Syncing Storage Solution

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alphaOri
Posts: 2
Joined: Sat Feb 09, 2013 10:58 pm

Syncing Storage Solution

Post by alphaOri » Sat Feb 09, 2013 11:03 pm

Hi,

I'm looking for advice on creating a syncing solution for a specific setup. Please read carefully because there are details that make run-of-the-mill solutions impossible.

I have two devices: a company laptop, and a BYOD tablet. I use both for taking notes in OneNote and I'd like them to sync with each other. On the laptop I take typed notes, insert code, and insert screenshots; on the tablet I take handwritten notes.

Both devices have restrictions however:
On the laptop
- syncing to the standard SkyDrive has been disabled by policy in OneNote - however, I can sync to a network drive or a drive connected physically to the laptop.
- Bluetooth has been locked down to prevent creating a Personal Area Network.
- I need my laptop always connected to the WiFi company network so I can't connect to the syncing system via WiFi
- I'm also using my ethernet port already so any more ethernet connections would require a USB<->Ethernet adapter, which is fine with me
Thus, I think that only leaves a wired connection.

On the tablet
- I'm not allowed to connect to the company network - thus I can't access any company network drives.
- I want my tablet to be wire-free.
- Bluetooth does work, if that helps at all.

Requirements on the "syncing storage"
- I need to be able to mount the "syncing storage" as a drive in windows on both the tablet and laptop. There are several wireless media server type solutions out there but, from what I understand, they only serve data through a browser and the drive isn't mountable as a network drive.
- Being able to connect to the storage via wire (i.e. USB, ethernet) AND wireless at the same time. Many devices turn off wireless when you connect via USB.
- I don’t need very much storage (4GB minimum)
- I don’t need it to be fast - I’m transferring kilobytes of data at a time.
- I don't need syncing all the time, just when I'm at my desk near my tablet/"syncing storage"
- Bonus: if the syncing storage could be portable so I can carry it with my laptop when I go elsewhere to do work.
- Bonus: Being battery powered if I choose, AC powered when I'm at my desk

So here is a diagram of something I'm looking for:

Image

One good solution I've already though of was to get a wireless NAS drive which also has ethernet ports. Using a USB<->ethernet adapter, connect my laptop via ethernet to the wireless NAS drive and connect my tablet wirelessly to the NAS drive. However, I can't find any wireless NAS device that isn't 1TB+, super-fast, and therefore expensive. I'm open to suggestions for less powerful wireless NAS drives that have simultaneous ethernet and wireless connection capabilities as well as completely different solutions.

Thanks so much for your suggestions!

Mijzelf
Posts: 6207
Joined: Mon Jun 16, 2008 10:45 am

Re: Syncing Storage Solution

Post by Mijzelf » Sun Feb 10, 2013 1:46 pm

- I'm also using my ethernet port already so any more ethernet connections would require a USB<->Ethernet adapter, which is fine with me
I don't get this. Why can't you use a switch to connect the laptop to several networks simultaneously?

If using the ethernet port that way is possible, you could just use a simple wireless router with an usb port, supporting file sharing. Plug some USB stick in the usb port, connect it wired to your laptop, and presto!

alphaOri
Posts: 2
Joined: Sat Feb 09, 2013 10:58 pm

Re: Syncing Storage Solution

Post by alphaOri » Sun Feb 10, 2013 11:02 pm

Mijzelf wrote:
- I'm also using my ethernet port already so any more ethernet connections would require a USB<->Ethernet adapter, which is fine with me
I don't get this. Why can't you use a switch to connect the laptop to several networks simultaneously?

If using the ethernet port that way is possible, you could just use a simple wireless router with an usb port, supporting file sharing. Plug some USB stick in the usb port, connect it wired to your laptop, and presto!
Thanx for the reply. I can't add any devices to the network currently attached to my Ethernet port because its used only for lab equipment and each IP address is accounted for.

However, I could add another Ethernet connection by adding a USB<->etherne adapter. So I could do what you are saying if you are sure that I can have two devices simultaneously accessing the USB drive (one via Ethernet, the other via WiFi).

I'll look more into this option. Do you know of any good small/portable WiFi routers that support USB file sharing?

Mijzelf
Posts: 6207
Joined: Mon Jun 16, 2008 10:45 am

Re: Syncing Storage Solution

Post by Mijzelf » Mon Feb 11, 2013 9:27 am

It is perfectly possible to assign a NIC two IP addresses, and let it live in 2 networks simultaneously.
http://www.pctips3000.com/how-to-assign ... windows-7/

There are some restrictions:
  • Only 1 of the virtual NIC's can get an IP address by DHCP, and even that is tricky. It works best with to static addresses.
  • Your 2nd network should not have an active DHCP server, as it will also assign IP addresses to devices in the 1st network. This might be no problem if all devices in the 1st network have a static ip address.
    I think your tablet won't like the lack of a DHCP server, so you should be able to switch off the DHCP server on the wired network, and switch it on on wireless.
But of course a simple USB-Ethernet device will also work (if your company policy allows this), maybe even a wireless one.
Do you know of any good small/portable WiFi routers that support USB file sharing?
I read good stories about TP-link, although I have no personal experience with them.
I just realized, that when you have a private network between your laptop and your tablet, you might be able to create a share on the laptop. In that case you don't need the router to do the filesharing.
This device could do: http://www.tp-link.com/en/products/deta ... R702N#spec
If you need the filesharing:
http://www.tp-link.com/en/products/deta ... 842nd#spec

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