File Sharing Solution

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madmusician
Posts: 150
Joined: Mon 11 Dec, 2006 19.11
Location: Worcester, UK

Hello Metro-team!

Forgive me for clogging the forum with an IT request, but I know we have many knowledgable people on here. I'm investigating a file-sharing solution for work - for boring internal reasons, our IT people are unwilling to implement a password-protected page on our website for us to share (mostly PDF) files with various parties. So we need to use a third-party solution - what I'm looking for is the ability to have a password-protected page with a list of files (the files also being password-protected) that looks kinda nice too.

I think we can achieve what I want with Dropbox Pro - there seems to be the ability to password protect a folder with that and it would be easy (and relatively inexpensive) for our admin staff to run (albeit a bit clunky to distribute the link to parties - we could perhaps set-up a redirect page from our website with a 'memorable' link). But do any of you know of any other funky web solutions that might give us something a little nicer looking at the front-end?

Many thanks all :)
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WillPS
Posts: 2069
Joined: Tue 22 Apr, 2008 18.32
Location: Carlton
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You could take out some cPanel powered hosting (I recommend Namecheap) - cPanel has a very easy to use web interface for password protecting folders and uploading files. You could buy a .xyz domain for about 12p to use in conjunction with that.

Apache is usually set up to list all the files within the folder unless you upload an 'index' file, so just upload whatever files you want, link to the directory they're sat in and Apache will do the rest.
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madmusician
Posts: 150
Joined: Mon 11 Dec, 2006 19.11
Location: Worcester, UK

WillPS wrote:You could take out some cPanel powered hosting (I recommend Namecheap) - cPanel has a very easy to use web interface for password protecting folders and uploading files. You could buy a .xyz domain for about 12p to use in conjunction with that.

Apache is usually set up to list all the files within the folder unless you upload an 'index' file, so just upload whatever files you want, link to the directory they're sat in and Apache will do the rest.
Hmm - that's a very interesting suggestion. Sadly, I think that politically it would be hard for me to push that through (as we - as an organisation - are already paying for a domain name and web hosting, and I suspect my boss would push harder for IT to implement something in-house if it's not a self-contained third-party solution). You never know, though.

Thanks for that :)
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WillPS
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Joined: Tue 22 Apr, 2008 18.32
Location: Carlton
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madmusician wrote:
WillPS wrote:You could take out some cPanel powered hosting (I recommend Namecheap) - cPanel has a very easy to use web interface for password protecting folders and uploading files. You could buy a .xyz domain for about 12p to use in conjunction with that.

Apache is usually set up to list all the files within the folder unless you upload an 'index' file, so just upload whatever files you want, link to the directory they're sat in and Apache will do the rest.
Hmm - that's a very interesting suggestion. Sadly, I think that politically it would be hard for me to push that through (as we - as an organisation - are already paying for a domain name and web hosting, and I suspect my boss would push harder for IT to implement something in-house if it's not a self-contained third-party solution). You never know, though.

Thanks for that :)
It's £7ish/year for a domain and £30ish/year for a decent chunk of hosting - that's buttons compared to the cost of any 'cloud storage'.
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madmusician
Posts: 150
Joined: Mon 11 Dec, 2006 19.11
Location: Worcester, UK

WillPS wrote:
madmusician wrote:
WillPS wrote:You could take out some cPanel powered hosting (I recommend Namecheap) - cPanel has a very easy to use web interface for password protecting folders and uploading files. You could buy a .xyz domain for about 12p to use in conjunction with that.

Apache is usually set up to list all the files within the folder unless you upload an 'index' file, so just upload whatever files you want, link to the directory they're sat in and Apache will do the rest.
Hmm - that's a very interesting suggestion. Sadly, I think that politically it would be hard for me to push that through (as we - as an organisation - are already paying for a domain name and web hosting, and I suspect my boss would push harder for IT to implement something in-house if it's not a self-contained third-party solution). You never know, though.

Thanks for that :)
It's £7ish/year for a domain and £30ish/year for a decent chunk of hosting - that's buttons compared to the cost of any 'cloud storage'.
You speak sense!

What are your thoughts on using a Google site? It's years since I had a play with one, but I've just had a look and there's some nifty file storage/organisation tools built into that software, plus comes with the added advantage of being free to use. Password-protection-wise, we'd either just not password protect it, or each person needing to download something would have to sign up for a Google Account (if they don't already have one), but, still, it seems a manageable solution. What do you reckon?

(Thanks, by the way, for doing this consultancy work on here for free ;) I do really appreciate it!)
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WillPS
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Joined: Tue 22 Apr, 2008 18.32
Location: Carlton
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I've no experience of using Google Sites so can't help but it sounds alright. Another option could be using password protected zips or something? They're not that secure but they'll stop anyone bumping in to them.
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Dr Lobster*
Posts: 2013
Joined: Sat 30 Aug, 2003 20.14

this is something which blights a lot of organisations - how to share stuff in a platform agnostic way.

i haven't used personally, but i've seen links thrown around - is from a cloud provider called box which specialise in business to business file sharing.

https://www.box.com/en_GB/file-sharing/

looks like it does everything you need and there is a free trial.

we use Office 365 at work and that also lets us do much the same - we password protect zip files and just share the link... is not ideal, but good enough and you get 1tb of space as standard.

whilst rolling your own storage is easy enough if you've got the in house expertise, your IT department don't seem particularly pro-active in helping you, so as you say, 3rd party provider is going to be easiest.

One other option, is you could just buy a NAS drive with built in cloud storage integration - there are a few on the market, I know the Western Digital 'My Cloud' drives get fairly decent reviews... not used personally so not sure what features they have, but perhaps worth some investigation if the other options don't fit the bill.
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