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B1 File Manager has become more functional with the v0.4.5 release. One of the major updates is the support of file sharing via the SMB protocol.
Server Message Block (SMB), also knows as Common Internet File System (CIFS), is a protocol mainly used for providing shared access to files. Using this protocol for file sharing on your Android device will allow you to exploit the benefits of Android/Windows duet. You can view, download and upload files inside the shared folders on your Windows PC and other computers in the same network. While being originally a Windows file sharing protocol, it is also possible to use SMB on other operating systems like Mac OS or Ubuntu.
File sharing via SMB doesn’t differ much from using FTP with just several exceptions. The first and major one is that your Android device has to be in the same network as the Windows PC you want to share files with. Another difference is that you don’t have to establish any FTP server on your PC. You simply need to allow file sharing by accessing the Properties menu of the folder and making some adjustments inside Control Panel’s Network and Sharing Center.
Here’s how to establish connection between your Android device and share folders using the built-in SMB client of B1 File Manager. You’ll certainly notice similarities with establishing the FTP connection.
First of all, summon the sidebar by tapping B1 icon or swipe from left side of the screen and tap the “+” icon in the Networks. Now, in v0.4, there is a possibility to add SMB connection where previously only FTP was available.
In New connection menu tap the looking glass icon to display all of the available SMB shares.
You can also filter them by name or IP address. Otherwise you can manually enter the Server and Domain. The displayed name can be changed in the respective menu option.
After you’ve selected the server you want to connect to, select the Authentication method. It will depend on the properties of the shared folder. It works the same way as with FTP connection. Certainly, in case the share allows anonymous access you don’t have to enter username and password. Setting the Remote path will allow you to access a specific folder instead of all of them on each connection.
Hit OK once you’re ready. The new connection will be automatically saved and available in Networks menu.
Inside the shared folder you can browse through the content, download, upload, move and rename files (depending on your permission). It works the same way as using B1 File Manager for work with FTP servers, so users accustomed to it shouldn’t have any problems.