You are hereUsing WebDAV Folders to Share Network Shares Via the Internet

Using WebDAV Folders to Share Network Shares Via the Internet


By steve - Posted on 22 October 2007

I have clients that use WebDAV services on Windows Server 2003 to share folders securely over the internet. They often use a self-signed SSL certificate to encrypt the connection. Here's how...

  • If you want to create a self-signed certificate on Windows Server 2003, you can learn about that here
  • Follow the directions here for setting up on the server for Web Authoring with WebDAV
  • If you are using a self-signed certificate for SSL, you will need to install that certificate on each computer you will be using to access the share to prevent the popup error about the certificate being invalid. See here for more information about that.
  • To connect as a client, you just need to point your browser or Open File dialog box to your server's domain address and share name. For instance, https://secure.mydomain.com/myshare
    (WebDAV client software has been installed in XP and with Office for several years.) Enter the full domain\userid for the account you are accessing from. For instance, I might enter: secure.mydomain.com\steve, my password, then check the "remember my password box."

Note: I had issues with the user id/password prompt repeatedly coming up and the password not being stored even though I checked the "remember my password" box. If the user stays in the application, they aren't prompted again, but if they exit Excel, for instance, and they start Excel up again, they will be reprompted for the password. Checking the "remember password" box doesn't seem to do anything.

The reason for the problem is that Internet Explorer handles the communications between the application and the WebDAV server. You must put the complete address of the server in the "Trusted Sites" list by clicking Tools/Internet Options/Security/Trusted Sites/Add. Then add the site as: https://server.domain.tld (as used in your situation). Once you add your site, you should no longer be prompted for the user id/password (unless it is changed on the server).

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