When everyone in the office needs access to the same files and you are trying to avoid having multiple copies and versions of those files, things can get a little confusing. Many companies think that you need a full-blown server or other expensive plans to accomplish this task. In reality, there are a few options for this that are fairly simple, no cost or low cost, and won’t compromise security at the same time.
Here are a few ideas:
- Rather than getting a server for several hundred or even thousands of dollars, you could use an existing computer to hold your files and map a drive to all users.
- Use a “cloud service”
- Network attached storage (ethernet or USB)
These ideas are very low cost, but the sharing is not concurrent. This means that if I save my changes to a document and you have the same document open, you won’t see my changes and when you save your copy, my changes will be lost. For most people, this isn’t a huge deal and with a little communication, you can keep this from being a problem.
If you have employees that are usually out of the office, you can set up a VPN (virtual private network) so they can access the files from anywhere if they have an internet connection for their computer.
While these solutions can help you share files more effectively, you still need to have a backup plan that protects you from hard drive failure and natural disaster or theft.
I know this article has been short, I only wanted to show that there are other options for file sharing rather than the traditional expensive server. I would be happy to discuss your individual needs and make a recommendation for your company.