Accessing Windows Shares on Android Tablet

I recently acquired an Android tablet and have been getting acclimated to it.  Frankly, I can’t see what the fuss is.  The obvious benefits are the consumption of information.  I can read e-books slightly more easily on its 10″ screen than on my smartphone using the Overdrive app.  Web browsing, e-mail, etc. are all a bit more convenient.  One thing I wanted, though, was to be able to access files elsewhere on our internal Windows network.  This required finding a Samba client that would connect.

First step:  search Google Play for either smb or samba.   The latter search term brings back a lot of nonsense but both terms return AndSMB immediately.  I tried it but couldn’t get it to connect to my Iomega NAS.  The next app I tried was the ES File Explorer File Manager, and it did the trick.

The default view in ES is the file system on the tablet.  You control all the default file folder settings – where downloads go, where music is, etc.  At the top left corner, you can select a drop down menu that will start with Local.  Select LAN and the screen will change.  Now you can click the button at the top to add a new source.  You can scan but I found that it only picked up the Windows 7 PCs that were on the network.  Unlike setting up Samba on Linux, I didn’t need to configure a Windows workgroup.  I just added the information for the NAS and it connected and presented all of the folders.

It looks like there are some read/write issues.  For example, I can copy content from the NAS to my Android tablet but it only pulls over the folders.  The files didn’t transfer.  I’ll need to dig in a bit further but this is a small thing.  It gives me a nice alternative to cloud storage, since there are still some files and content that won’t ever be suitable for remote storage.

David Whelan

I improve information access and lead information teams. My books on finding information and managing it and practicing law using cloud computing reflect my interest in information management, technology, law practice, and legal research. I've been a library director in Canada and the US, as well as directing the American Bar Association's Legal Technology Resource Center. I speak and write frequently on information, technology, law library, and law practice issues.