Newbie: Sync a folder on two separated XP computers thru internet

Posted on 2005-05-06
Last Modified: 2010-03-17
My buisness partner and I both work at our homes most of the day - same town, same ISP, different brands of desktops running XP, very small buisness - 6-8 employees in the field.  But during the day we receive files and updates (as attachments to emails) from our people in the field.  We download these files into folders on our respective machines (a folder with subfolders for each client a person the field is working with).  But we both need access to these updates and want to be looking at the same most-recently-updated version of the file when we discuss the files throughout the day.  Is there a sync program that would be secure over the internet so that we could keep this folder sync-ed throughout each day (maybe an email would automatically be generated each time there was an update to either his copy of the folder or mine?).  I've been able to access another machine using XP Remote Assistance - I don't know how secure this is, and we'd like something more automated that only copies the files that are new or have changed.  Neither of us are "computer wizards" but we can usually get things to work if given a start in the right direction.  Do we perhaps need to get an online storage account with someone like xDrive?  I didn't see that there was a way to sync the folder.  The more specific information you can offer the better - this is an "extremely difficult" question - because I don't know the answer.  Thanks in advance for your help.
Question by:nauren
    LVL 3

    Accepted Solution

    Hi nauren.  Lots of ways to accomplish this task.  Here are a few ideas.  All have pros and cons but i hope one will fit your business needs.

    Yahoo! Briefcase:  Allows you to upload files to customized folders.  Create one secure logon and share away!

    VPN Access:  You can put a router in front of one of your PCs and then share directly from the hard drive.  All of your other clients can have the VPN username/password and log right in.  Here's a good product for this.

    FTP:  This isn't the most secure way historically but most FTP sites provided by ISPs are password protected.  The actual transfer of data is somewhat insecure.  It's simple and it works though.  You can use an FTP client and access your ISPs FTP site (most provide you with some storage space).

    Gmail:  Lots of folks love to use Gmail for file storage.  It currently has 2 GB of storage for each account.  You can request an invite online as well.  You might just route the originals emails to this account and then share the logon with your crew.

    I hope some of these are a good solution for you.  There are more "business-oriented" (read: expensive) solutions out there, but one or more of these should do the trick.


    Author Comment

    Thanks heatfan (we've just been clobbered with 6 inches of snow here - I'm looking forward to some heat).  It looks like VPN is most suitable for us.  I do have a "Ethernet Broadband Router" in front of my PC.  Could you give a few more specifics about how to start the process of setting up a usrname/pswd?  Is that really all we'd need to send secured files between the two machines?

    Author Comment

    Guess you're done with this question... I'll figure it out from here.  Thanks again

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