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Work on files from other PC? even outside own network

Our small business has until now run on one PC. To increase workflow a second PC is needed, But still needs to access the main PC's files. And since this is going to be a laptop it would be nice if files could be accessed and worked on when the laptop is outside of our own network. We understand that the main PC has to be always on for this to work as it would act like a server.

 

What (paid) application would easily allow us to do so?

 

Any suggestion is much appreciated:D

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You have some options like Teamviewer that basically give you control over the PC remotely. However, in the event the PC is turned off or someone else is using it, it's not exactly the best solution. 

 

Personally, I would go with network storage that's accessible remotely. It'll draw less power than the PC so having it on all the time isn't much of an issue and it also means the PC can be used at the same time as someone accessing data outside the network. It also allows for future expansion, so more than one device can access data at the same time, rather than only one device being able to control the PC at a time. The easiest way to do this is really to go with a NAS enclosure from the likes of Synology, QNAP, WD and so on. Most have systems that allow remote access, though you'll likely still need to set up port forwarding. If you use the network storage for everything that needs to be shared, multiple devices can access it. 

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5 minutes ago, MLG_Mario said:

Our small business has until now run on one PC. To increase workflow a second PC is needed, But still needs to access the main PC's files. And since this is going to be a laptop it would be nice if files could be accessed and worked on when the laptop is outside of our own network. We understand that the main PC has to be always on for this to work as it would act like a server.

 

What (paid) application would easily allow us to do so?

 

Any suggestion is much appreciated:D

Windows Remote Desktop Connection should work.

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20 minutes ago, mcaldwell said:

Windows Remote Desktop Connection should work.

 

21 minutes ago, Oshino Shinobu said:

You have some options like Teamviewer that basically give you control over the PC remotely. However, in the event the PC is turned off or someone else is using it, it's not exactly the best solution. 

both teamviwer and RDP have issues, although both would work it would mean that no one could use the computer while the PC is being controlled and it would not scale well (as said below)

 

21 minutes ago, Oshino Shinobu said:

Personally, I would go with network storage that's accessible remotely. It'll draw less power than the PC so having it on all the time isn't much of an issue and it also means the PC can be used at the same time as someone accessing data outside the network. It also allows for future expansion, so more than one device can access data at the same time, rather than only one device being able to control the PC at a time. The easiest way to do this is really to go with a NAS enclosure from the likes of Synology, QNAP, WD and so on. Most have systems that allow remote access, though you'll likely still need to set up port forwarding. If you use the network storage for everything that needs to be shared, multiple devices can access it. 

Yes a NAS would be far far better, you could get an old second hand PC with a core 2 duo or better CPU and about 2-4GB of RAM and 2 hard drives (you want 2 for RAID 1 for redundancy) and possibly a network card (if your MB only has 100Mbps speeds rather than 1Gbps) overall the NAS can be done for under £80-100 as for OS your cal, but synology/xpenology is really easy to use from my experience. You will need to make a separate user for each person (so both can access the volume at the same time but that's easy to do. The NAS will be able to scale a lot better as well as it can let multiple people access the data at once compared to the one that RDP and teamviewer would allow. Yes I admit £80-100 is a lot for a small business but it would future proof you a lot better than using RDP and teamviwer, is more professional, and means you can scale if you get more workers working for you. 

The owner of "too many" computers, called

The Lord of all Toasters (1920X 1080ti 32GB)

The Toasted Controller (i5 4670, R9 380, 24GB)

The Semi Portable Toastie machine (i7 3612QM (was an i3) intel HD 4000 16GB)'

Bread and Butter Pudding (i7 7700HQ, 1050ti, 16GB)

Pinoutbutter Sandwhich (raspberry pi 3 B)

The Portable Slice of Bread (N270, HAHAHA, 2GB)

Muffinator (C2D E6600, Geforce 8400, 6GB, 8X2TB HDD)

Toastbuster (WIP, should be cool)

loaf and let dough (A printer that doesn't print black ink)

The Cheese Toastie (C2D (of some sort), GTX 760, 3GB, win XP gaming machine)

The Toaster (C2D, intel HD, 4GB, 2X1TB NAS)

Matter of Loaf and death (some old shitty AMD laptop)

windybread (4X E5470, intel HD, 32GB ECC) (use coming soon, maybe)

And more, several more

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1 hour ago, grimreeper132 said:

 

both teamviwer and RDP have issues, although both would work it would mean that no one could use the computer while the PC is being controlled and it would not scale well (as said below)

 

Yes a NAS would be far far better, you could get an old second hand PC with a core 2 duo or better CPU and about 2-4GB of RAM and 2 hard drives (you want 2 for RAID 1 for redundancy) and possibly a network card (if your MB only has 100Mbps speeds rather than 1Gbps) overall the NAS can be done for under £80-100 as for OS your cal, but synology/xpenology is really easy to use from my experience. You will need to make a separate user for each person (so both can access the volume at the same time but that's easy to do. The NAS will be able to scale a lot better as well as it can let multiple people access the data at once compared to the one that RDP and teamviewer would allow. Yes I admit £80-100 is a lot for a small business but it would future proof you a lot better than using RDP and teamviwer, is more professional, and means you can scale if you get more workers working for you. 

If cost is a major concern, I'd put more focus into a good backup rather than redundancy. While redundancy is nice, if OP has to choose between a backup and redundancy, they should go for a backup. You run the risk of downtime in the event a drive fails, but chances of permanent data loss become much lower

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Just now, Oshino Shinobu said:

If cost is a major concern, I'd put more focus into a good backup rather than redundancy. While redundancy is nice, if OP has to choose between a backup and redundancy, they should go for a backup. You run the risk of downtime in the event a drive fails, but chances of permanent data loss become much lower

that is true

The owner of "too many" computers, called

The Lord of all Toasters (1920X 1080ti 32GB)

The Toasted Controller (i5 4670, R9 380, 24GB)

The Semi Portable Toastie machine (i7 3612QM (was an i3) intel HD 4000 16GB)'

Bread and Butter Pudding (i7 7700HQ, 1050ti, 16GB)

Pinoutbutter Sandwhich (raspberry pi 3 B)

The Portable Slice of Bread (N270, HAHAHA, 2GB)

Muffinator (C2D E6600, Geforce 8400, 6GB, 8X2TB HDD)

Toastbuster (WIP, should be cool)

loaf and let dough (A printer that doesn't print black ink)

The Cheese Toastie (C2D (of some sort), GTX 760, 3GB, win XP gaming machine)

The Toaster (C2D, intel HD, 4GB, 2X1TB NAS)

Matter of Loaf and death (some old shitty AMD laptop)

windybread (4X E5470, intel HD, 32GB ECC) (use coming soon, maybe)

And more, several more

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31 minutes ago, grimreeper132 said:

 

both teamviwer and RDP have issues, although both would work it would mean that no one could use the computer while the PC is being controlled and it would not scale well (as said below)

 

Yes a NAS would be far far better, you could get an old second hand PC with a core 2 duo or better CPU and about 2-4GB of RAM and 2 hard drives (you want 2 for RAID 1 for redundancy) and possibly a network card (if your MB only has 100Mbps speeds rather than 1Gbps) overall the NAS can be done for under £80-100 as for OS your cal, but synology/xpenology is really easy to use from my experience. You will need to make a separate user for each person (so both can access the volume at the same time but that's easy to do. The NAS will be able to scale a lot better as well as it can let multiple people access the data at once compared to the one that RDP and teamviewer would allow. Yes I admit £80-100 is a lot for a small business but it would future proof you a lot better than using RDP and teamviwer, is more professional, and means you can scale if you get more workers working for you. 

Thanks for your Answer, this clarified a lot. Now comes the hard part of finding a suiting NAS. Looked around a bit and tought that the Synology DS216PLAY might be a good option. 

 

4 minutes ago, Oshino Shinobu said:

If cost is a major concern, I'd put more focus into a good backup rather than redundancy. While redundancy is nice, if OP has to choose between a backup and redundancy, they should go for a backup. You run the risk of downtime in the event a drive fails, but chances of permanent data loss become much lower

It can cost, if it is going to last. We don't need more than a terabyte of storage so two of those in raid would do the job. 

Backup over redundancy for sure:D

 

So what do you guys think of the Synology DS216PLAY? any better suggestions?

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Just now, MLG_Mario said:

Thanks for your Answer, this clarified a lot. Now comes the hard part of finding a suiting NAS. Looked around a bit and tought that the Synology DS216PLAY might be a good option. 

 

It can cost, if it is going to last. We don't need more than a terabyte of storage so two of those in raid would do the job. 

Backup over redundancy for sure:D

 

So what do you guys think of the Synology DS216PLAY? any better suggestions?

I was thinking make your own out an old PC it will be cheaper and will might offer you the opportunity to use more than 2 HDDs in it, if you ever need it, also a core 2 duo will be a better CPU than that ones and you could get a core 2 duo machine for £20 compared to it's £200

The owner of "too many" computers, called

The Lord of all Toasters (1920X 1080ti 32GB)

The Toasted Controller (i5 4670, R9 380, 24GB)

The Semi Portable Toastie machine (i7 3612QM (was an i3) intel HD 4000 16GB)'

Bread and Butter Pudding (i7 7700HQ, 1050ti, 16GB)

Pinoutbutter Sandwhich (raspberry pi 3 B)

The Portable Slice of Bread (N270, HAHAHA, 2GB)

Muffinator (C2D E6600, Geforce 8400, 6GB, 8X2TB HDD)

Toastbuster (WIP, should be cool)

loaf and let dough (A printer that doesn't print black ink)

The Cheese Toastie (C2D (of some sort), GTX 760, 3GB, win XP gaming machine)

The Toaster (C2D, intel HD, 4GB, 2X1TB NAS)

Matter of Loaf and death (some old shitty AMD laptop)

windybread (4X E5470, intel HD, 32GB ECC) (use coming soon, maybe)

And more, several more

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8 minutes ago, grimreeper132 said:

I was thinking make your own out an old PC it will be cheaper and will might offer you the opportunity to use more than 2 HDDs in it, if you ever need it, also a core 2 duo will be a better CPU than that ones and you could get a core 2 duo machine for £20 compared to it's £200

True, but id like to stuff it in the cupboard where the router is (witch isn't very big). And i don't find it particular reliable to have a old machine with advanced software that i have to install myself have all my important files, that has to be up 24/7. Plus when i have a NAS and there is a problem, i can just call customer support to have it figure out any problems. It can cost if it can last

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Just now, MLG_Mario said:

True, but id like to stuff it in the cupboard where the router is (witch isn't very big). And i don't find it particular reliable to have a old machine with advanced software that i have to install myself have all my important files, that has to be up 24/7. Plus when i have a NAS and there is a problem, i can just call customer support to have it figure out any problems. 

that is fair enough

The owner of "too many" computers, called

The Lord of all Toasters (1920X 1080ti 32GB)

The Toasted Controller (i5 4670, R9 380, 24GB)

The Semi Portable Toastie machine (i7 3612QM (was an i3) intel HD 4000 16GB)'

Bread and Butter Pudding (i7 7700HQ, 1050ti, 16GB)

Pinoutbutter Sandwhich (raspberry pi 3 B)

The Portable Slice of Bread (N270, HAHAHA, 2GB)

Muffinator (C2D E6600, Geforce 8400, 6GB, 8X2TB HDD)

Toastbuster (WIP, should be cool)

loaf and let dough (A printer that doesn't print black ink)

The Cheese Toastie (C2D (of some sort), GTX 760, 3GB, win XP gaming machine)

The Toaster (C2D, intel HD, 4GB, 2X1TB NAS)

Matter of Loaf and death (some old shitty AMD laptop)

windybread (4X E5470, intel HD, 32GB ECC) (use coming soon, maybe)

And more, several more

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Personally I would leave the files on the main PC, and setup a VPN since it will be remote.

You could just use a Raspberry Pi with Raspbian and install OpenVPN with http://www.pivpn.io.

As for the main PC, just setup the data folder as a network share.

 

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Server 1: Fractal Design Define R6 | Ryzen 3950x | ASRock X570 Taichi | EVGA GTX1070 FTW | 64GB (4x16GB) Corsair Vengeance LPX 3000Mhz | Corsair RM650v2 PSU | Fractal S36 Triple AIO | 10 x 8TB HGST Ultrastar He10 (WD Whitelabel) | 500GB Aorus Gen4 NVMe | 2 x 1TB Crucial P1 NVMe | LSI 9211-8i HBA

 

Server 2: Corsair 400R | IcyDock MB998SP & MB455SPF | Seasonic Focus Plus 650w PSU | 2 x Xeon X5650's | 48GB DDR3-ECC | Asus Z8NA-D6C Motherboard | AOC-SAS2LP-MV8 | LSI MegaRAID 9271-8i | RES2SV240 SAS Expander | Samsung 840Evo 120GB | 5 x 8TB Seagate Archives | 10 x 3TB WD Red

 

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I see remote access and or using a NAS being suggested. Honestly using a cloud storage system would work best. My company has moved quite a few small businesses to cloud storage. We actually use a service from efolder called Anchor Cloud Sync. This allows you you to create shares much like a windows environment with specific permissions. It also allows for data recovery via snapshots. You can set it to lock files while in use to avoid conflicts as well. I think a solution like this is really the best option for. Doing remote access is too convoluted and a NAS is a decent option but a cloud solution has better accessibility as well as a pretty fool proof backup as far as the end user is concerned.

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