To find an open port available to access my File Transporter from work:
- Use the Firebind Scan Applet to find an open UDP port.
- Following the steps in this support article to assign your File Transporter to the open port.
I’ve owned a File Transporter for almost a year now, but I’ve never been able to access it from my office. It’s been a source of endless frustration, because I store my entire paperless filing system on it and I need access to those documents fairly regularly.
It was a source of endless frustration, until today.
It’s not that I don’t need to access the documents any more; I finally fixed my access problem from the office. First, I should make clear that I work at a large company, so I don’t have any control over our IT policies. Our IT team is well intentioned, but this is not a problem that they would have had any interest in solving.
I started with this support article, which details the steps needed to assign your File Transporter to a port other than the default of UDP 8083. The article suggests using a high port number that won’t be in use by any other services, unless you’re in a secure network. In that case, you may want to use a common port number since those are more likely to be open. Since UDP 8083 wasn’t working for me, I tried their next suggestion of UDP 443 (see this list for the common uses of each port).
That still wasn’t working for me.
I learned a bit about using
nmap to test the port statuses, to figure out why things weren’t working. Interestingly, I found that, in my home network, both ports 8083 and 443 were ‘Closed’. At work 443 was ‘Closed’ and 8083 was ‘Filtered’. At the time, I didn’t realize was that I wasn’t providing the
-u flag to tell
nmap to scan the UDP port instead of the TCP port.
At bit of searching turned up the Firebind Scan Applet. I let it run in the background for a couple of hours to find a UDP port that my office network left open. It returned a few options (fewer than 1% of the ports were open), so I picked one. Using the same procedure as before, I changed the Transporter settings to use the new port. Voilà; success.
In hindsight, that seems like a trivial solution, but I was stumped for a long time. I thought I should document the steps I took to resolve the issue.
File Transporter Support
As a side note, the support team at Connected Data (the makers of File Transporter) is great. Unfortunately, I can’t say the same thing about their help desk system. I know Drobo purchased Connected Data, and it seems like they’ve tried merging their support systems. When I log in from the File Transporter support site, I don’t see all of their support responses. If I log in via the Drobo site, I can see the complete chain. The responses that I do see often begin:
Hello $contacts.name.first $contacts.name.last,
And when I try responding by email, my responses almost always get bounced back to me. Anyway, this problem is resolved, so I probably shouldn’t complain too much.