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M2RemoteAntz

This is a program that will allow a user to request a copy of NetAnts running on a remote machine to download files specified by the user using Microsoft's Messenger as the communication channel.

This program will NEVER be possible if the developer of NetAnts didn't already include a means for other developers (such as myself) to tap into the capabilities of NetAnts. To that he has my thanks.


  • Required Components
  • Installation
  • NetAnts Setup
  • Server Setup
  • Client Setup

Required Components

Before you can install the program, first of all you need to install these components on the host system (The system on which to do the downloading)

And also unless you have WindowsXP, you're gonna need to get the VB Runtimes.


Installation

Now that the initial prerequisites are complete you can download the program files that make up M2RemoteAntz.

Download the files and run the setup files on the appropraite systems.


NetAnts Setup

First of all you need to setup NetAnts so that it can work effectively without user intervention, since there usually won't be a user on the host machine. (Well if there were... you wouldn't be needing this now would you?). Anyway open up the connection dialog on NetAnts by clicking on the Option->Preferences menu item. Our first item of interest is under the Connections tab.

Connections Tab (5k)

If you check Always retry, NetAnts will keep retrying on timeouts, connection loses, etc. etc. There is a slight chance of course of bandwidth wastage.. but... well... it might mean a difference between getting a file or not. Then lets move on to the Job Default tab.

Job Default (6k)

First of all remember to specify a proper Download Directory, you don't want all your files to end up in the root of your C drive! Also for obvious reasons, make sure Download Immediately is checked!

Advanced (11k)

Finally move over to the Advanced tab, Uncheck Always Show Add Job Dialog. Then select Auto rename when file exists so you dont accidentally overwrite files. And you can uncheck Show notification message, there seems to be no harm in keeping it on though.


Server Setup

Full Shot Of Server (7k)

This section will deal with the settings that are available on the server program and how to customize it.

Account Information (2k)

Near the top of the screen is the logon information to use to logon into a messenger account, so you just type in your username and password here. This is actually an optional step and you can actually logon to Messenger manually yourself if you feel that I might have installed a password snooping back door. =P

Log Options (1k)

Below the account information section you can find two more options which are Log Commands and Keep Account Alive, Log Commands will keep track of a log of commands that were recieved from remote users, the log will appear in the log window below. Keep Account Alive will ensure that your Messenger is connected all the time, as the program will check if Messenger is connected every 30 seconds and if it isn't logged on the program will logon for you. Great for office firewalls which regularly disconnect your messenger when you're not looking! Of course... this only works if you supplied the program with your username and password.

Allow List (3k)

Next we come to the allow list, this is a means of filtering who is allowed to issue commands to NetAnts. To add a username to to list, type the users Messenger account in the textbox (usually their hotmail) and click the Add button, the name will be added to the allow list box on the left. Click Save List to save the names which are currently in the list into a file called allowlist.txt residing in the same path as the server's program file. Click Load List when you start the program to reload the list from a saved file. (Yeah, I should have made this automatic.. my bad....)

Even after you add names into the list you have to check the Use Allow List to tell the program to check all incoming commands and test them against the list and disallow commands from users who aren't in the list.

Check Log Invalid Access to keep track of people who are sending commands to you even though you didn't authorised them too, if Log Invalid Access is not checked a message "You're not authorised to use this download mule! Sorry!" will be sent to the user.

Log list (3k)

And finally there's the log window, which all commands and intrusions are logged recent events last.

Oh... so how to use this?? Simple connect to the net, connect your Messenger account, run the server program... and that's IT!


Client Setup

Client Full (5k)

So now that we have a server running we need a client to tell it to download files, find another machine connected to the Internet startup Messenger and startup the client program. Now we get to the fun part... first of all you pick out the user who is running the server program from the drop down list at the top of the program window. You might want to press Refresh List to get the most recent list of users online on your Messenger since the program doesn't automatically update the list.

To send a download command is simple enough, just key in the FULL URL into the URL box, you need to put in the FULL URL one little caveat of NetAnts is that the file MUST end with an extension. So http://www.somesite.com/afile.exe works, but http://www.somesite.com/getafile.asp?id=982343 doesn't! Because when you enter the URL like that into NetAnts.. the Add Job dialog pops up.... oh oh!

You can also enter an optional Comment to be added into NetAnts as well.

Once you've entered the URL, press Get URL and your request will be sent to the other user. If everything went well you should get a return message from that user saying "Request Processed"

To see current downloads in progress press the Get Download List and you'll be responded with a list of downloads in progress.


That's it.. thank you and have fun... sorry if the instructions aren't that sufficient but I don't document too well hopefully you guys can figure it out :D