Tech Tips / Windows NT / Networking

Folder sharing

The basic goal of utilizing networks is to share devices such as printers and storage and to exchange data between computers. The latter can be done is several ways. For example, you can exchange data via e-mail, Web sites, FTP server, and several other methods. One of the most common ways to exchange data between users on a local network is called folder sharing, sometimes called just sharing.

With folder sharing, you specify or "mark" the folders you want to share with other users over the network. Follow these steps to share folders:

  1. Open Windows NT Explorer.
  2. Right-click a folder you want to share and select Sharing.
  3. In the dialog box that appears, select Shared As and then type the name of a share in the Share Name text box. The share name is a name you give to a share, by which users access this folder over the network.
  4. Specify the number of users that can access this folder at the same time. Most of the time you would leave the setting on the default (Maximum Allowed).
  5. When you're finished, click OK to save your changes.

After you share a folder, you'll see a little blue hand on the icon for the folder in Windows NT Explorer. This icon tells you that the folder has been shared—all shared folders will have the same icon.

Once you share the folder, other users can access this folder over the network. They can do this in several ways. The easiest method is to open Network Neighborhood and browse My Computer. The second option is to select Start | Run and type \\computername\sharename, where computername is the name of your computer, and sharename is the name of the share as you specified it when you created the share.

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