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Slightly OT: Sharing files between people across the US.

I've been asked to develop a solution to the following problem for a
small business I do off-and-on sysadmin work for. I'm curious if anyone on
list has any suggestions.

The group has 4 people based in Boston at their 'headquarters', plus they
regional people who sort of do freelance work for them based in various
parts of the continental US. Recently, the owner has decided to give
the freelancers e-mail addresses so they aren't using their personal
e-mail for business related material. He also wants to set up a 'shared
area' that the freelancers can connect to and access internal stuff. They
already have 'shared' network drive (Samba PDC/Win 2K workstations), and
they want to have people access it, or a reasonable facsimile thereof.

While the e-mail addresses aren't an issue, the shared data is. Normally I
would do this correctly and buy a seperate server that is exposed to the
Internet, get it a static IP, adjust domain names, etc. and then rsync the
network drive daily/hourly/whatever. However, I am pretty sure that the
price of this will cause it to be shot down rather quickly so I would like
to go in with a backup plan.

So, I submit to the list, what would you recomend in a situation such as

His requirements are:
* Able to be accessed by the frelancers, who have both dial up and
* Keep it relatively up to date with their 'local' copy of the data,
ideally keep it identical.

My additional techie requirements are:
* Cheap
* Secure
* Easy to maintain (I am the closest thing they have their to a geek)

If you feel that this is a too OT, feel free to reply to me off list. TIA.


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