Why can't I use DropBox as a file server?

David from Austin, TX

Episode 1476 (20:07)

Synology DiskStation DS218play

David works with about ten other people in a small company, and they all share files using DropBox. They're getting conflicts, however with certain database files that they have stored on DropBox. Leo says if he has two programs accessing the same file at once, they will have problems. David wants to set up a VPN, and he was able to configure Hamachi. Leo says this won't fix the fundamental problem, though — it has to support record locking. David says that Microsoft Access supports locking, but it doesn't work with DropBox because people are accessing the file on their local systems. If he had it on a central server, then Access's file locking will work. David is looking to go to SQL server, and Leo says he'd be much better off with a database designed for this.

Leo says he wouldn't do this with Hamachi because it tricks the network into looking like a local network. While it's cool, it probably isn't the way to solve this problem. If he does this wrong, the entire database could be corrupted. Leo says he wants a file server that is accessible, and any Network Attached Storage solution will do this. With a NAS, he'll be using Microsoft's file sharing technology over the internet. He may want to use a VPN for privacy. Synology makes excellent NAS products, and they will do all of this. Given that this is a business database, he'll want at least a two drive NAS for redundancy, and he'll ultimately want an offsite copy of the NAS software. The trick will be the person that's offsite, and that's where he'll want to use a VPN so the traffic is encrypted.