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FilePoint 4.0 and Wireless Remote File Access

FilePoint 4.0 introduces wireless remote file access, which is specifically designed for users of wireless smartphones such as the Palm Treo, as well as Wi-Fi enabled handhelds connecting from outside the network. FilePoint 4.0 lets you remotely access files on your desktop computer, office network or home network, right from your handheld. With FilePoint, you can download documents, spreadsheets, music, photos, and other files from remote computers to your handheld wherever and whenever you need them.

Why FilePoint 4.0?

When it was released in March 2004, the previous FilePoint version 3.0 was the first commercial software product that introduced LAN access for Palm handhelds, enabling connections to Windows Networks. While FilePoint 3.0 was a great solution for Wi-Fi handhelds such as the Tungsten and LifeDrive that could connect inside of a network, relatively few smartphones could make use of it. The reason for this is that since smartphones connect over a wide-area cellular network, they access the network only from outside the firewall. In today's world, it is unlikely that network administrators will compromise network security by permitting Windows Network connections through the secure firewall.

Making the Smartphone Connection

With the explosive growth in smartphones like the Treo, it became necessary for us to design a new networking capability in FilePoint 4.0 which could provide fast, safe and secure remote file access for smartphones. FilePoint 4.0 still supports LAN connections, but also has brand new "Remote" connection support which works with our new Mobility Server component to establish a secure, firewall-friendly connection between your smartphone and your remote network computers. The result is that FilePoint 4.0 introduces an unprecented level of support for local file management, expansion card memory, LAN connections and now remote file access, providing wireless file access for Palm Treo, Tungsten and LifeDrive models. No matter where they are stored or what handheld model you use, you can be sure you will be able to quickly find and access your important files!

FilePoint 4.0 comes with a companion program called Mobility Server. Mobility Server runs in the background on your desktop computer, and provides the ability for FilePoint to safely and securely access your computer from your handheld. Mobility Server also ensures that only authorized handheld devices are allowed to access files on your computer. For file transfers, strong encryption is employed to safeguard your data every step of the way.

Folder Browsing and Google Searching with FilePoint 4.0

With FilePoint 4.0's Remote File Access, You can access your files using two different methods, and you may find each of them useful to you at different times:

1) Remote Network Browse

FilePoint Network Browse lets you remotely browse the same hard drives and mapped network drives that your computer lets you browse using Windows Explorer. This method is best used when you need a file and you have a good idea where on your computer or network it is located.

2) Remote Google Desktop Search

FilePoint FilePoint FilePoint’s Remote Desktop Search, powered by Google, lets you search for files on your remote computer the same way you search for information on the Internet – with Google! Simply enter one or more keywords that describe the contents of the file you are looking for (ex. “Meeting notes”) and FilePoint will automatically locate the most relevant matches from your hard drive and return the search results to you on your handheld.

What kind of network setup do I need?

In order to connect successfully from FilePoint on your handheld using the new Remote File capability in FilePoint 4.0, the target remote computer must satisfy the following requirements:

  • Running Windows 95, 98, Me, NT, NT2000, NT2003 and XP
  • Have either a reliable IP address OR an assigned host (DNS) name
  • An available TCPIP port number (9300 by default) which FilePoint can access. (Note that you may need to open this port for access if you are using a Firewall)

You will also need a wireless handheld to make a successful network connection. Although FilePoint 4.0's Remote File Access was designed with smartphones like the Palm Treo in mind, it also works great with Wi-Fi handhelds such as the Palm Tungsten C and LifeDrive Mobile Manager!

What's the easiest way to see FilePoint's Remote File Access in action?

FilePoint 4.0 comes preconfigured with a Remote Account Profile which can connect you to a special demonstration computer hosted by Bachmann Software. You are free to connect to this computer as often as you like, and there are a variety of demonstration folders and files there, including information on FilePoint and our other products.

To connect to the remote Bachmann computer, simply tap on the "Remote" node on FilePoint's main screen, and choose “Remote Directory Browse”. If the connection is successful, you will now see a screen with a single “C:” drive listed. Tap on the C: drive and you will be greeted with a listing of folders that are available on the remote Bachmann computer. We have made available a number of demonstration folders, and the Bachmann Downloads folder contains all of our current Palm software products, including documentation, ready for downloading.

It is also very simple to set up your own computer for remote access, just follow the instructions found in our documentation

Local Area Network Support

FilePoint 4.0 still includes a full Windows NetBIOS client for Palm OS handhelds, allowing FilePoint users to log in to home or office networks in the same manner as desktop computers or laptops. With FilePoint you can browse the computers and shared drives in your "Network Neighborhood", copy files to and from shared network folders, and even use mapped drive letters for fast access to frequently used network locations.

How can I use FilePoint's Local Area Networking Features?

When using local area networking, Palm handheld owners can access their important files on the network directly, copy them to the handheld and work with them on the plane, train, or at home, and then save their work back to the network when they are done. Business users can take folders of work with them and edit documents or spreadsheets with Documents To Go during business travel. Students can easily exchange their assignments and work with teachers in school networks. Music lovers can take their favorite MP3 tunes with them without going through complicated file transfer setups. With FilePoint LAN support, your Palm handheld is finally a 1st class citizen on your network!

How do I know if my handheld can access my LAN?

All Palm handhelds come with the basic built-in ability to work with networks, although different handheld models support different kinds of connections. Some handhelds have built-in Wi-Fi connectivity, others have Bluetooth, while others require add-on adapters or cards to make use of this networking capability.

Wi-Fi (802.11) Access:

If you have a Tungsten C, LifeDrive Mobile Manager, Alphasmart Dana Wireless, Sony UX50, Sony TH55 or Sony TJ37, these handhelds come with built-in Wi-Fi. All you need is a Wi-Fi Access Point on your network, and you have everything you need to use FilePoint's network capability.

If your handheld does not have built-in Wi-Fi, you can often add Wi-Fi connectivity with products such as the Palm Wi-Fi SD card, or the Enfora Wireless Portfolio.

Bluetooth Access:

For owners of Palm handhelds that have the built-in Bluetooth feature, such as the Tungsten T, T2, T3, you can make use of a Bluetooth Access Point, or you can connect to the network via a computer or laptop that has a bluetooth radio. Note that you must configure the target PC's Bluetooth support to enable TCP/IP network connections from your handheld. Although information on how to do this may be hard to find, we have found the following user web page to be helpful:

Smartphone Access:

For owners of Palm OS smartphones, such as the Treo 600, Kyocera 6135, or Samsung, your handheld has "wide area networking" built in, which is enabled through a wireless data account. Smartphone users should instead use FilePoint 4.0's Remote File Access capability, described earlier on this page.

Networking Accessories for Palm OS handhelds and smartphones:

For all other handhelds, there are a number of add-on adapters, cards, and solutions that can help you use FilePoint to connect your Palm OS handheld to your network:

  • Sony makes the PEGA-WL100 Wireless LAN access card, which can upgrade Sony Clie NX70 and NX60 handhelds to Wi-Fi capability
  • Enfora makes a wonderful product called the Wireless LAN Portfolio which adds Wi-Fi connectivity to your Palm handheld. The WP802b (WLN0102) works with the m100 series, m500 series, Zire 71, and all Tungsten models except the Tungsten-E.
  • PalmOne offers a Wi-Fi SD card that works with the Tungsten T3 and Zire 72 handheld models
  • Tribeam makes an Infrared access point which enables Palm OS handhelds to access TCP/IP networks
  • Corsoft makes a software solution Plug2Net, which allows Palm OS handhelds to achieve TCP/IP connections over HotSync cradles and cables and infrared connections.
  • Clarinet makes the EthIR LAN adapter, which offers TCP/IP network connections for Palm OS handhelds over a standard infrared port connection.

Copyright 2005 Bachmann Software & Services, LLC