Can I connect to another computer over the internet in another location/network?

The multi-user functionality of inFlow On-Premise is designed mainly for connecting computers over a local area network (LAN). inFlow Cloud is meant for using inFlow from different locations.

We don’t officially support using inFlow between computers connected over the Internet, but a number of people have done this successfully. Here are some tips that may help if you’d like to try this for yourself as well.

The three main ways of connecting inFlow over the Internet are: using remote desktop, using a virtual private network (VPN), and directly connecting over the internet.

Connecting using a VPN

You may also want to consider setting up a VPN to allow computers over the internet to access your LAN. This is a little bit like a long distance phone call so that you can talk to a person in another location, it allows your computers to share your inFlow information.

Connecting using Remote Desktop

One way to allow access to inFlow from outside your LAN is to set up one machine on your LAN with inFlow and as a remote desktop host. Then, other machines can connect to this host via remote desktop, as if they were using that machine directly.

The remote desktop host will need to be running Windows XP Professional, Vista Business, or Vista Ultimate to host remote desktop. You may find the links below useful in setting up remote desktop. (Disclaimer: We don’t have any affiliation with or endorse these links.)

Directly connecting over the internet

If you’re not able to set up remote desktop or a VPN, you may also want to have client computers connect directly to the inFlow server over the Internet. Note that inFlow does not encrypt data sent over the network using this method.

To do this, when setting up inFlow to connect to the server for the Server Name, you’ll need to put in the internet IP address of the server computer for the Server Name in inFlow. The easiest way to get this IP address is to use a web browser on the server computer, do an google search for “what is my ip”, and your IP address will be shown to you.

If the server computer is using a router, you may also need to set up port forwarding on the router to correctly direct connections to the server computer.

You may find the link below useful in setting up port forwarding on your router. (Disclaimer: We don’t have any affiliation with this site or endorse it.)

Port forwarding for various routers:

https://portforward.com/

You’ll need to do the port forwarding for inFlow Application Server on port 5700 for the TCP protocol.

Using an unchanging IP address

Most internet service providers (ISP) do not guarantee that you’ll have the same IP address all the time; it may change each time you reconnect, or in less frequent intervals. This makes it less convenient for others to connect to you whether by VPN, Remote Desktop or direct internet connection to inFlow, since they will have to always use the most up-to-date IP address.

If you find this is a problem, you may wish to look into getting an unchanging IP address. This is typically called a static IP address, and some ISPs offer this as an extra service for a small charge. Alternatively, you might look into a service which gives you a fixed address which you can keep updated to point to your server. This is often called Dynamic DNS. One site that currently provides this service for free, with some limitations, is linked below:

Dynamic DNS

https://www.dyndns.com/services/dns/dyndns/

You can then have client computers connecting directly over the internet use this as the Server Name instead of the IP address; or as an address when setting up remote desktop or a VPN.

Avoid bandwidth-intensive operations over the internet

When connected over the Internet (or via a VPN over the internet), using large pictures or file attachments may cause problems. We recommend using smaller pictures (100-200 kb) for your products and company logo, and to avoid working with large file attachments.

Also, the database backup and restore operations are very bandwidth intensive, and may be very slow or fail when initiated from a computer connected to the server over the internet. We recommend performing these operations from the server computer directly, or a computer connected to the server over a LAN.

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