VPN-Free Access to Amazon S3 File Gateway

When employees work from home or remote locations, it is quite inconvenient to use a VPN to connect to the corporate network. You may not have a choice if Amazon S3 File Gateway is located within the corporate network. However, Amazon S3 itself resides in the cloud. If a solution can connect to the same Amazon S3 bucket as File Gateway and provides a SharePoint- or OneDrive-like interface, employees outside the corporate firewall can access it directly without a VPN.

A story - Enterprises use S3 File Gateway

A private investment firm had file servers on site and ran out of file server space. They deployed AWS S3 File Gateway as an on-site virtual appliance and moved files from the file servers to the appliance File Gateway. So far, 2 TB of the total 8 TB data has been moved to AWS. The most important user group in the company is the marketing department. Since the pandemic, most of them work from home and use client VPN to reconnect to the corporate network and access the S3 File Gateway appliance. They also need to share and receive files from external business partners and customers. The S3 File Gateway houses a mix of Office documents, Adobe Photoshop files, images and videos.

Several issues and requirements have been identified.

  • There is no easy way to access S3 File Gateway - If they are outside the office, they have no easy way unless they use a VPN to connect to the office network and then mount a drive letter from S3 File Gateway. Amazon S3 is already in the cloud, and they still have to tunnel back to the office to access it.
  • No Easy Way to Share with External Parties - Marketing departments need to share files with external vendors, partners and customers. However, a standard file sharing workflow is still to use a VPN to tunnel into the office network and send attachments via email.

There are many tools for S3 access, including CloudberryLab S3 Explorer, ExpanDrive, TntDrive and CyberDuck. However, these S3 direct access tools did not meet the company's needs for two reasons. The first reason is the ability to integrate with the company's Active Directory infrastructure and SAML single sign-on. The second reason is the ability to share files in the cloud with auditing and history. The company is looking for a "File Server" solution rather than a USB drive as an analogy.

They were looking for a SharePoint-like solution for Amazon S3 that extends S3 with drive mapping and mobile access capabilities.

adding drive mapping and mobile access features to S3


Want to add these features to S3 File Gateway?

Cloud Mapped Drive

Amazon S3 has a web interface in aws.amazon.com that can facilitate the easy upload and download of files. However, having a local s3 drive letter with s3 bucket contents mapped to Windows explorer will make using files inside S3.

Web Link Sharing

The solution is adding Active Directory users to share files and folders within Amazon S3 by turning folders into online shared folders.

Mobile Applications

Make files and folders sitting inside Amazon S3 following you and always be available at your fingertips from iOS and Android devices.


Business man happy about AWS Dropbox Alternative solution


Triofox integrates with Office 365 for web-based co-editing and co-authoring for files inside the shared folder.

Large Folder

Use Outlook integration to share large folders or files as web links via email.

Link Sharing

Convert shared files and folders into web links for direct access via web browsers.

Link Receiving

Request files from partners, customers, and external parties via web links.



Folder Permissions

Define different permissions for folders at different levels of the directory structure or apply NTFS permissions directly.

Secure Data Room

The web-based secure data room allows access to shared folders for viewing only, with download disabled.

User Rights

You can assign internal Active Directory users and external customers and partners to shared folders.

Version Control

Shared folders are subject to version control, and notifications are available for users who have subscribed to the folders.

Share files with colleagues, customers, and partners

Share files with colleagues, customers, and partners. Sending emails with multiple attachments has been the norm for years when sending files to colleagues or business partners. However, sharing a folder has never been easy with email attachments. Sharing large files was impossible and blocked by email services. When S3 File Gateway was an on-premise solution with no file sharing capability, the native Amazon S3 behind S3 File Gateway made it easier to share files and folders over the Internet because every file and folder has a "web link" by default. AWS S3 has the building blocks for file sharing, and S3 storage is enterprise-ready by default. All we need is a user-friendly, easy-to-use, yet secure file sharing solution that can take advantage of S3's capabilities.

Turn S3 File Gateway into a SharePoint-like Service

When users are out of the office, they do not have to use a VPN to tunnel into the office network. They can use the S3 bucket directly through Triofox, and Triofox turns the S3 bucket into a SharePoint-like service underneath. When users are back in the office, they can continue to use the S3 File Gateway, keeping all Windows workloads on-site as before!

Remote Access

Combines on-premise file servers and Amazon S3 for secure remote access without the need to use a VPN.

Mobile Applications

It leverages Amazon S3 as a central cloud file repository with version control, file change history, audit tracing, and mobile applications on iOS and Android.

Web Sharing

It uses Amazon S3 storage in the Cloud for secure mobile file sharing from a web browser or mobile applications.

VPN-less Access

Since Amazon S3 is already in the cloud, accessing the same content as the S3 file gateway doesn't have to go through a VPN to loop back to the corporate network.


Amazon S3 is the most widely supported cloud storage service, with many technology partners offer S3-integrated solutions for primary storage, backup, recovery, archiving, and disaster recovery. With its industry-leading performance, scalability, availability, and durability, it is used by many organizations.

Triofox offers a unique cloud file server solution that integrates Active Directory, NTFS permissions, a remote mapped drive, and file locking capabilities with Amazon S3 cloud storage services. The result is a single solution that combines both the security features of the existing IT infrastructure and the mobility and durability of the Cloud (Amazon S3).

mobile access to files


Simplify remote access to file servers from mobile devices, PCs, Macs and browsers with a mapped drive and without a VPN.

server cost


Reduce server replacement costs. Eliminate server and VPN management costs. Create a business continuity solution with S3.

data sprawl


Avoid the headaches of splitting data sets between internal file servers and cloud solutions like Dropbox or Box.

Permission Control


Avoid the costs of manually replicating files and folders or restoring NTFS permissions. Inherits Active Directory and permissions.

multiple office


Avoid the management issues associated with cross-site replication and simplify collaboration with remote offices. Unify data across multiple offices with S3.

enhanced security


Eliminate threats from decentralized security and personal Dropbox and other third-party accounts. Consolidate file structures into S3.

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