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HELP OUT OUR OFFICE!!

Posted on 2007-04-05
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Last Modified: 2010-05-18
I have an office that we are trying to make accessible through remote connection.  All we need to do is make a group of files (like word documents and excel files) shared to our employees from  their homes and on the road.... We have 4 computers at the office right now, and they all dump their shared files onto one of the computers in a folder called "work files".

I just need to make sure the method of accessability is solid and we wont have problems with it.....

We dont want to add a dedicated server

How would I do this???
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Question by:mrjday
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by:sirbounty
ID: 18861230
www.logmein.com is one solution for remote control
www.gotomypc.com is another
Or you could setup a vpn into your device (http://www.windowsecurity.com/articles/Configure-VPN-Connection-Windows-XP.html)
Or one of many VNC options
www.ultravnc.com
www.tightvnc.com
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by:The_Kirschi
ID: 18861231
I assume you have an internet connection at the office. So I would suggest you buy a vpn-capable router if you don't have one and let the mobile users build vpn connections to the office. This way they should be able to access the "work files" folder on the existing computer.
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Author Comment

by:mrjday
ID: 18861361
I dont want to completely share the computer as 'sirbounty' suggested (with logmein or gotomypc). I simply want to share that one folder...So like.... if i would be on the outside, i would simply type in an address and there would display a folder tree that you could download from.....

Hope this clarifies the situation a little better
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by:sirbounty
ID: 18861389
VPN is the route you'll want to use then...
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The_Kirschi earned 250 total points
ID: 18861433
If you have XP running you could also setup the "work files" folder as a virtual directory in a website (setup IIS), configure it for https (needs a third-party certificate) and add a portforwarding for port 443 on your router (if your router is capable of this).

But thats just a possible solution. I recommend getting a vpn router if you don't have one. They are not too expensive nowadays.

As for the VPN connection its highly recommended to get a fixed public IP address for this. You could run DynDNS also but thats quite unreliable.

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Author Comment

by:mrjday
ID: 18861476
"the kirschi", when i set up a vpn router, will we simply type in the public ip address and then enter a username/password to access the files??
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Expert Comment

by:The_Kirschi
ID: 18861514
that depends on the router. normally for a router of the cheaper category you can use the built-in windows "vpn client" where you just specify a username and a password, yes.
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Author Comment

by:mrjday
ID: 18861719
So does anyone know where to find an online guide to setting up all this stuff??

I appreciate everyone's help here
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Assisted Solution

by:sirbounty
sirbounty earned 250 total points
ID: 18861809
As has been suggested already, you either have your own static public IP address, or you use a dynamic name service.
Personally, I've never had issue with Dyndns...have used it for years.

Presumably, you're using a dynamic address for your network and private addressing (NAT) behind your router.
If that's the case, go to www.dyndns.org and register for a free dynamic name service.  Depending on your SOHO router, you may have an auto-update feature built in that will keep this up-to-date for you (my Linksys does).
Otherwise, you get an email, I think once every quarter/6 months and you simply click on it to re-register your IP address.
This allows connections to come to you through somewhere.domain.com where somewhere is a name you describe and domain.com is a domain that dyndns.org provides to you (I used .athome.com for my home one).

http://www.onecomputerguy.com/networking/xp_vpn_server.htm details how to setup the VPN server to accept incoming connections - very nice walkthrough.
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Expert Comment

by:brian_anderson14
ID: 18863118
Another possible solution to this would be to enabale the remote desktop on the PC with the necesary files on it.

You would need to setup network address port translation on the Router.  This is a simple way of accessing a PC in the office remotely.  Easy to configure and not too hard to setup from a security point of view.

You need to assess the enviroment in which you want to access office resources, if it is from internet cafes; this would not be a good solution.  However if it's just from home access or from a wireless hotpsot it'll work fine.

If you want to know about this let me know.
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Expert Comment

by:AlexanderR
ID: 18873290
Try setting up an ftp server www.gene6.com (http://www.g6ftpserver.com/en/information is realy good, with lots of control of who and how accesses your folder) and publish that one directry.  On your router forward port 21 to that computer and if you dont have a static IP, then use DynDns
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Expert Comment

by:The_Kirschi
ID: 18881731
FTP is really a security issue. So I would highly recommend using https or VPN to encrypt traffic.
As I already mentioned I found DynDNS to be not very reliable.
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