What is an HTTPS-based file gateway and how does it work?

HTTPS File Gateway

An HTTPS-based file gateway in business enables remote employees to securely access files and folders from on-premise file servers without the need for a VPN or RDP. This solution ensures secure data transmission through HTTPS, providing a seamless and efficient way to access and collaborate on files remotely.

HTTPS-based File Gateway in a Nutshell

An HTTPS-based file gateway in business is a solution that enables remote employees on connected devices (such as Windows PCs, macOS, or mobile devices) to securely access files and folders from on-premise file servers without using a VPN or RDP. This technology leverages the HTTPS protocol to stream file transfers to and from remote locations with higher performance. Combined with local caching and offline access, it effectively delivers files to remote workers' fingertips, facilitating workflows and daily collaboration for business-related tasks as if the files and folders were local. This enhances accessibility and productivity while ensuring secure data transmission and reducing latency.

Accessing Large Files

Accessing large files from remote locations poses significant challenges, particularly for industries like architecture and design, where CAD drawings from applications such as AutoCAD and design files from Photoshop and InDesign are common. Rendering these drawings and performing actions like pinning and zooming trigger frequent block-level reads, making remote file access over VPN very inefficient and slow.

Large files also challenge file sharing solutions like Dropbox and OneDrive, as file changes trigger synchronization processes that are slow and cumbersome for large files. As a result, files often remain on on-premise servers, with VPN and RDP being the traditional, yet inefficient, solutions for remote access. HTTPS-based file gateways provide a more effective alternative, offering secure, high-performance access to large files without the drawbacks of VPN and RDP.

Technical Advantages of HTTPS-Based File Gateways

HTTPS-based file gateways offer significant technical advantages that address the inefficiencies of traditional VPN and file accessing via SMB protocol setups.

First, HTTPS streaming is leveraged instead of the SMB protocol over a VPN tunnel. SMB is a chatty protocol, requiring frequent packet requests and acknowledgments, which slows down file transfers. HTTPS streaming, in contrast, speeds up file transfers by reducing this overhead.

Second, SMB protocol over VPN depends on a stable and reliable connection, as SMB was designed for Local Area Networks (LAN). Internet connections, however, can be unstable and may drop periodically, breaking the VPN connection and causing file operations to fail. HTTPS-based streaming is more resilient to such interruptions.

Third, HTTPS-based file gateways cache files locally on the user's device, typically on SSD drives. For operations like pinning and zooming in AutoCAD files, this local caching means that file reads are performed on the local SSD, often outperforming network-based access to file servers. This local caching also supports offline access, allowing users to work seamlessly even without an internet connection.

In summary, HTTPS streaming, local caching, and offline access collectively make accessing large files over remote networks fast, efficient, and reliable.

File Access for AEC

For the Architecture, Engineering, and Construction (AEC) industry, HTTPS-based file gateways offer significant benefits for remote work. Architects and engineers frequently work on large CAD drawings that require file locking for integrity. Traditional file sharing solutions like Dropbox, SharePoint, and Citrix File are unsuitable, leading to reliance on on-premise file servers and slow access for remote designers.

In construction, firms often consume these CAD drawings and need to render blueprints reliably from remote locations, often with poor-quality Wi-Fi. HTTPS-based file gateways address these challenges by providing local caching and offline access, ensuring that construction teams can efficiently access and work on drawings even in low-connectivity environments.

File Access for Design and Media

In the design and media industry, applications like Photoshop and InDesign produce and work with large files, similar to those used in AutoCAD and SolidWorks. These files often inter-reference or cross-reference each other, creating large groups of interconnected files. Traditional file sharing solutions such as Dropbox, Citrix Files, and OneDrive/SharePoint are not well-suited for these use cases, leading many companies to rely on VPN and RDP for remote access.

HTTPS-based file gateways offer a superior solution by speeding up file delivery through HTTPS streaming. Additionally, local caching and offline access allow designers and media professionals to work on files directly from their devices, even without an internet connection. This significantly enhances the usability and efficiency of remote work, enabling seamless access and editing of large files and improving overall productivity in the design and media industry.

Security for HTTPS-based File Gateways

In a business setting, HTTPS-based file gateways must ensure the same level of security as traditional file servers, particularly when integrated with Active Directory. These gateways protect files and folders using Active Directory and NTFS permissions. HTTPS-based file gateways offer enhanced security by impersonating Active Directory users during file access requests. This involves using SMB protocol for file access and LDAP/LDAPS for authentication and authorization. By forwarding access requests to internal file servers and Active Directory servers, HTTPS-based gateways provide native access control for files and folders.

Additionally, after HTTPS-based file gateways give files and folders an HTTPS RESTful API representation, they enable integration with SAML-based Single Sign-On (SSO) services. This integration enhances security by supporting features such as Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA). By incorporating SSO and MFA, HTTPS-based gateways offer a robust security framework that ensures only authorized users can access sensitive data, maintaining high security standards while facilitating remote work. This approach provides a seamless and secure experience for users accessing files from different locations.

advantages of a file gateway

Benefits of File Gateways

File gateways offer numerous advantages in a business environment, enhancing productivity, collaboration, and cost efficiency. They provide seamless access to files, improve performance, and offer flexible, scalable solutions that meet diverse business needs.


Enables seamless access to files from any location, enhancing remote and on-premise productivity.

Cost Efficiency

Reduces physical storage infrastructure and maintenance costs for businesses.


Facilitates real-time document collaboration across different locations for efficient teamwork.


Uses caching and protocol translation to improve file access speed and performance.

HTTPS-Based File Gateways for External File Sharing

File gateways offer advanced solutions compared to traditional methods like FTP, WebDAV, and ad-hoc cloud storage for facilitating external file sharing. Industries such as manufacturing often need to share CAD drawings and large design files with external parties for approvals and production. Traditional methods often involve file copying and duplication, leading to inefficiencies and potential security issues. FTP servers require non-standard firewall ports, raising security concerns. WebDAV servers face performance and compatibility issues, while ad-hoc cloud storage solutions result in fragmented file repositories and inconsistent access control.

HTTPS-based file gateways address these drawbacks by providing a unified, secure, and efficient way to share and manage files externally. Provisioning VPNs for external users can be difficult, and copying large amounts of files to file sharing sites is cumbersome. HTTPS-based file gateways streamline this process, enabling secure, high-performance access to files without the need for VPNs or extensive file copying. This makes them an ideal solution for external file sharing in manufacturing and other industries.


FTP presents significant challenges in today's digital landscape. It lacks built-in encryption, exposing sensitive data to potential breaches and unauthorized access. The manual effort required for FTP setup and maintenance exacerbates operational inefficiencies, reducing productivity. Additionally, FTP fails to ensure data integrity and privacy, raising compliance issues for businesses in regulated sectors. Moreover, traditional FTP solutions struggle with seamless integration, particularly with modern cloud storage options like Azure Blob.

WebDav Protocol

WebDAV protocol has an advantage over FTP or SCP as it uses the same port as HTTP (80), which is a standard port already opened in the client and enables the use of the world wide web (www). It is easier to traverse a firewall. However, WebDAV protocol wasn't as modern as a REST-based protocol as we saw from current cloud storage services. The WebDAV dialect is relatively verbose and complex, which introduces incompatibilities between WebDAV clients and WebDAV servers. It is another outdated protocol.

File Sharing

File sharing tools such as Dropbox, Citrix Files, and SharePoint duplicate files into shared folders, leading to data sprawl and increased costs. Businesses struggle to manage this sprawl and face high cloud service fees. These tools prioritize sharing over accessing, causing issues for applications like CAD drawings that need cross-file references and file locking. This results in significant data ownership problems and version control issues, with multiple versions of files scattered across different repositories.

Deployment and Integration

Deploying and integrating an HTTPS-based file gateway involves several key steps to ensure seamless access and management of files.

Firstly, the HTTPS-based file gateway should be deployed on-premise, ideally situated next to the file servers and Active Directory servers. This strategic placement allows the gateway to efficiently handle file access requests and user authentication.

For businesses using SAML-based identity services, integrating with SAML Single Sign-On (SSO) is a crucial step before deploying the agent software. This integration enhances security by enabling Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) and streamlined user authentication.

Once the on-premise gateway and SAML integration are set up, the next step is to deploy agent software to remote workers. These agents are essential for enabling secure and efficient file access across various devices. The agent software includes applications for Windows, macOS, iOS, and Android devices, as well as extensions for web browsers. This comprehensive deployment ensures that remote workers can access files seamlessly, regardless of their device or location.

The deployment of these agents involves installing the software on each remote device and configuring it to connect to the on-premise file gateway. This setup typically includes setting up authentication methods, such as SSO and MFA, to ensure secure access.

By following these steps, businesses can effectively integrate HTTPS-based file gateways into their existing IT infrastructure, providing remote workers with fast, secure, and reliable access to on-premise files.

Feature #1: Drive Mapping and File Locking

Drive mapping and file locking are essential features for accessing large files and large groups of files. Drive mapping ensures that files reference each other on the same drive letter, providing a consistent and organized structure for file access. This is particularly important for complex projects where files are interdependent, such as CAD drawings and design files.

File locking, on the other hand, is crucial for maintaining the integrity of files during updates. It prevents multiple users from making conflicting changes to a file, ensuring that all modifications are properly synchronized and protected. This is vital for preserving the integrity of large file groups, where uncoordinated changes could lead to data corruption or loss.

Together, drive mapping and file locking provide a robust framework for managing large files, ensuring seamless access, proper referencing, and secure updates, thereby maintaining the overall integrity of the file system.

Feature #2: File Sharing

File sharing becomes significantly more efficient with an HTTPS-based file gateway. By adding an HTTPS-based interface to files and folders, the gateway enables seamless web-based file sharing. This makes it easy to share files and folders with external business partners through web links. External collaborators can access shared files securely via their web browsers, eliminating the need for complex setups or additional software. This feature enhances collaboration and communication, streamlining workflows and improving business efficiency.

Feature #3: Performance Enhancements

An HTTPS-based file gateway offers significant performance enhancements by leveraging HTTPS streaming for file uploads and downloads. This ensures faster and more efficient file transfers compared to traditional methods. Additionally, the agent software on Windows and macOS devices can cache files locally, allowing for local editing. This local caching not only improves performance by reducing latency but also enables offline editing, enhancing reliability. Users can continue to work on files even without an active internet connection, with changes synchronized once connectivity is restored. These performance enhancements ensure a seamless and efficient user experience, making it easier to manage and collaborate on large files across various locations.

HTTPS-based File gateway summary:

  1. BRIDGE - Connects file repositories and workforce across different locations.
  2. LOCAL-TO-REMOTE - HTTPS-based file gateway to stream local on-premise files to remote workers.
  3. TRANSLATION - Bridges different file access protocols seamlessly and translate it to HTTPS RESTful API
  4. LOCAL CACHING - Enhances performance with local file caching and offline editing
  5. INTEGRATION - Integrates with existing security measures like Active Directory.
  6. SAML SUPPORT - Support cloud based single sign-on identity providers.
  7. PERFORMANCE - Performance enhancement for remote work is the main use case.
  8. REPLACEMENT -  Replaces FTP servers, WebDAV servers, file sharing tools, and even RDP for file access.

Take the file server back to the future

Discover how Triofox's HTTPS-based File Gateway revolutionizes file access for remote teams, transforming large file transfers for architecture, engineering, and media. Triofox provides unparalleled speed with HTTPS streaming, versatile remote access across all devices, and seamless Single Sign-On integration. Enjoy offline access and local caching, meeting the demands of industries requiring frequent large file interactions. This solution is ideal for architecture firms, engineering companies, construction firms, and media companies, enhancing productivity and secure file sharing. Triofox's technology addresses common challenges faced with traditional protocols, offering a faster, more secure, and flexible file access solution.

Ready to elevate file servers from local office to the cloud and boost mobile workforce productivity?