Question about a 3rd party downloading from an encrypted remote

Hi everyone, just have to say I've been using rclone from the command line for a couple years now and absolutely love it. It has totally changed how I manage backups of my home media server to my personal Gsuite Google Drive account. I have a question that I haven't been able to find answered anywhere and wondered if such a thing is even possible.

I have a few not-so tech savvy friends who want to be able to download files I have on my server on occasion, as I have a fairly extensive library, but I don't want them to be able to stream them directly from my Emby server, nor do I want to set something up like Nextcloud so that they can connect into my server and download it directly from there, as either way, I don't want to congest my upload bandwidth. That's when I thought about my encrypted media backups made into Gsuite that they could tap into and download (as Google has plenty of bandwidth) but having them run rclone from the command line on their machine with a read-only version of my config files and then walking them through it over Teamviewer has been a pain.

I played around with the built in GUI a while back but from what I can tell, if I were to self-host it, it would download the file to my web server and not the end-user's own computer (though maybe I didn't configure it properly), so it looks like this is something that rclone doesn't handle natively, but possibly by using another tool in conjunction with rclone I could get it to work.

Long story short - I'd love to set up something like an FTP server that people could connect into and download files from, but instead of it downloading driectly from me or using my bandwidth (other than basic site traffic), it downloads directly from my Gsuite encrypted share via rclone to their computer. Is such a thing even possible at this moment with, say, some other web FTP front end (or something like it) and then mounting my encrypted share via rclone as the source of the FTP server's storage? Or would they have to run rclone locally on their machine to get this to work?

I'm not a pro developer or anything, but I do know my way around so feel free to offer any suggestions, no matter how easy or hard they may be.

Bump - to see if anyone has any ideas. Admittedly this is more of a hobby project but I'm curious if anyone else might have a similar setup.

i do that with a seedbox

RcloneBrowser could be what you're looking for. It's discontinued, but I do think there is an active ish fork.

yeah, the summed it up well.
have not been update for close to one year....

the version is stable and seems to be bug free in all my use of it.

I'll second the seedbox recommendation. Hetzner has cheap VPS options ($3-6 / month for a capable enough one) and you could run a full Plex or Emby server on it and just disable transcoding (since you'll be CPU bound, not network bound). Have your friends buy you a beer once a month to pay for it, if you want to go that route.

keep in mind, that for plex to see the files, need to use a rclone mount.
so your files will appear decrypted on that vps vm mount point
if the vps provider did a scan of the machine, they would see the decrypted files.
if you use a vfs cache, the decrypted files would be there as well.

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there is a way around that.
as this is what i do.

on that vps, use rclone serve pointing to the crypted remote.
have those friends access the rclone serve, using vlc, kodi or whatever.

OK great. thanks guys, definitely some good suggestions. I'll look into the seedbox route.

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