Adding more information to the above response! Thank @Konstantinos Passadis for providing detailed information on the @Justin Westover query!
In order to access your files publicly using Azure Storage Explorer, you do not need a public endpoint enabled on Azure Files. Azure Storage Explorer uses the Azure Storage REST API to access your files, which can be accessed over the internet without a public endpoint.
When you log in to Azure Storage Explorer, you are authenticating with your Azure account, which gives you access to your storage account and its contents. As long as you have the appropriate permissions to access the files in your storage account, you should be able to see them in Azure Storage Explorer.
Regarding your second question, Azure Storage Explorer is primarily an admin tool that is designed for managing Azure storage accounts. While end users can use Azure Storage Explorer to access their files, it is generally not recommended to give end users direct access to Azure Storage Explorer. Instead, you should consider using other tools or applications that are designed for end users, such as web applications or mobile apps that can access your files through the Azure Storage REST API.
Azure Files is a service that offers file shares in the cloud using the standard Server Message Block (SMB) Protocol. Both SMB 2.1 and SMB 3.0 are supported. With Azure Files, you can migrate legacy applications that rely on file shares to Azure quickly and without costly rewrites. You can use File storage to expose data publicly to the world, or to store application data privately. In this article, you'll learn how to use Storage Explorer to work with file shares and files.
Using Storage Explorer with Azure Files
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