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Home Networking - File Sharing Made Easier

Joseph Nyamache

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There is much file sharing going on via the web and email as you are probably aware. After building your home network, you have a lot of options as to what you can do with it. One thing which many people like often to do is to share files between different computers on the network without having to use old-school methods like CDs or even floppies which are no longer considered to be that ideal.

Something common with most email providers is that most may have limits on the size of email attachments that you can be able to send to and back using their email service therefore making the sharing of large files difficult. Your email connection may also be far slower than the speeds of your home network. This therefore may prompt you to set up your own home networking system in order to make file sharing much easier and convenient. On a Windows based home network, file sharing is a snap; and it's not much harder to set up for Linux.

Here are two ways to get started: If one of your computers has an adapter to share an internet connection, this computer is typically acting as a hub for your home network. In many cases, this computer also can do double duty as a file server. It can do this via FTP or Windows Shares.

FTP has been around for a long time now. it is one of the most efficient means of copying files from one computer to another over a network. One computer must act as the FTP server, another as an FTP client. Pretty much common is the fact that any web server already has FTP server software installed. For the client, you can use any number of different FTP client programs available online; many are free. You can also use the FTP command, built in to your command line program on Windows or Linux.

On Windows, click Start/Run from your menu and type cmd into the box. Type ftp and then ? The command prompt comes up with a list of options. These options are for sending and receiving from and to different computers. You can also use File Shares. By default, Simple File Sharing is enabled on Windows XP (Home Edition) systems. To turn this on or off, double click the My Computer icon on your desktop and select Folder Options from the Tools menu. Click on the View tab and change the setting for Use Simple File Sharing.

You can set the level of security you want for your file sharing. You can make files Read Only to keep people from inadvertently deleting them. You will need to allow Write access to let others transfer files to the system however. If you want Read and Write access, you'll have to allow Full Control. Right click on a folder and select Sharing and Security to set the level of security you want.

It can be a little time consuming, at least to set up. However, if file sharing is something which you will be doing often on your home network, you'll save a lot of time in the long run by setting up file sharing now while you still have the time with little or no stress.

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