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Network Setup with no server

Posted on 2011-03-18
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Last Modified: 2012-05-11
Here goes my ignorance... I started working with a man that was running a one man show.  We live in two different cities, but I will travel to his home based office several times a month.  We use godaddy for our website hosting and for a virtual exchange service for our email.   I am clueless as to the best way to set up our network/file sharing.  We do have an online file sharing option through godaddy, but that is not efficient.  Basically I want to have it set up like a server based network, but we have no server :)  Isn't it possible to do that if you commit a laptop to act as a server.  The other part to it is that he travels a lot, so as long as we had a dedicated laptop that he left on at all times at his house, could I still get into it from my place while he was gone.  Sorry about the stupid questions.... but hey, I am blonde :)
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Question by:MsSherryG
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11 Comments
 
LVL 96

Expert Comment

by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 35169307

Not sure what your business is and what you need to share... but have you looked into using SharePoint?  Some businesses use it in place of file sharing.

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LVL 96

Assisted Solution

by:Lee W, MVP
Lee W, MVP earned 400 total points
ID: 35169316
Sorry, meant to add, many services that offer hosted Exchange also offer hosted Sharepoint.

You could also look into Windows Live Essentials - they have a file sync component that I have setup at one client.  A folder on each computer is a designated "drop box" and anything they put in it replicates to all their users almost instantly (or as instantly as their bandwidth allows).
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LVL 1

Assisted Solution

by:Field Marshall Bob
Field Marshall Bob earned 400 total points
ID: 35169341
You could get a firewall/router that has an FTP site built into it.  You would setup a login for both of you and put it at his location.  When he is there or on the road, he can access it and you can access it at anytime.

I remember setting up a Linksys that had this feature on it a few years ago.  Not sure of the model.  They came in 20 and 40GB models if I remember right.
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Author Comment

by:MsSherryG
ID: 35169351
Thanks, I will look into the two of them... but I failed to mention that my partner is the worst case of A.D.D. of anyone!  He is always all over the place and is very bad at remembering to put things into a drop box, or move them to the online file folder we already have.  However, if one of the options creates a much easier process that may be the way to go.  I was thinking Sharepoint might be the answer, but I have asked him to shell out a lot of $$ since I came on board with all my great ideas, so getting him to swing for that may be a problem.  I'll do some research though and check into the price.  In the meantime I want to keep the question open for awhile though to see if anyone else can help. But thanks leew, and I'll throw some points your way!
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Author Comment

by:MsSherryG
ID: 35169354
Thanks chuck, going to look google info on that now.
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LVL 10

Expert Comment

by:ReneGe
ID: 35169355
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Author Comment

by:MsSherryG
ID: 35169387
Thanks ReneGe... we do have that, but you have to know my partner to understand why thats not working out so well.  He is always forgetting to upload a file to it that I might need, and then he will leave on a trip. I'm 4 hr drive from him, so if he's gone and has forgotten to upload something I need to there, ..well, you see the issue.  (and you may have missed the note where I said he has an extreme case of AADD (Adult Attention Deficit Disorder)  :)
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LVL 10

Assisted Solution

by:ReneGe
ReneGe earned 400 total points
ID: 35169411
Have you considered remotly RDP on his PC? This way, you can directly access his files or transfer them on your PC.

You could also setup IIS on his PC and setup an FTP server, from which you could access his files with an FTP client like the freeware FileZilla.

Cheers,
Rene
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LVL 4

Accepted Solution

by:
ucando1 earned 400 total points
ID: 35169646
My Solution,

On his side you would need a static IP or use DynDNS type service.

Setup the laptop to be always on, and on his computer, setup a shared file.

You would RDP to the laptop, through the firewall by setting up a Firewall Rule to allow RDP traffice to the IP of the Laptop. ( Make sure to assign the Laptop a Static IP also ) and since the laptop and his computer are in the same network, you would create a mapped drive to whatever file he was sharing.

If you need to copy file to your side, make sure that you have your drive "connected" when you start your RDP session and just drag and drop
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LVL 8

Assisted Solution

by:lancecurwensville
lancecurwensville earned 400 total points
ID: 35169821
Google Docs   docs.google.com or windows live services would be a nice cloud solution that wouldn't require any dedicated hardware or software.
0
 

Author Closing Comment

by:MsSherryG
ID: 35172033
Thanks for all the input.  Lance I looked at quick tutorial of google docs, looks like it is more intuitive then onlinefilefolders by godaddy, so that may be the way to go for now.
As for all the other comments, thank so much.  Basically answered my question that it can be done with little to no investment of additional equipment and that there is several different options for setting up such a network.  However, since I'm swamped right now with so much else on my plate and DynDNS and RDP, are foreign language to me :), I think it would be worth the $ to just hire a geek to come get it all set up for me.  They could probably do it in 1/4th of the time !  But thanks to all.  (and if anyone is in the St. Louis area and wants to earn some extra $... just let me know)
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