I should be grateful for any ideas that people may have about a suitable solution to my professional IT requirements. I am a barrister (a type of lawyer in England and Wales), who, as is traditional in the English legal profession, is self-employed, but works from a set of chambers (offices) in which certain facilities are shared. I have recently moved to a different set of chambers with a different IT setup. Previously, I had access to a(n excruciatingly slow) Windows based server on which to store documents: I could access them at home by a remote desktop connexion or remote file access or in chambers by using a number of aeging Windows PCs dotted about and available for general use. I have an Android tablet, but could not access my files on that device from my old chambers' Windows servers in spite of installing various SMB type applications.
My new chambers is more of a BYOD environment, and it does not have the central Windows file server (I think) available to members. I briefly looked into services such as DropBox (which would work on my home desktop and Android tablet), but there are issues as to whether using a service such as that for client confidential documents is compatible with the Data Protection Act 1998 because of the difficulty in ensuring and veryfying that the third party provider is complying with the data protection principles.
An alternative might well be one of these new personal cloud NAS devices: that would mean that I could put one of these at home and access it from my home computer and from my tablet or smartphone. I could also use it for personal documents (so that I could store my recipes on it, for instance, and access them from my tablet in the kitchen). However, just how secure are they? I have read about some security trouble with ASUS personal cloud devices recently.
Also, how do personal cloud devices work with offline storage? If I were at court, for instance, and had no good mobile signal, do any of these personal cloud devices make it easy to set up a system whereby recently accessed documents are duplicated on my Android tablet's internal memory, but ones not accessed recently are not so as not to fill the entire tablet's memory with old documents?
A further complication is encryption. I have encrypted my Android tablet, but how easy is it to encrypt files stored on a personal cloud device so as to be able to be compatible with and decrypted by both an Android tablet and a Windows (and possibly Linux) desktop?
Backup is another issue: how easy is it to back up an encrypted set of files? I know that Windows encrypted folders have an issue with backup in that, if the OS itself becomes corrupted and has to be reinstalled (catastrophic hardware failure, for instance), the encryption keys are lost forever, and the backups of the encrypted files are useless. Is there a system of encryption that does not have this disadvantage? What is the best way to backup files stored on a personal cloud in any event; how would such a backup system potentially interact with my existing backup system (the "Oops!" backup that goes with my now somewhat old WD NAS backup drive)?
I should be most grateful for any thoughts on these issues.