How to set up file sharing on untrusted network?

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oguruma

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TL;DR: Two PCs on a public wifi network. How do I do secure file sharing between the two PCs and also have an internet connection?

I will be doing a photoshoot in the mall with my wife. We will have two laptops, one for shooting the pictures (tethered) to, and the other to process the sales and printing of the pictures.

We will be using the mall's public wifi connection. We need an internet connection to get images uploaded to our website as quickly as possible.

I need a way to file share (photos, in this case) from Computer A to Computer B over wifi, but also maintain an internet connection on both PCs.

The best options I can come up with would be to buy a USB wifi adapter for both computers, and setup an Ad-Hoc Connection (or buy a Wifi Router for us to use) OR to set up a VPN.

Anybody have any ideas how to implement this?
 
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SSH with SFTP but you would manually need to transfer the pictures.

Syncthing should work as well and it would transfer fairly fast and automatically as it can watch a folder where the pictures are placed. The one thing you will need to watch on this is if someone else in the mall were to have the app it would possibly ask if you want to add them so be aware of that before you get started so no one goes and clicks on the button that pops up. I would probably use this method myself.

Doing an AdHoc might work but by the time you get everything setup just right it will probably not be worth the effort.

You COULD grab a router and flash DD-wrt or Tomato onto it and use a 5Ghz band for connections to the computers and then use the 2.4Ghz band to connect from the router to the public WiFi. I don't know how you guys usually transfer the pictures other than one computer storing them and the other using SMB to connect up. This would give you internet connection but both computers will need to be able to have 5Ghz WiFi. This is something close to what I currently do when staying at a motel. The router has better antenna/power than a laptop or tablet so I get a better signal no matter where I might happen to be and if it's paid WiFi I connect the router up then am able to use multiple devices since the auth system just locks onto a MAC address. One network is separated from the for local traffic but bridged to the other for WAN.
 

oguruma

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Last year we only had one workstation and it was a nightmare. I would have to shoot to the memory card, and play a crazy game. Shooting tethered for these types of shoots is where it's at.
 

garm

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Look at Resilio, it will help out with data sharing, set up the computers with vpn and firewalls individually
 

Ericloewe

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You COULD grab a router and flash DD-wrt or Tomato onto it and use a 5Ghz band for connections to the computers and then use the 2.4Ghz band to connect from the router to the public WiFi.
Something along these lines is the best way of doing things, with the advantage that you can use Ethernet between the clients.
 

oguruma

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How would it work if I used my mobile hotspot from a cellphone, then "shared" that between the (Windows) PCs?
 

Ericloewe

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Depends on the phone. It's not uncommon for clients to be isolated. Definitely not something I'd recommend.
 
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Yeah if you are going to try using a cell phone for a mobile hotspot you may as well go and just get one of the cellular wifi portals. It will probably end up costing less and work better than trying to tether a phone. Some carriers include for free but others just smack the crud outta you and tack on fees for just activating it. Not to mention the data usage.
 
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