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01 Nov 2011  

Windows XP Pro SP3, Windows 7 Pro 32-bit, Windows 7 Ultimate 64bit, Windows XP Home SP3
Skydrive vs Google Docs vs FTP vs VPN for small office?

I've been trying to sort out modern options for a Legal Practice and find it a more interesting challenge than I thought.

We have lawyers who travel a little bit. Not a lot. Up to now, the files on the small fileserver in the office might be copied over to their laptop for airplane work, but then you have the issue of continuity and integrity: did anyone manipulate the client file while away? How many of these copy/work/save/returns is really tolerable for a weekender or three day trip?

So its better to remote-access the files, but which way is the simplest/cleanest

I could setup FTP at the file server, set up the client side on the laptops for travel. Right? Is Filezilla the ticket for this?
What about a simple VPN? The server is running [i think] Win home server [ick] but it shouldn't matter a lot - windows can do VPN from XP through Win 7, right? issues?

But then for those with Windows Live or Hotmail accounts, why not Skydrive? My experimenting [limited] is mixed. Its a bit draggy, and not because of connection speed. Is there a way to map Skydrive as a network drive of the users' client laptops? Same with Google Docs, and I'm sure there are other variants of these out there. If any of these can be simply mapped-in, so that I could open my application on the notebook while traveling, select file>netwkdrive>filename, and 'voila''! it would be up and running?

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