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So, I am thinking about a possible solution to our "problem", but I am not 100% convinced. The situation is as follows:

We're sitting in a remote camp with satellite internet, where bandwith (not volume though) is limited. Currently we have a project folder on Dropbox, so that also the company's main office in the city will get our newest data, and we get theirs.

The problem with dropbox is, that it first needs to upload the files to the dropbox server, before the LAN snycing works. Sometimes we work with big files (i.e. photos, maps) so that uploading would take the whole day and meanwhile slows down the internet connection to almost useless. In the evening we are usually in the hotel in a near city, where we have reasonable internet speed available.

So I'm basically looking for a solution to sync the files without the need uploading them to dropbox. However, it would be important, that the files are locally available on each computer (so a server with samba shares is not an option).

I had the idea to put a server with a software like ownCloud in our camp and create a dropbox account, running only on this server. Syncing to dropbox would be limited to nighttimes, when the speed is much better. However, I don't know what will happen if we connect our computers in the hotel to the internet. Somehow it should upload the files to dropbox, but I am afraid of conflicting copies because also the server in the camp might still not have finished uploading.

Maybe a good alternative is BitTorrent Sync, running on each computer, and just to disable dropbox syncing manually while on site. Can anyone think of a better solution, or some idea what would be the best solution from my ideas?

  • Have you enabled the firewalls correctly for LAN sync? LAN Sync requires access to TCP port 17500. dropbox.com/en/help/23 - The behavior you describe happens if you do not have TCP port 17500 opened on all computers you want Dropbox to utilize LAN sync properly. – Sun Jan 5 '15 at 22:50
  • yes. dropbox is enabled in windows firewall, and the port is open. i also see the dropbox discovery service packages from each computer with wireshark (the ones from the computer running wireshark as well as the packets from the other computers). still, lan sync is not working. – TJJ Apr 15 '15 at 20:40
  • You can pause Dropbox while you are working in a slow upload environment. It also sounds like after reading the LAN sync feature, Dropbox has to receive the file completely on their server because the download can occur between LAN computers. I'd advise against using BTSync and Dropbox at the same time. I've run into some really awful results with the two running concurrently on the same set of folders. – Sun Apr 15 '15 at 20:51
  • Ok. The thing is, uploading one file is fine. But then we always have 2 other clients which then try to download the file. With our slow connection, it would be perfect if after uploading the file once dropbox would be able to distribute the file in our LAN, without hogging on our spare bandwith. But I can't seem to get LANSync to work. All computers running Win7, connected via WiFi, and in the same subnet and also Windows-Homegroup. BTSync is off the table, especially since the limitations with the new version. – TJJ Apr 16 '15 at 17:54
  • Yeah, port forwarding can be tricky... You need to make sure Windows Firewall allows it and you have port forwarding enabled on the router to at least one computer, or put that computer on the DMZ. Easiest way to test would be turn off Windows Firewall completely on all computers and test a simplified configuration. Good luck! – Sun Apr 16 '15 at 21:19

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