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I have some consultants that work for me who don't have internet access (UNBELIEVABLE, I KNOW!).  I have loaned them laptops to do work on specialty medical devices.  Occassionally, they need to suck the configuration out of these medical devices (using the laptop NIC), then email the config file to me.  But, they don't have email access or email address.  They do stay in hotels that have internet access.  How could they email me from the hotel, if they don't have an email account?  I suppose I could set them up a Yahoo account on my account...

Any thoughts?
2 Solutions
Tony GimenezInternshipCommented:

This is a great way to send a quick message, I prefer to set a expiration of 10 days.
Tony GimenezInternshipCommented:
But you should definately set them up with an email account sooner or later, these services are good for temporary usage, but I would not recommend it as a permanent use.
I would recommend Gmail (gmail.google.com) over Yahoo.

They offer POP access for free, so you can use an email client like Outlook Express or *Thunderbird (also highly recommended)...
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Much simpler than using email, you may install Groove Virtual Office. It automatically synchronize a directory on 2 or more computers silently when online.  This product will be incorporated in the Office2007 anyway.

Instant messaging, FTP, file sharing, remote desktop/terminal services/pcanywhere, upload to a secure web page are just some of the alternatives to email.  Sounds like the kind of information you want to encrypt and otherwise secure when sending it.
Without details, it is hard to say. Let me suggest that this is about transmitting many small files, from many diverse locations beyond your control, and that there is little need to encrypt with greater need for speed, reliability, and legibility. Maybe plain text, maybe some commas, few fields or records.

One question is how much time and expertise you have available?

I suggest the worst of the security issues is letting your own PCs get malware from web exposure. It happens. So a good idead would be to limit connect time, they don't need to surf, and email, so that should not be a big deal. If you have a good solid server, you could setup either FTP or web transfer.

Probably the quickest solution is to get a pcAnyWhere or a more economical substitute. Have a limited period of logon and password, with consideration for dial-back validation. Make it available for both internet and phone, make it go both ways so you can also dial into your remotes and you have the best of both worlds, if there's problems with their machines and they are illiterate then instead of support by talking over the phone, you can just look at the machine more directly yourself. Maybe give them a few extra files while you are at it.

If you can develop SW, or find the right package, you can still have them send you eMail, depending on your server. They do not need to have an account or a server, since you do not need to send them any mail. Some servers will have a security check to validate that they receive mail from valid email users with valid servers, which can stop 'some' spam (small amount). With this method they won't have to do a login for TCP rights, or html, they just need port 25.

If you have sufficient staff, a 'free' 1-800 number may end up as your more economical best bet. Many businesses used to depend on daily dialup to get their accumulations of summary data, it is a proven technology with the right components, tailor made for your scenario.

In sum, I think I'll offer: pcAW or reasonable facsimile
That'll get you the best bang for the buck. Old versions ought to do as well if not better than newer versions.
i'll say - yahoo/gmail/hotmail - the best solution.
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