Need Ideas on how to share files over many different locales - WAN?

First off, please excuse the 'noobness' of this question - Im just hoping to be able to understand this all to the best of my ability (and explain the question well).

I work for a company that needs to be able to share information in files made on their local machines over large distances - easily and with the least amount of human 'error'. Basically, we have about 3-4 different 'sites' (with 2-3 computers at each) and each machine uses programs such as Word, Excel - and most important Quickbooks.

My task is to find the easiest way to share information out of these files between the different sites. Especially the Quickbooks files. I have thought of some different ways, but I want some outside expertise to give me a hand and maybe some directions on how to get started.

The main barrier is the lack of speed on some of their networks. Half of the sites are connected to the internet via Satellite (about 40 times slower than Broadband), so I need something that can be easily used across the slow speeds.

File Server? WAN? Web-based programs?

Maybe theres a way I can make the programs 'save' the files onto one central location?

Any help is greatly appreciated, as always!

Clay
StaindSou11Asked:
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Asta CuTechnical consultant & graphic designCommented:
Would help to know more about the Operating System/version and Server type and version.  
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Asta CuTechnical consultant & graphic designCommented:
Which version of QuickBooks, etc...  File Sharing should already be an existing option with more current version of QUickbooks; perhaps I'm not understanding this fully.

Is QuickBooks software running the same Update version  on each computer?
QuickBooks provides a way for all the computers to share the same update files. Perform the following steps on every computer:
1.Open the shared company file.
2.Choose File - Update QuickBooks
3.Go to the Options tab.
4.Select ON for the Share Download option.
5.Click Save.
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StaindSou11Author Commented:
Well, the computers run XP Pro - we have no servers at the moment.

I will find out the information about Quickbooks versions, I dont have that on hand with me at the moment. I do know that there are more than one file, and that's why this is slightly difficult. The manager needs to extract information from the different files at the different locations. This is why I was thinking about having each one at a central location - but, I am not the expert so I can't pretend to know what would be best.

Clay
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Asta CuTechnical consultant & graphic designCommented:
In the meantime, you may find some help here:
Welcome to the online community of  QuickBooks® users and experts !
Connect with the QuickBooks community today! It's free.
http://quickbooksusers.com/

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Asta CuTechnical consultant & graphic designCommented:
You should be able to do a search for all *.qbw files, which are typically installed be default in C:\program files\intuit\quickbook\

XP has a lot of tools to help as well, including the Files and SEttings transfer wizard which may be of help to you as well.
HOW TO: Use Files and Settings Transfer Wizard in Windows XP
http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;293118
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Jimmy53Commented:
You have a pretty difficult task ahead of you.  I was working with a company that had three sites and needed to share data base files to all the sites.  It was pretty messy.  When they had 128 DSL lines what we did was to run batch executables that would zip the database files and then we would run batch executables that would copy the files.

The method we used to copy files was to have a routing and remote access server at both remote locations and then map a drive over the VPN and copy them that way using a regular DOS copy command.  We used the task schedualer to take care of that because the files had to be moved at night time when they werent working.  Once the zipped files got to the remote location we would run a batch executable on a schedual to unzip them and put them where they needed to go.  

The above method can be a pain but it will do the trick for slow connections.  Once we got T1 lines at each location we just bought a terminal server.  I hope this helps, let me know if you need any more details.
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CBozemanCommented:
Sharing QB with windows file sharing is going to be very slow and not pratical over the slow links.

You might try the QB Online Edition, there is a demo available to see if it works on your slower connections.
http://oe.quickbooks.com/system-requirements.shtml

CBozeman
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CBozemanCommented:
Any solution?

CBozeman
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StaindSou11Author Commented:
Gonna go with a file share it looks like, will be posting a question on how to set up a VPN in a lil while - thanks everyone
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Asta CuTechnical consultant & graphic designCommented:
Thank you.  ":0) Asta
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