Comment on W10 small business environment proposed setup.

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  1. Posts : 31

    Comment on W10 small business environment proposed setup.

    I'm an xp, w7 user with some unix experience. I know my way around computers at an intermediate level
    (websites, perl-php, c, ksh, java ...). I have never used w10.

    I've been asked by a friend to help setup his business "network". Money is an issue so that's why I'm here.
    I'll do it for free. That's my only value. I'll be buying a book.

    His environment consists of 4 laptops and one big machine, all brand new, and all running w10.
    The big machine runs a CAD package. The 4 laptops also run a CAD package, but it's a simpler port
    designed for use in sales (kitchen layouts). These CAD packages share files (the main CAD and all
    the laptop CADs). The laptop CAD files must reside on the laptop itself for access a client sites.
    The big box will have a large drive for backups.

    Office 365 is installed on all machines. WiFi is used (we'll wire it later).
    The printer is wireless. Mail accounts, for now, reside at yahoo. I am insisting he installs a
    anti-virus app (he's selected pcmatic).

    I intend to create a home network to share the printer and CAD files. There is also an option to use a
    remote (cloud) file server.

    Please comment, or provide a link, on this issue of sharing and the layout in general. Is this generally
    how is done in the w10 environment? If I can get a good overview I can handle the mechanics - I think.

    (And if you know of a book that has a title like "Setting up a small business network with w10"
    I'd love to have the info.)

    Thank you very much.
    Last edited by fatkatie; 04 Nov 2018 at 11:11.
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  2. Posts : 18,434
    Windows 11 Pro

    Are the laptops going to be used outside the office as well?
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  3. Posts : 31
    Thread Starter

    The laptops will travel outside the office with the salesmen.
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  4. Posts : 8,133
    windows 10

    Windows defender should be ok what about backups have you got a backup plan, what else is stored on the laptops and will they use wireless while out
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  5. Posts : 18,434
    Windows 11 Pro

    fatkatie said:
    The laptops will travel outside the office with the salesmen.
    Then you will want to set up a VPN. If the ISP does not provide a static IP address, then you will also want to set up a DDNS service. Most modern routers have these servers built in.
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  6. Posts : 9,777
    Mac OS Catalina

    I would look at using for managing the systems. I would also suggest using Cloud storage for files while on the road and sync them to a NAS, with a backup offsite. Your "Friend" needs to use a Domain, not a home network, along with consulting with someone that knows how to protect customer information on and off the network. This is not something that you can just jump in and do. As for Windows 10, it is basically no different than previous editions when it comes to using it as a Desktop OS. It is a lot more secure, but can be secured even better with someone that knows how to tighten it up to keep end users secure and monitor them. As for those going to speak to customers, with the newer tools for kitchen design, a Tablet like a Yogi, Android or iPad comes in handy, along with the users phones also having portable tools and offline design files. The last is support. You would need to be able to know how to fix a problem on the fly if something goes wrong. You only knowing a very basic about networking, etc, will cause the friendship to strain.
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  7. Posts : 31
    Thread Starter

    (bro67) Yes. I've shared your post with my friend.

    Thank you all for the help. After spending a little time with this I've decided to hit and get a couple books. There is a general knowledge component to this that I don't have. Please consider this thread closed. Thanks again.
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  8. Posts : 9,777
    Mac OS Catalina

    You can get the networking stuff for free on and google scholar.
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  9. Posts : 8,133
    windows 10

    I dont know the law in the states but in the UK if you have any customer info on the laptops they would need to be encrypyed under data protection law
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  10. Posts : 65
    Win 10 1803

    There are a lot of good post here, but I feel the need to add my 2 bits to the mix.

    While a domain (IMHO) is a good way to go, I'm not sure it is necessary in such a small network, especially one that is cash constrained - a minor "quibble here: you used the phrase "home network" in your original post which isn't quite accurate. A number of small businesses (that I know of) with very small staff (2-12 users) still use Windows "Workgroup" (SMB/CIFS) networking model, which has been around for many years and is not just limited to "home" use.

    The now deprecated "homegroup" was aimed at less sophisticated/knowledgeable home users to get networking set up more quickly/efficiently.

    A Domain is built on SMB/CIFS and is used to simplify the administration of workstations, especially if you have a very large number to take care of (via central admin of users/groups, server shares, application of group policy, etc). There is no question of accomplishing networking via the "Workgroup" model - a domain just makes it a little less complicated to maintain the network, especially if it is large. The trade off is that you have to have either a dedicated physical machine or a VM to run the Domain controller on, which adds both complexity and expense into the mix, especially if you go for a Windows Domain controller (i.e. Windows Server - Windows Server 2016 essential would be the way to go pricewise as it also includes 25 CALs)

    A (IMHO) more affordable option would be to set up a Domain using Samba4 on Linux. Two good distros for that (again IMHO) are either Zentyal or NethServer. Zentyal is built on Ubuntu and NethServer is built on CentOS (Redhat)

    But to take full avantage of the Domain "model" your clients would also need to be running Win10 PRO. If you choose to go the domain route, and your machines only have Win10 Home, then you will need to upgrade to PRO, which is an additional expense.

    You don't mention if your "salesforce" will be out of the office for extented periods of time. If they will be, then VPN is one option for updating files on the Primary Workstation/Server you mentioned, but I am NOT a fan of VPN.

    "The laptop CAD files must reside on the laptop itself for access a client sites"

    FWIW I absolutely 100% would NEVER recommend trying to open/edit CAD files (or any file for that matter) over VPN...

    I think a "cloud" solution is a better option these days, especially something like Teams/Sharepoint...

    If your Sales People will be in the Office on a regular basis, you also don't necessirly even need a cloud solution. There are quite a number of "Sync" Clients (in addition to Offline file included in Win10 PRO). I use RoboMirror, and have used Windows "Offline Files", SugarSync, and SyncToy (despite having "Toy" in it's name, it really isn't a toy and work well)...

    Anyway, bottom line, while there are good suggestions here, I think some of it is overkill and leads to unnecessay expense. Windows Workgroup networking is not complicated and in this case is probably the best and least expensive solution. Once the client has more cash flow, some of the other ideas can be explored/implemented as money allows...
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