How To Connect to a NAS from a Mobile Phone, Tablet or PC (Android / iOS / Windows)

This blog post is about how to connect to a NAS on a local network from an Android or Apple mobile phone and tablet or a Windows PC.

To proceed with the basic instructions below, it is presumed you know your NAS login details and the OS you’re connecting from is able to read/write from the storage by default or with the software listed below.

To clarify you need to know the following:

  1. The IP address of the NAS box.
  2. Your username and password for the NAS box.

Microsoft Windows
If you’re using Windows XP, Vista or 7 you can use ‘Windows Explorer’ and in later operating systems, such as Windows 8 and 10 you can use ‘File Explorer’.

A partial screenshot of File Explorer with a network address typed in

  1. Open File/Windows Explorer.
  2. In the top bar that shows the path, type in the network address of the NAS box. i.e. \\192.168.1.40\ ,then press enter.
  3. After a few moments you should be prompted for your access details.
  4. Now hopefully you can copy, move or delete files on a NAS.

If you’re unable to browse to the network address, you can try the following:

  1. Open a ‘command prompt’.
  2. Type ‘ping 192.168.1.40 (replacing the example IP address with the IP address of the NAS box you wish to connect to).

If you receive ping responses from the IP address, check whether you typed the path correctly in File/Windows Explorer. You might also want to look at your firewall settings. In the past I have added the IP address of NAS boxes to a firewall to enable access. i.e. The zones area of ZoneAlarm.

Android
I use an android device daily and to connect to a NAS I’ve used ‘ES File Explorer’ on various android devices. When putting together these instructions I ran ES File Manager downloaded from Amazon on my very old Kindle Fire HDX (3rd Generation) running Fire OS 4.5.5.3.

The image shows a software package running on a Kindle Fire HDX

How to connect to a NAS using ES File Explorer:

  1. Open the application.
  2. From the left-hand side select ‘Network’.
  3. Choose ‘LAN’ from the network options.
  4. Select the ‘Scan’ button so that the app can find the NAS device.
  5. Select the ‘NAS’ and if required type in your access details.

If all has gone well, depending on your access level, you should hopefully be able to manage files on a NAS.

Apple iPad/iPhone
The application I’m using on an old iPad and iPhone is the free version of FE File Explorer. On the iPhone 6s running iOS 12.4 in 2020 this application works well with my NAS. The free version allows you to setup one NAS at a time.

FE File Explorer application on iPhone 6s

The below instructions were put together using my iPhone. Once you’ve performed the initial connection, you will can then just select the NAS from a list the next time you need it.

Add a NAS profile to FE File Explorer:

  1. Open the app and select the ‘+’ symbol at the top right.
  2. Select the NAS option from the list.
  3. You can either manually setup a location or choose from the ‘Network Neighborhood’ at the bottom.
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