Seeking a solution for file sharing...

eitconsulting used Ask the Experts™
We have a customer with 11 employees.  They have a specific shared folder on the file server that everyone accesses.  However, only two employees need access to the shared folder 24/7 and/or when these two employees are not in the office.  These two employees would also like to access certain files from their i-phones, i-pads, droids, etc... when they are not in the office.  The REST of the employees don't need access from outside of the office.

I am aware of Office 365's capabilities but, doesn't that mean that Everyone/All 11 employees would need to subscribe when only 2 employees need outside/remote access?

Thoughts?  Possible cost effective solutions?  Thanks!
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Alan HardistyCo-Owner
Top Expert 2011
I would recommend a Synology NAS to house the data.  It can be configured internally to sync AD from the server to the NAS so that logins are in sync and then you can use Cloud Sync (Synology version of Dropbox) to sync files to/from the workstations of the users who need 24x7 access or a $40 app called NetDrive to allow live access across the web to the files so that they aren't taking files offline.

The Synology boxes are ultra flexible, ultra-reliable and aren't ultra-expensive.

365 uses SharePoint to share files and IMHO - it's not very good.  Dropbox is way better!  It would also mean that everyone would need an account.



   Great!  So, the Synology Box (which we actually have one in our own IT office but haven't used the sync feature) should still be able to act as a local shared (Projects) folder for the 9 remaining in-office employees while the other two employees could Also access the local shared (Projects) folder like the other 9 in-office employees AND access the same shared (Projects) folder remotely?

2nd Question:  Is the $40 app apply to each user who accesses the Synology synced box hence a total of $40 x 12 Or, is it $40 flat to used on the Synology NAS with a certain number of users?

BTW, they do currently have a couple of Dropbox accounts but, only some files are on Dropbox and not the entire shared (Projects) folder.  

I thought about 365's SharePoint and thought similar to you with regards to instability, surprisingly after being in production for HOW LONG?  5, 6 years?  No wonder their stock is only hovering around $45/share. :-)

Top Expert 2011
Excellent - what are the chances!

Yes - you can create a share on the Synology box, setup the NAS to sync AD and assign permissions to the share for the users, then you just need the $40 software (per user) for the two remote users on their remote computers so they can access the files across the web.  Local users won't need the software - they can just map a drive to the share on the NAS and access the files as they would do on a server.

The NAS can also sync folders to/from Dropbox if required!

The problems we found with SharePoint was the file sync was buggy and you don't really get to know it isn't working unless you check the sync icon in the system tray.  Then if there are problems, it's not the easiest thing to fix, so if you like head-scratching, then go for SharePoint, but it you like a stress-free life  (well, as stress-free as possible) avoid it!


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