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Mirra in Action - Remote Access and File Sharing

Mirra's two other tricks are both web-based and are basically the same feature with different access rules. Both Remote Access and File Sharing make the files in folders you select available via any web browser. Files selected for Remote Access are accessible only by you while those chosen for File Sharing can be accessed by anyone you choose. Any files chosen for remote access or sharing, however, must first be chosen for backup, i.e. reside on the Mirra appliance.

Using the feature is easy. The desired files are selected via the Remote Access and File Sharing functions in the Mirra client app - both of which are similar to the Backup and Restore screen.

The main difference between the two functions is that File Sharing requires the additional step of entering the email addresses of the people to whom you want to grant file access. Each lucky person will receive an HTML-format email similar to the one shown in Figure 5.

File sharing invite email

Figure 5: File sharing invite email

This email can include a personal message and a "description" that you enter along with the email addresses. But the subject line of the email I received when I added myself to the valid File Sharing users was a curt "Shared files from higginst" (my Mirra user name) with a From address of (though the Reply To header contained my email address).

If I hadn't expected that the mail was coming, I probably would have deleted it as spam. Given the wide use of spam-filtering techniques and caution about opening unexpected suspicious email that is finally being exercised by many Internet users, I think Mirra needs to work on their File-sharing announcement method a bit. I think the option of copying the account registration link into my own email and sending it myself would be a simple solution.

Note that folders enabled for Remote Access can be easily disabled and re-enabled, but doing this for Shared Folders isn't as easy. You can stop sharing a folder via a simple click in the Mirra client application and no notification is sent to sharees. If you want to start sharing the same folder again, though, you have to go through the whole email notification routine again.

Fortunately, you can add sharees to existing shared folders and only the added people will get an email. You can also remove sharees from a shared folder, but they'll receive no notification that their access privileges have been revoked.

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