need advice/suggestions on networking & office set-up...

in Genius Bar edited January 2014

long post alert!


i need some help and advice/suggestions about networks and office set-up for my own business, and hope some AI people might have some.

my wife and i run our own design studio -- its just us. we have found out we are expecting a baby so this means that we need to change our working arrangements somewhat, and i'm a bit stuck what to do.


we work in an studio about a mile from our home. the studio has an ADSL net connection, coming into a 4 port ADSL modem/router. we each have a PowerBook, which we plug into the router. There is a laser printer connected to the router.

the router has a static ip, the rest of the machines have assigned ips in the 192.168.7.x range.

we use an old UMAX mac clone with a G4 card, running 10.2.8 as our file server also connected to the network. this holds all our past work (so we can retrieve it at anytime), and copies of current work. it also runs iWork server, which we use for project management. the server is backed up to a filewire hard drive each night.

we each work on our own projects stored locally on our laptops then sync them with the server each day.

we do work from home occasionally, but we know in advance and make sure we have files we need with us. the other person is often working in the studio and can send files across the net to them in an emergency.

what we want

as we are expecting a small person, we want to change the way we work. at the moment we can't do our ideal thing, which is to move into a bigger house and have a studio and work from home. so we will be keeping our studio. my wife will be working part-time to begin with and will be working from home. i will work from the studio, and also from home (so i can be around the baby as much as possible).

we need to be able to access files and work from the file server wherever we are -- home or studio. we need an easier way than we have now for keeping files synced and up-to-date.


any ideas or suggestions?


  • Reply 1 of 13
    What is the volume of data that you sync on a daily basis?
  • Reply 2 of 13
    othelloothello Posts: 1,054member
    it really depends on the type of projects.

    some days we are just working on html/css files, so the data is tiny. other times its photoshop, illustrator or indesign files.

    maybe a couple of hundred meg a day? certainly not gigabytes worth.
  • Reply 3 of 13
    My personal suggestion for the volume of data you are talking about would be to get an .Mac account. You can use iSync / iDisk to sync your work seamlessly. It is not the most cost effective solution for large volumes, but it works wonders otherwise.
  • Reply 4 of 13
    othelloothello Posts: 1,054member
    interesting solution, but i wonder if it will offer enough space and flexibility?

    its £70 pa each for a .mac membership. plus £250 for the 1 gig space upgrade (don't know f that is per annum...)

    but 1gig won't be enough -- one project we do is a magazine which happens twice a year and takes up 1 gig by itself.

    thanks for the suggestion though
  • Reply 5 of 13
    othelloothello Posts: 1,054member
    i'm wondering if some sort of VPN (i don't know much about them) would work -- a way to access the network in the studio remotely?
  • Reply 6 of 13
    I would go with a Linux instal. Get a RAID1 from Dell, install Fedora on it with samba, the router pack, and the VPN server. Use the box as the router, file server, and VPN server. You will have to put 2 NIC's in it and get a switch (Not recycle your old router)
  • Reply 7 of 13
    othelloothello Posts: 1,054member
    linux gives me the willies, hence me using a mac
  • Reply 8 of 13
    Well, I have never gotten the $100 Linksys and D-Link router/VPN's to work right. I have noticed that you have to at least spend around $700 on a Symantech, Sonic Wall or low end Cisco. and even at that they all come with clients for PC. I don't know of any with OS X clients, i am sure that they are out there. If you are not real savvy with networking i would recomend getting a local company or the kid next door to set it up.

    The only other easy solution that i can think of is order a nother IP from your ISP and put a FTP server in the DMZ. Just make sure that it backs up to some thing that is not on the public side of the network. Like a USB drive attached to your Mac when you are home. I know OS X has a FTP pack in it. it is in the control pannel and then netowrk sharing, i think...
  • Reply 9 of 13
    Secure FTP (SFTP) is a good way to enable access to your machine from a remote site. You need to enable that port on the firewall / router and map it to a machine. Just make sure that the machine you run SFTP on has all the latest patches.
  • Reply 10 of 13
    othelloothello Posts: 1,054member
    good idea with the sftp talksense101

    i might give that a go, as it won't involve any expense, just some time with me and the manuals (my wife is going to be so happy about that prospect, not!)
  • Reply 11 of 13
    othelloothello Posts: 1,054member
    has anyone any advice on a good dummies guide to setting up port mapping etc on my router, so i can give this idea a try?
  • Reply 12 of 13
    gsxrboygsxrboy Posts: 565member
  • Reply 13 of 13
    othelloothello Posts: 1,054member

    Originally posted by gsxrboy


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