Networking: Connecting to Servers & Network Folders
GoodReader offers you the ability to access different kinds of servers.
Read Me Firstplus
Before connecting to a server, its record must be created. To create a server record, open the Connect control panel, find the servers section and press the Add button.
Then select a server type to add. You will be asked to enter readable title of a server record (this title is what you will see in a server records list), user name and password to access this server, URL of a server (except for pre-configured servers, for which GoodReader knows their URLs), and possibly some other connection parameters, depending on a server type.
For extra security, don`t store a password in a server record, this way you will have to enter it manually every time when connecting. Not all servers allow it though. Some servers, like Dropbox, OneDrive, box.com, and Google Drive, provide a proprietary authentication mechanism via their own webpage. In these cases GoodReader doesn`t store your password at all, and can`t control how often you`re asked to enter it.
You can always edit server record data by pressing the "settings" mini-button to the right of server title in the server records list.
If you`re trying to connect to a server on a local WiFi network, and this server advertises itself via Bonjour protocol, you can find this server and connect to it automatically, without manually entering its connection parameters, by tapping Connect, then tap Find Servers. Please note that not all local servers will advertise themselves via Bonjour.
The Pin button, found on Bonjour server records, can be used to quickly create a permanent record for a server, eliminating the need to find this server via Bonjour the next time you need to access this server or sync to it.
Permanent (non-Bonjour) server records generally offer more flexibility, allowing to edit things like login name, display title, startup path, SFTP public key authentication, etc.
Tap a server record to connect to this server.
When connected to a general file server, you will see a list of folders and files on that server. If you tap a file`s or folder`s name, you will select it for further downloading or syncing. Once selected everything you need to download, press the Download button, and the downloading process will start on the background. If you need to browse inside a folder, tap a blue arrow to the right of its name. For E-Mail servers you will see headlines of messages.
For email servers, you will see headlines of messages.
It`s ok to have several separate downloads at the same time.
Find information about your downloads in the Downloads section of the Connect control panel.
You can upload files and folders from GoodReader to servers by pressing the Upload button and selecting local files/folders to upload. This feature is not available for E-Mail servers.
You can automatically sync files and folders located in GoodReader to their remote versions on a server.
You can delete files and folders (or email messages) from a server by swiping their names (be careful - this can`t be undone).
In case if network error happens, GoodReader may show you an error message instead of a server folder contents. To reload the real contents of a server folder into GoodReader`s memory, press Reload button.
GoodReader can automatically sync individual files and entire folders to their remote versions hosted on online servers of the following types: Dropbox, OneDrive, Google Drive, box.com, SugarSync and also any WebDAV, AFP, SMB, FTP or SFTP server.
There are two different types of sync - normal sync and download-only sync. The idea of normal sync is to keep the contents of a local file or a folder identical to what you have on a server. The idea of download-only sync is a convenient distribution of frequently updated documents to a group of people.
The sync process consists of two parts: initial setup and actual synchronization.
Do this only once per each file/folder you wish to synchronize. Open a connection to a server, find a file or folder that you wish to sync, tap it so it becomes highlighted. The Sync button will appear at the bottom. Press it. Then select a target local folder inside GoodReader where you want this file/folder to be put. Then press the Download here & Synchronize button. This will create synchronization record in Downloads section and show you the parameters window where you can set various sync options. Once you`re done with it, you`re ready to sync.
All relevant remote files will be automatically downloaded to your device when doing the very first synchronization, so there is no need to run a separate downloading process for this file/folder with the Download button.
All files and folders that are a part of the sync process are tagged with a special badge:
You execute the sync by pressing the Sync button on the main screen of the iPad (it`s not the same Sync button that you used for the initial setup) or on the Connect control panel of the iPhone. Alternatively, you can find the Sync button at the top of every file viewer`s navigation menu.
This button will execute the sync for all the folders and files with all the servers that you have set up for synchronization. However, if you only want to sync one record, tap Connect, then tap Sync Records to access individual Sync buttons for each sync record.
A progress popup appears during the sync process. Press the Hide button to hide this popup and continue the sync in the background. You will be able to continue reading your documents while the sync is working. Press the Sync button again to bring back the hidden progress popup. Also, you can press the popup`s Schedule button to set up an automatic periodical sync execution.
Normal sync. During this process GoodReader analyzes the contents of both local and remote folders and does the following:
- looks for modified files (for example, freshly annotated PDFs) on your device and uploads them to a server, replacing old ones there
- looks for modified files on a server and downloads them to your device, replacing old ones there
- looks for new files on a server and downloads them to your device
- looks for new local files and uploads them to a server
- looks for deleted files on a server that were previously present, and deletes them from your device
- looks for deleted local files that were previously present, and deletes them from a server
Download-only sync. This type of sync doesn`t care what happens with your local files, it never puts anything on a server, never deletes anything from it, it only looks for new and modified remote files and downloads them as needed. By default, files that were deleted from a server will be deleted from your local device. However, you can prevent this from happening by resetting the Delete local files switch in the sync record parameters window. In case if you choose to delete such local files, you can also choose whether or not you want to keep modified local files that were deleted from a remote server. This option may be useful to preserve your valuable notes that you`ve put over a PDF file, even if the corresponding remote file was deleted from a server.
However, you can prevent this from happening. There are two switches available on a sync record parameters window (press a blue button to the right of a sync record to edit its parameters). These switches allow you to prohibit a deletion of local/remote files/folders whose remote/local counterparts are missing at the time of syncing.
If you modify a synced file both locally and on a server independently and then try to sync it, this will create a sync conflict, because GoodReader will not know which version of a file to choose. You can set up a policy on sync conflicts per each sync record individually. The following options are available: Ask what to do (the default option, you will be able to manually choose an appropriate action per each conflicted file individually during every sync session), Leave unresolved (leaves both files intact, allowing you to deal with this conflict later), Local files have priority (replaces remote conflicted files with local ones, making you loose remote ones forever; be careful with this option!!!), Remote files have priority (replaces local conflicted files with remote ones, making you loose local ones forever; be careful with this option!!!), Create duplicates (renames both files to avoid further conflicts, leaving you with both versions of a file everywhere - on your device and on a server; the safest option). Also, during the actual synchronization, GoodReader may sometimes offer you the Discard this conflict, files are identical conflict resolution option. Use this option to save your Internet traffic, but only if you know for sure that these files are identical.
While every effort was made to ensure data integrity in all abnormal situations (losing Internet connection, manual process abortion, etc.), we strongly encourage you to take precautions to make sure that the sync process will not be aborted halfway. Sync process is a sensitive one, and it may result in a data loss if used inappropriately. Just keep that in mind, and everything should be fine.
Accessing E-Mail Servers to Download E-Mail Attachmentsplus
There are two ways to get your E-Mail file attachments into GoodReader:
- By using Apple`s Document Interchange feature (aka the "Share" or "Open In…" feature). In Apple`s Mail app, select an attachment in an e-mail, then use the Share option to access the iOS Share Sheet and choose to copy the file to GoodReader (the steps of this process may vary depending on what iOS version you`re running).
- By accessing online Email servers via IMAP or POP3 protocol directly from GoodReader to find a message with a file attachment and to download such attachment into GoodReader.
This section describes the latter of two methods - accessing online IMAP and POP3 mail servers.
Please read the Read Me First introduction to learn the complete process for how to create a server connection. For an e-mail server, tap Add, then select Popular Mail Servers or Mail Server (IMAP, POP3).
IMAP is a much more advanced protocol than POP3, and it works much faster when downloading message headlines. Please use IMAP instead of POP3 if your server supports it.
GoodReader offers a set of pre-configured popular mail servers - gmail.com, iCloud mail (me.com), yahoo.com, hotmail.com and aol.com. GoodReader knows how to access these servers. You only have to provide your user name and password.
When entering connection parameters for servers other than pre-configured ones, you will be asked to specify if a server uses SSL, and a type of authentication. Please avoid using "Password" authentication when "Use SSL" is off. By doing so you expose your password to the whole world every time you connect.
When a server uses IMAP protocol, GoodReader by default scans all messages on a server and shows you only messages with file attachments. You can change this behaviour and make GoodReader show you all the messages for IMAP servers by switching the Emails with attachments only option in Application Settings, Other Settings section.
For IMAP servers, e-mails with attachments are marked with a paperclip image. Tap on an e-mail title to view a list of all attached files. Tap the actual attachment to select it, then tap the Download button to start the attachment file downloading process in the background.
While IMAP protocol allows to determine if a message contains file attachments while scanning for message headlines, POP3 doesn`t offer such information until the actual downloading of a message has started. So, when it comes to POP3, to save your Internet traffic, we show you all the messages with a question mark, to indicate a fact that it is unknown at the moment if this message contains an attachment or not. When you tap on such a message, GoodReader will start actual downloading, and will determine if there are attachments or not.
Accessing WebDAV Serversplus
You can access file storage and sharing servers that support WebDAV protocol. You can browse such servers, download, upload, sync and delete files and entire folders.
You can find the Windows-style name encoding switch in server parameters. Windows-based servers expect a certain Unicode normalization to be applied to file and folder names. Try this switch if uploading or syncing files with names containing accented European characters produces unexpected results.
GoodReader offers you a server-style access to Dropbox. It allows you to browse your Dropbox account like a simple file server. You can download, upload, sync and delete files and entire folders.
GoodReader can publish individual files and folders from your Dropbox account. Select files and folders you want to share with others, press the Share button, and GoodReader will create a special public downloading link and send it via email.
GoodReader offers you a server-style access to OneDrive. It allows you to browse your OneDrive account like a simple file server. You can download, upload, sync and delete files and entire folders.
Accessing Google Driveplus
GoodReader offers you a server-style access to Google Drive. It allows you to browse your Google Drive account like a simple file server. You can download, upload, sync and delete files and entire folders.
Besides storing normal files, Google Drive also works with its proprietary objects - spreadsheets, drawings, forms, presentations, etc. Such files can`t be downloaded directly. They will be converted to a PDF during downloading. Also, such files can`t be synced to GoodReader`s local file storage.
Accessing FTP Serversplus
GoodReader offers the ability to access FTP servers. You can browse servers, download, upload, sync and delete files and entire folders. Please note that FTP protocol is insecure. Use SFTP access for confidential documents.
GoodReader supports FTP servers with non-Unicode national text encodings. While most modern FTP servers transfer file names using Unicode-based UTF-8 text encoding, it`s not always the case. So if you see unreadable file names when accessing your server from GoodReader, try to choose the correct text encoding in your server`s record parameters.
Accessing SFTP Serversplus
GoodReader offers the ability to access SFTP servers. You can browse servers, download, upload, sync and delete files and entire folders.
GoodReader supports SFTP servers with non-Unicode national text encodings. While most modern SFTP servers transfer file names using Unicode-based UTF-8 text encoding, it`s not always the case. So if you see unreadable file names when accessing your server from GoodReader, try to choose the correct text encoding in your server`s record parameters.
Many SFTP servers define two different entry points into their file systems - "file system root" and "user home directory". Use the Path starts at system root switch in server record parameters to choose the correct entry point to your server`s file system. The Path parameter is relative to the chosen entry point.
Accessing AFP Servers (shared Mac folders, Apple Time Capsule, etc.)plus
AFP protocol is used by Mac computers to provide access to shared Mac folders. It is also used by Apple Time Capsule and a number of other NAS drives.
GoodReader offers the ability to access AFP servers. You can browse servers, download, upload, sync and delete files and entire folders.
There`s the Default mode switch in the server connection parameters window. Leave it ON for most cases. Turn it off only if you`re having trouble downloading or uploading files.
AFP servers may contain write-only folders. The Drop Box folder on a Mac computer is an example of such folder. It allows people on a network to connect to your Mac to send files to you without revealing the list of files that other people have previously sent there. GoodReader will not show the contents of such folders, but the Upload button will still work, allowing you to send files to such write-only folders.
Accessing SMB Servers (shared Windows folders, various NAS drives, etc.)plus
SMB protocol is used by Windows and Mac computers to provide access to shared folders. It is also used by a number of NAS drives.
GoodReader offers the ability to access SMB servers. You can browse servers, download, upload, sync and delete files and entire folders.
Most SMB servers on a local WiFi network can be auto-discovered by pressing the "reload list of local servers" link in the Servers Found via WiFi section of Connect panel. However, due to a number of factors, including router and firewall settings, some servers may not appear in auto discovery list. In this case you will have to create a server record and manually enter either the server`s name or its IP-address.
A note to Windows 7 users: while setting a shared folder on a Windows 7 machine requires almost no effort, it may be necessary to adjust Advanced Sharing Settings in certain cases. For example, if you don`t have a password set up for your Windows user account, you may find yourself being unable to remotely connect to a shared folder, because of access being denied. If you`re experiencing such an issue, you may want to open Network and Sharing Center on your Windows machine, click Change advanced sharing settings link on the left, find the Password protected sharing section and select the Turn off password protected sharing option. However, a more secure solution would be to actually set up a password for your Windows user account.
A note to Apple Time Capsule users: when auto-discovering servers on a local WiFi network, Apple Time Capsule will be discovered twice - as an AFP server and as an SMB server. While Time Capsule`s main drive can be accessed via both protocols, an external USB flash drive attached to its USB port will only be accessible via SMB protocol.
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