Can anyone suggest a Storage device that multiple users can connect to via USB at the same time?

nextgen00 used Ask the Experts™
Here's the situation....

3 or 4 laptops in a room, all connected to a network (just for internet access), some wired some wireless.  

But it's not their network.

These are auditors working at a clients location so they can't just share files on the network or setup a NAS device on the network.  But they need to all access the same files.

Currently they've been swapping USB flash drives back and forth between each other, but this is a pain in the neck.

They're novice users at best.  And some locations they work at don't even have a common network for them to connect to... so a simple file sharing system is unlikely to suffice all the time.

Is there, and if so, can you suggest a device that multiple people can access using USB to share files with each other?
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Simple (non secure) way - you can share the USB drive on one laptop on the network.  You would then need to know what the machine name of the laptop is and then other users could access it via \\machinename.

If they are on a domain (and members of the domain) they could assign permissions.

If they are not on a domain, you could setup a new user on the laptop that is sharing the USB drive and then let the other (authorised) users know what the username/password is to access the share.

Harder (more secure) way, bring in a hardware firewall with a 5 port switch built in.  Have the laptops plug into the trusted side of the firewall and plug the clients network in via the WAN port on the firewall.

Then setup rules on the firewall to allow all outgoing packets access to the WAN, but don't allow any incoming ports to the trusted interface.

Again, depends how secure/easy you want it.
Altin BardhiSoftware Engineer

You can use:
1. USB Data Transfer Cable and a hub if required
Altin BardhiSoftware Engineer

You can also use a router and enable file sharing on pcs. The router must be configured and the pcs must be in the same workgroup.
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It has to be secure... they work with sensative financial info.
I had thought of your third option.  I was just hoping there was a usb storage device out there that more than one laptop could connect to at once.

These laptop are all part of a domain (in their office) but out of their office, in the field, I don't want them openly sharing info on whatever network they're on... unless I go with option 3 from Nathan-B2B.

I'll let this go for overnight and see if anyone else chimes in, but it looks like they're have to deal with taking a router with them and sharing amongst themselves.

Altin BardhiSoftware Engineer

You can google for some more info on LAN/WAN file sharing.
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