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I'm looking for a way to transfer files between an Android phone (Samsung Galaxy S2, rooted) and any computer system I may need to interact with (this means preinstalled software on the computer, besides a regular web browser, is not an option) without connecting to an actual wifi hotspot.

Essentially I'm looking for something that works the same was as wifi direct (allows two phones to transfer files over wifi) but that would be compatible with any computer with wifi.

So far I have tried creating an ad-hoc connection from the phone (as I can't take the computer being ad-hoc-creating-able for granted) using Android Wifi Tether and connecting the computer to the device, testing the different modes it offers (WEXT, Netd & Softap). I have tried to connect to and from the computer over LAN, FTP and SMB without any success.

I feel like I'm missing some small step over here. I've looked through multiple other posts, but I couldn't find any that would show a way to do this without actually connecting to an already available wifi network.

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For future reference, this is one of the many things that Bluetooth is good for. –  Michael Hampton Jul 16 '12 at 2:32
Not if you want to transfer large files. –  Nit Aug 27 '12 at 15:49

4 Answers 4

up vote 8 down vote accepted
  1. Connect your computer with virtual hotspot created by Android device.

  2. Install any FTP Server app on Android device. It'll NOT give you IP of device for sure. :)

  3. In your computer, find IP of Default Gateway of Wi-Fi network of Step 1 (In Windows, you can use ipconfig cmd command). Its the IP of your device.

  4. Use any FTP Client software on computer. Use ftp://IP:Port (Port is generally configurable in FTP server app). Enter username & password configured in FTP Server app. Done!

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After some testing with different settings I got it to work flawlessly, thank you very much. For anyone else looking to do this: I used Android Wifi Tether (linked in original question) to start the network using Softap mode, connected to it with the computer, started an FTP server (some server apps might need you to enable 3G mode, even though 3G data isn't actually used, you can turn data connections off if you're paranoid. –  Nit Jul 16 '12 at 0:32
@Nit You could use MobileAP feature of Galaxy S2. Its the easiest way to create hotspot.. –  SS-3.1415926535897932384626433 Jul 16 '12 at 22:00

A simple way (once you're set up) that only requires a browser on the computer side is something like Airdroid, Webkey, or Lazydroid; which essentially turn your phone into a server, and which you can easily access from any browser (even outside your local network - with dyndns you can also keep in contact with your handset if it "disappears", w/o it you'll have to see the phone or find it's IP address another way).

Essentially with a server app on the phone that is linked to a dyndns account, you can walk up to any PC, and access your phone no matter where it is (barring firewalls, no signal, etc) This allows you to sound an alarm, get gps and other sensor info, blank/lockout the screen, view the camera feed, run/interact with any apps on the phone, and lockout the ability to reset (short of a batt pull). Some programs work better than others depending on the device, I have all three on my Atrix for full flexibility. I don't like to waste the processing on it, but you can also set up a persistent fileserv or even host a website.

for full functionality or even for some of these apps to work on some phones you need root access and to make the apps Superusers

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I know this is too little too late, but...

I tried to connect my phone (LG Motion on Stock 4.0.4) and couldn't initiate a Ad Hoc network from the phone to my PC. I wrote this workaround using 'Fast File Transfer' app to establish the Ad Hoc network and proceeded from there.


With a little tinkering (maybe the wpa file hack or a custom ROM) I'm sure I could get it to work through Airdroid alone, but I find the stability of the stock ROM as inherently better and this is a quick workaround.

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No, it's not too late, but you've also not provided any information. Answers on Stack Exchange are expected to be self-contained. Without the information at the other side of that link, there is nothing of value here. At the very least, consider what happens when that link no longer functions. Also, please don't "sign" your posts. Please read our FAQ. –  Al E. May 15 '13 at 14:50

You can try the following instead of using FTP:

  1. Install ES File Explorer on your phone
  2. Start a hotspot on your phone
  3. Connect the PC to the phones hotspot
  4. Get the IP address of your PC
  5. Open ES File Explorer on your phone go into the network tab and hit new
  6. Select LAN
  7. In the server box put the IP address of your PC
  8. You will then be able to freely copy or send anything in your shared folders or public folders.
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protected by eldarerathis Dec 4 '14 at 15:19

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