A+ Certification / Beginners

Sharing File System Resources

In this section, how to set up the Windows operating system for the sharing of network resources. The topic begins with a discussion of some of the core options that must be set in order to network in a Windows operating system.

Every Windows computer must have a computer name in order to participate in a Windows network, and each computer name must be unique on the network in order to properly address a specific computer. To review the steps to change your computer's name, take a look at the section, "Changing the computer name in Windows 2000/XP/2003," earlier in the tutorial.

Another important networking option to talk about before you take a look at sharing resources is the level of access control that is set on the computer. Access control determines what level of security you want to place on your Windows 9x desktop.

Share-level access control

There are two levels of access control to enable on a Windows 9x desktop, the first being share level. Share-level access control means that the security is placed on the share. A share is the concept of publishing a resource, like a folder or printer, out on the network so that others can connect to it. When you share a resource and share-level access is enabled, you have the opportunity to place a password on the share.

This is limited security because you are basing the security model on the fact that if someone knows the password, he or she can get into the share. It is limited because a user on the network could find out the password by accident and then be able to connect to the share without anyone knowing. Wouldn't it be better to assign a specific user the right to the share, so that only that particular user could get to the resource, thus increasing the security? That is just what the next section is about.

User-level access control

The second type of access control is user level. User-level access control means that when you share a resource out onto the network, you actually assign permissions to particular users. If someone wants access to the share, his or her user account has to have been given permissions to the share, and the user must log in with that particular account.

Windows 2000/XP/2003 products always use user-level access control. There is not an option to switch to share-level access control. This means that when you share a resource in these environments, you need to choose a list of users or groups who have access to the resource - this is a good thing!

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