. 35
( 61 .)


that you can view, use, copy, and otherwise work on files and resources on
that device. The devices need to be set up for sharing for that to happen.
(Think of it like your regular neighborhood, where you can see a lot of the
houses, but you can™t go in some of them because they™re locked.) To set up
sharing, see the next section.

Figure 11-2:
computers Networked computers
in My
210 Part IV: Using a Wireless Network

Figure 11-3:
Explorer to
see network

Sharing ” I Can Do That!
File sharing is a basic feature of any home network. Whether sharing MP3
files on a computer with other devices (including your stereo as we discuss
in Chapter 13) or giving access to financial files for mom and dad to access
on each other™s computers, sharing files is a way to maintain one copy of
something and not have a zillion versions all over the network.

You can share your whole computer, you might want to share only certain
things (documents or folders), or you might want to share some stuff only in
certain ways. Here™s an idea of what you can share in your network:

The whole computer: You can choose to make the whole computer or
device accessible from the network. (We really don™t advise sharing your
whole computer because it exposes all your PC to anyone who accesses
your network.)
Specific internal drives: You can share a specific hard drive, such as
one where all your MP3s are stored or your computer games.
Specific peripheral drives: You can share PC-connected or network-
enabled peripheral drives, like an extra Universal Serial Bus (USB)-
attached hard drive, a Zip or Jaz backup drive, or an external CD/DVD
read/write drive.
Chapter 11: Putting Your Wireless Home Network to Work

Files: You can set up particular folders or just a specific file to share
across your network. Note: File storage schemes on devices are hierar-
chical: If you share a folder, all files and folders within that folder will be
shared. If you want to share only one file, select just that file or share a
folder with only the one file in it.

Enabling file sharing on
Windows 95/98/Me
Luckily for you, file sharing is easy. But to share files in Windows 95/98/Me,
you first must enable sharing on your PC.

After you set up sharing, your computer will need to reboot, so we recommend
that you close any and all other applications before following these steps.

To enable file sharing on your Windows 95/98/Me PC, do this:

1. Choose Start➪Settings➪Control Panel and then double-click the
Network icon.
2. On the Configuration tab of the Network dialog box, click the File and
Print Sharing button.
3. In the File and Print Sharing dialog box that appears, select the I Want
to Be Able to Give Others Access to My Files check box and then click
OK twice.
If you want to share a printer from this machine, you could also select
the I Want to Be Able to Give Other Access to My Printers check box.
4. Click OK in the dialog box that asks to restart your computer.
Your computer reboots, and your files are now ready for sharing.

Sharing a document or folder
on Windows 95/98/Me
You don™t need to share your entire C: drive in order to share just one file. We
recommend that you create a shared folder where you put all the files that
you want to share. Because you™re opening just this one shared folder to the
network, the rest of your documents are protected.
212 Part IV: Using a Wireless Network

You can never be too protected
The number of ways that someone can get on telling everyone who™s got access, your com-
your network multiplies with each new technol- puter™s name on the network, and how to find it.
ogy that you add to your network. We note in Sharing can broadcast that availability across
Chapter 10 that wireless local area networks firewalls, proxies, and servers. Certain types of
(LANs) seep out of your home and make it easy viruses and less-than-friendly hackers look for
for others to log in and sniff around. If someone these specific areas (like your shared C: drive)
does manage to break into your network, the in broadcast messages and follow them back to
most obvious places to snoop around and do your machine.
damage are the shared resources. Sharing your
If you™re going to share these parts of your
C: drive (which is usually your main hard drive),
system on your network, run a personal firewall
your Windows directory, or your My Documents
on your machines for an added layer of security,
directory makes it easier for people to get into
or it will likely be compromised at some point.
your machine and do something you™d rather
Get virus software. Protect your machine, and
they not.
limit your exposure to risk. (And by all means be
You see, sharing will broadcast to the rest of the sure to follow our advice in Chapter 10 for secur-
network the fact that something is shared, ing your wireless network.)

To share a document on your now sharing-enabled Windows PC (whether it™s
running 95/98/Me), follow these steps:

1. Set up a space to share from.
In Windows, you do this at the folder level. If, like most of us, you use
the My Documents folder to store and organize your files, either create
or use an existing folder inside My Documents to share your files with
2. Right-click the folder that contains the document that you want to
share and then choose Sharing from the shortcut menu that appears.
If you want to share full disk drives, choose the entire drive here, not
just a folder.
3. On the Sharing tab of the Properties dialog box, click Shared As.
4. Identify the shared folder on the network by using the active folder
name or entering a different name in the Share Name text box.
If you have a mixed network that has older Mac or Windows
95/98/Me/NT computers on it, keep your folder names to just eight char-
acters with no spaces. Eight-character names are the standard form,
compatible with those platforms, and if you want to effectively share
without problems you will not have a choice ” keep those names short.
Chapter 11: Putting Your Wireless Home Network to Work

To provide a longer description of the folder, enter a comment in the
Comment box. (We recommend that you do this because some shared
documents and devices sometime have non-intuitive names.)
5. Windows 95/98/Me will allow everyone full access to any share you
set up by default.
If you want to protect your shared folder, you have the option to set up
an Access Type (see Figure 11-4), which allows read-only access or full
control based on the password, or passwords, that you set on the folder.

Figure 11-4:
The dialog
box where
you config-
ure your

Enabling sharing on Windows 2000/XP
In Windows 2000/XP, sharing is enabled by default on each network connec-
tion on your machine. If you have a wired network card and a wireless card,
you can have sharing enabled On on one card and Off on the other. This is
very helpful if you only want to share files on one of the networks that you
connect to. For example, if you want to share files when connected to your
home wireless network but turn off sharing when you plug your laptop in at
work, turn sharing On for your wireless card and Off for your wired Ethernet
card. When you first install a new network card, or wireless network card for
our purposes, the default is to have sharing turned On.

To enable sharing on a Windows 2000/XP machine, follow these steps, which
are quite similar to those in the preceding section:

1. Choose Start➪Settings➪Network and Dial-up Connections.
2. Right-click the icon of the network connection over which you wish to
enable File and Printer Sharing and then choose Properties from the
pop-up menu that appears.
214 Part IV: Using a Wireless Network

3. On the General tab for network cards and on the Network tab for
dialup connections, you select the check box for File and Printer
Sharing for Microsoft Networks.
This enables your PC to share files and also printers.
Use Windows Explorer to find and move shared files.
When you right-click any folder or file and then select Sharing from the
pop-up menu that appears, you can control the sharing of that file.

Setting permissions
In Windows 95/98/Me, you set file-sharing permissions on a folder-by-folder
basis; see the earlier section “Sharing a document or folder on Windows

In Windows 2000/XP, controlling the sharing of files is a bit more complex
because of the enhanced security that comes with those operating systems.
To share folders and drives, you must be logged on as a member of the
Server Operators, Administrators, Power Users, or Users groups. Throughout
the rest of this section, we describe these user types and then show you how
to add users to your 2000/XP network.

User types
The Server Operators group is really only used on large networks that incor-
porate Microsoft™s Active Directory technology; if you™re trying to set up your
office computer at home, you might run into this (but it™s not very likely).
The groups that you need to concern yourself with are the Administrators,
Power Users, and Users groups:

Administrators are system gods. Anyone set up as an administrator can
do anything they like ” no restrictions.
Power Users can™t do as much as administrators, but they can do a lot ”
as long as what they™re doing doesn™t change any of the files that make
Windows operate. In other words, Power Users can add and remove soft-
ware, users, hardware, and so on to a system as long as their actions don™t
affect any files keeping the system running the way that it™s running.
Users are just that: Users simply use what the system has to offer and
aren™t able to do anything else. The Users group provides the most
secure environment in which to run programs, and it™s by far the best
way to give access to your resources without compromising the security
of your computer and network.
Chapter 11: Putting Your Wireless Home Network to Work

How do you know what kind of access you have? Unfortunately, that™s not an
easy thing to find out unless you™re an administrator. If you know that you™re
not an administrator, the only way to find out what you can do is by trying to
do it. If you don™t have the proper access to do something, you will get a
warning message telling you exactly that ” sometimes the message might
tell you what access you need to have in order to do what you want.

Adding users
For others to get access to what you have shared, you need to give them per-
mission. You do that by giving them a logon on your computer and assigning
them to a group ” essentially adding them to the network as a user. The group
is then given certain rights within the folder that you have shared; every user
in the group has access only to what the group has access to. For more details
on this process, we strongly recommend that you use the Windows Help file to
discover how to set up new users and groups on your system.

In Windows 2000/XP, creating users and adding them to groups is best done
by using the administrator logon. If you™re using an office computer and
you™re not the administrator or a member of the Power Users group, you
won™t be able to create users. Talk to your system administrator to get per-
mission and help setting up your machine.

We™re guessing that you are the administrator of your home-networked com-
puter (it™s your network, right?), and so you do have access to the adminis-
trator logon. Thus, you can set up new users by logging onto the machine as
administrator. Like the hierarchical folder permissions, user permissions are
hierarchal as well. If you™re a Power User, you can only create users who have
less access than yourself. By using the administrator logon, you can create
any type of user account that you might need.

Unless you™re very comfortable with the security settings of Windows
2000/XP, you should never give new user accounts more access than the
Users group provides. (For a description of user types, see the preceding sec-
tion.) Keep in mind that by creating these accounts, you™re also creating a


. 35
( 61 .)