Wifi File Explorer

I use Linux for my PC operating system. That means I don't get any fancy Android File Transfer programs to use to copy files on and off of my devices, and setting up MTP support is a hassle -- not to mention the closed nature of the whole mess. I can use the command line and adb to copy files back and forth, and sometimes I do, but the easy way is to use an app that acts as a remote server and "browse" my files with Chromium or Firefox. They also work with Windows or Mac OS for those times when you don't want to look for a cable.

There are plenty of apps available that will work. Airdroid is a pretty popular one that also offers the ability to send and receive SMS message through your PC. It's also free, and free is always good. I like things a bit more lightweight and simple, so I use Wifi File Explorer Pro. It's not free ($0.99) and doesn't let you text from your PC. It's just the first one that was made available and I hate change. My point is, there's plenty of apps that will work, and they all work basically the same.

  1. Grab the app from Google Play, install it, and run it.
  2. The app will tell you a URL to put in your browser. You may need a code or need to scan a barcode to log in.
  3. When the page loads, you see everything that's on your phone storage, and can transfer files both ways, or play music or video. 

The apps are actually running a tiny web server on your phone, so the result acts like a website. You will need to have both machines on the same Wifi, and in theory a cable is faster, but wireless file transfer is pretty darn easy.

 

Reader comments

Android 102: Wireless file transfer

30 Comments

I've had this since it was a free app of the day on amazon but it's well worth $1. I've been using it ever since my computer stopped detecting my phone when it was plugged in. File transfers to and from the phone are ultra fast and idiot proof.

I always use this, got it from the amazon free app way back in the day when they gave away useful apps. Sometimes I'll connect to via usb but this is so much more convenient.

I prefer rsync for Anrdoid (http://goo.gl/cI3Mx) - it's free, and I can run it as a scheduled task with Llama to back up my sdcard every night. It's not so handy for ad-hoc file transfers, but I don't do that much, so it's great for me :)

It doesn't have to be the same Wifi network. You computer can be wired or wireless. You could even port it out of your firewall or be across a company network, you just need to know the IP of your phone. Technically it could work over 3G/4G but some providers block port 80, so it would work if you change the port. I know that Sprint does since my friend tired putting his Raspberry Pi online.

I tend to just use Airdroid. It is a bit overkill, but is pretty and works (at least for non-huge or non-zillion-file tasks)

Good to see many others took advantage of the Free App acquisition of this app - I LOVE this app, easy, quick, and better than messing with cables. Does it take a while to transfer a movie? Yes - but if you have patience or you are not doing 500+ meg files this is a great tool

I run openSUSE, I have been using Bluetooth and/or Google Drive to transfer files easily. My new Galaxy Note II has Kies Air which is really nice too ;-)

I couldn't agree with you more, Jerry. I've been using this since I first saw it as a Free App of the Day on Amazon, and I would gladly pay for it. I love it so much and I use it at least once or twice a week. Really is a must-have app for me now. Screw cords!

gntp works for me for transfering from my Nexus 7 to my laptop using Ubuntu.
sorry about crappy typing.

Does ES File Explorer not see Linux computers on the network? (Don't know why it wouldn't.)

I stopped bothering to load Wifi file explorer pro and airdroid after using ES.

-Suntan

I haven't used ES in a while, I am sure it would. But all PCs, no matter the OS, would need some sort of ftp server running.

Or sftp, or webdev

Jez, I can't imagine needing anything except ES File Explorer for Linux or Windows or even Mac. Not to mention just about every cloud storage service you've ever heard of. And it costs the magnificent sum of Zero.

Its an awesome program and beats trying to do anything with a web server.

I'll give an unpaid endorsement for the app that I use to transfer files to/from my PCs.

I use an app on my phone called FX File Explorer. The media/network add-on for FX costs a few bucks. So you gotta spend a few bucks if you want to use it to wirelessly transfer files.

I've have a couple of FX network connections to each of our PCs. I have WIFI LAN connections for when I'm at home. Internet connections for when I'm not at home. Two taps on my phone and I'm connected and exploring my PCs file system (The first tap is to launch FX).

From my phone I can transfer files back and forth, and do it from anywhere. Our PCs run openssh servers (Ubuntu 12.04[hers] and Xubuntu 10.04[mine]).

I am cutting this comment way short. All I can say is that FX is the most useful app I've ever found for my phone (and I've found a lot of useful apps). Wireless file transfer is just the most basic. I can stream movies from my PCs sitting at home.

FX is my front end to my own personal cloud storage sitting on my desk at home (with a couple of terabytes of storage... and no fees). And it is incredibly secure (encrypted public rsa keys.. etc).

I'm also one of the many that got this back when Amazon had it as the free app of the day. I really like this app for transferring files and even though there are other good choices to do the same thing I'll just stick with what I know. One thing I didn't realize at first with this app is that on my desktop which is plugged into a wireless router the app works just fine. DUH! At first I had just been using my laptop.
I should add that back when Amazon had some really great apps as the free app of the day I got a bunch of great apps, this being one of them. Since then I have kicked the Amazon Appstore to the curb and purchased this app and most of the others in the Play Store.

Wifi File Explorer Pro is also my favorite out of the apps I've tried. It's about as simple (one touch to start the app, and then just go to the provided IP address in any HTML5 supporting web browser on any device) and efficient as it can get.
And a pretty nice interface in my opinion.

These solutions are nice as long as you don't need to transfer a very large file. My favorite way to transfer files between Linux and my Android devices is the relatively new MTP KIO slave (best for KDE users, obviously). The following commands install support in Ubuntu:

sudo apt-add-repository ppa:philschmidt/ppa-kio-mtp-daily
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install kio-mtp

For other distros, you can probably get it installed after a little googling (I had it working easily in OpenSUSE). Once it's installed, plug in your device and it will be accessible under KDE's Dolphin file manager--go to the address bar, type "mtp:/" without the quotes and press enter, and you should see your device there like any other folder.

I've had this app for a long time now and have to say I love it. Very convenient that I don't always have to get up and plug my Android directly to the pc I have connected to my flat screen tv. I can just run this app and do whatever file transfer I need. Extremely easy to use.

Great info, thanks!!! I just recently switched from Win7 to Ubuntu full-time, and I've been looking for a way other than ftp to file transfer ;)