What’s the best tool to enable your team to work remotely? Learn about one of the simpler tools you have at your disposal- a local server for your office, and improve your remote workflow!
Since most of us are still working remotely during COVID-19, we made some content relating to best practices when working remotely. In this 4 part video series we’re going to go over some of your remote working options, in order from least to most complex based on your work environment, and their pros cons so that you can get a better sense of how to improve your remote workflows.
If you missed the previous remote tool in the series check it out here:
In this post we’ll be going over the second remote tool at your disposal: Working off of a local server in your office!
What is it?
The second option you have to enable your office to work remotely, is to work off of a local network server in the office. As opposed to cloud services, where you are storing your assets outside of your office in someone else’s hands, we’re talking about storing your company data and files on a server in the office, and then accessing that local server remotely.
When we say “local server” we mean that the server in question is in your office, connected to your office’s internal (local) network. We’ll be using the term Network-attached server (or NAS) interchangeably with local server- as you can see from the name, NAS and local server both mean the same thing.
With a Network-attached server (NAS) you have more storage space for files like media, the security of physically owning your data, and the ability to access said data from anywhere. Most NASes allow for remote access over the internet, and are simple to set up. Remote access over the internet is secured by a login process and there are features to increase security like two factor authentication and data encryption.
Another perk this method offers is speed. If you are not using cloud based services but still want a relatively fast data transfer speed for your remote workflow, then using a NAS is the way to go. The process of accessing your NAS via a browser has a smaller data overhead than the more advanced remote tools we’ll talk about later in this series- like VPN. Less data being transmitted means faster transmit speeds!
All in all, this is a great option because it achieves an nice balance between security and simplicity. And, if you want even more security and simplicity (of use), you can use your NAS as a Hybrid Cloud storage unit … but that’s a topic for another blog post 😉
This option is a little more complicated to set up than the cloud services we mentioned earlier in this series. With cloud services, all you need to do is sign up and enter billing info … here you’re dealing with physical equipment. JS Tech has been building NASes for small businesses for the past 10 years and are registered partners with some brands like Synology- so if you need help setting up your office NAS give us a call!
If you have multiple NASes, access can also be a pain. Each server will need to be accessed from its specific url and the lack of consolidation may not produce an ideal remote workflow.
Summary/who should use?
A local office server is great for small businesses that have decent to heavy data needs. You’re not just sending emails, maybe you’re saving them all for compliance, for long periods of time, etc … essentially you’re a business that has a need to store, protect, and remotely access your data.
With a local server, your data is secure on-site in your office, is protected through encryption when set up properly, and can be accessed anywhere through a browser. You also have the option to boost these capabilities with a Hybrid cloud solution for your office.
Essentially, if you work with a lot of files, some media, and have to remotely access company files that are vital and need to be protected for long periods of time- then a local server is for you. We’ve found that most businesses implement this solution on some level, if not as their main tool to remotely work.
On the other hand, if your workflow is more complex and you need access to other company devices in the office, or need to access multiple servers, then this option may not be the best for your business. But that’s ok, we have 2 more options for you power users!