How to network 3 sites

By Jaanom ·
Hello All, I would greatly appreciate your help. I am working as an office administrator at a crisis centre and have been asked to look into setting up a network that would connect the three branches. We would require all files to be shared and an intranet, also if possible a e-mail system that is both internal and external. Security if also crucial. I am expecting to see some people to advise, but just wanted an outline of what to expect as we have very little money to work with and do not wish to pay over the odds. Many thanks in advance for any help offered.

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by tmalo627 In reply to How to network 3 sites

Depending on what type of equipment you currently have and how important certain things are to you is going to play a big part in how much money you're going to have to shell out.

Once you have the necessary hardware, there are open source solutions to hosting an email server. But you may want to weigh your options and consider outsourcing that altogether.

At the very least to connect your 3 branches you will need a firewall capable of setting up a VPN (Virtual Private Network.) Most are but you might want to have your consultant double check or recommend something else that is inexpensive to do the job. Once the VPN is set up, pick a machine to host your shared files and have them map a network drive.

Have your consultant itemize his estimate and double check the price on the hardware with some local retailers.

The labor will have to be what it is once you and your consultant come up with a solution that will work for you. But if you knew how to do all of this, you wouldn't even be here.

Good luck.

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Thanks so much for your help

by Jaanom In reply to This might give you some ...

It seems we do not have the budget for the hardware and software and the consultant fees so I will be reading a few microsoft books and trying to put this together myself. Any further advice would be greatly appreciated.
Many thanks in advance

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Small Business Server

by Churdoo In reply to How to network 3 sites

You want a WAN and there's no budget? That's crazy! How many users total? MS Small Business Server can do a lot of what you're looking for, especially the email with local and remote functionality, and you can potentially use Sharepoint that's bundled in the SBS for the intranet and sharing files with the 2 remote sites.

If your organization is a registered non-profit organization, I don't know if you have similar resources in the UK, but in the States, non-profits can get donated real software for pennies on the dollar through With what you're looking for however, you will need some solid VPN appliances and broadband connections, and at least a solid server (potentially a terminal server too), and I don't recommend doing this yourself.

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