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Windows Thread, Shared Drive (Or Just Folders) over internet in Technical; Hi all, I have been tasked to try and set up some kind of shared drive between 2 sites obviously ...
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    Question Shared Drive (Or Just Folders) over internet

    Hi all,

    I have been tasked to try and set up some kind of shared drive between 2 sites obviously over the internet.

    Any other time you would obviously just create a share, sort out permissions and edit logon script to map the drive. BUT

    They do not have a server...

    Does anybody know if this is possible to do without a server... I am trying to get away without changing the config if possible.

    I think I may have to out in a proposal to the managers for a full upgrade of systems (a relative new company with a couple of remote offices currently on windows 7 Home premium as Thats what came with their PC's)

    Thanks In Advance guys!!

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    jamesfed's Avatar
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    VPN sounds like your best option - PCs at your remote office would use the VPN to tunnel over the internet (use a SSTP VPN if possible) to get right into your servers at the main site.

    However the speed at which the network connection works would be limited by your internet speed.

    Things like TMG 2010 and Smoothwall can do VPNs easy enough.

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    No servers :/ Not even in a domain... would a VPN work with 'home' operating systems??

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    jamesfed's Avatar
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    It does on my Windows 7 Home Premium PC

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    Ahh Great

    But either way I suppose I am going to have to set up some kind of 'server' even if it is just a dedicated workstation which has a bigger drive in it with the VPN software on it... did I mention they don't even have a firewall anyway :/

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    jamesfed's Avatar
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    You could have the VPN running on each of your machines at the site office - how many are there?

    In an ideal world you would have a small server (say a HP ML110 or a MicroServer) setup with either Server 2008 R2 BrachCache or if high speed is a real issue then DFS-R.

    Either way if you deploy TMG 2010 at your main site you could then have at your remote site a normal internet connection without a hardware/software firewall your client PCs each of which hooks into the VPN.
    Everything would be kept secure as its sent through the SSTP tunnel.

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    roughly 10 at Head Office and 4 at said remote office, would be looking to expand in the near future with more PC's at both sites and another site some time soon.

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    jamesfed's Avatar
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    So do you have a server and AD setup at your main office?

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    And I'm not too sure if a server is on the cards money wise then again I don't know what the buget is as yet. Meeting on thursday

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    No no servers at all. I am trying to help them out. They are all on 'Home' versions of 7

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    jamesfed's Avatar
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    Ahhhh ok that would be harder then - maybe setup one of these for your internet connection at the main office - DrayTek Products Index

    They are a step up from your normal router and can do VPNs even without AD setup.

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    jdoldridge (20th March 2012)

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    great I will look into this

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    jamesfed's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jdoldridge View Post
    great I will look into this
    No problemo - do stay tuned to this forum as some other Edugeekers will no doubt soon chip in with other ideas.

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    No problemo - do stay tuned to this forum as some other Edugeekers will no doubt soon chip in with other ideas.
    I intend to

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    What jamesfed recommended there looks like it will work. The other option, if you can get a hold of two cheap PC's, is build yourself two pfSense firewall PC's and put one at each site. pfSense handles VPN connections very well, the best part though is that you can have a built in database of users right in the pfSense firewall if I remember correctly, which would eliminate the need for a Windows server. But, pfSense will also forward VPN login requests to a Windows Server for RRAS PPTP/L2TP authentication. This can be really handy if the company decides to get a Windows server at some point, which I think would be well worth the investment. Except if you wanted to really clean things up and add client machines to a domain, it could be quite the cost to get all of those "Home Premium" machines up to "Professional". This would be especially beneficial if you were rolling out TMG 2010, but that's even more money. The pfSense route is free [besides your time and finding a couple computers lying around with network cards], which is extremely attractive to a lot of small businesses. But you could easily pick up a couple of small business VPN routers too to save you the effort of building the systems.

    Either way, once you have the site to site VPN going, you can either do what you were thinking and set up a Linux box or something to use as a file server, or even a workstation running Windows if you like, and then sort out permissions accordingly. Users can map the drives manually, and the most they'll have to do is re-input their password once in awhile to the network share if the machines aren't on a domain. This is where having a server in general though can really help. I'd sell it to them with 3 points in mind. 1, authentication for keeping shares logged in and properly secured. 2, the ability to better control VPN connections and authenticate who's connected to your network from outside. 3, RAID, redundant storage of all of those files that will now be held on a server instead of each persons workstation. The last thing you want is for everyone to happily move their files to the new workstation "server", and then have the server hard drive fail.

    Hope that helps!

  17. Thanks to link470 from:

    jdoldridge (21st March 2012)

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