server. For the demo, you can enter “My File Server”
In the username and password fields, type the credentials that you use to access files on your File Server.
Leave the field to the right of domain blank. This will be used only when configuring remote computers that are part of an Active Directory domain. Active Directory is not available in the free version.
Toggle whether you wish applications to be able to view thumbnails of images when browsing directories remotely. Usually we recommend this setting remain off because loading thumbnails remotely can be time consuming. Depending on your browsing experience you may wish to slide this Thumbnail toggle on or off.
When complete, hit “Add”
Your File Servers tab will be updated with your recently added server as shown below: