Windows® has a feature that allows one or more folders to be shared with computers on the local network. It is also possible to use this function with your MyCrypNet network to perform secure, simple and fast exchanges between your different machines. It is based on SMB. We’ll see the different configuration steps to perform. If you want more general informations on how does a file sharing works or how to install it on other operating systems, check this article. You need to have a MyCrypNet network set up. Check this help page in order to create one.
Step 1/4: Configure the firewall
In its default configuration, the Windows® integrated firewall does not allow file sharing connections. It must therefore be configured. You have to go to the “Control Panel” then “System and Security” and finally in the “Windows Defender Firewall” section: “Allow an app through Windows Firewall”. In order to modify the parameters, click on “Change settings”. Find the “File and Printer Sharing” item in the list and check the box in the “Private” column. Confirm the setting with “OK”.
Step 2/4: Create a user account
For security reasons, Windows® only allows file sharing with authentication, ie it is necessary to enter a username (ALICE, according to the naming convention available here) and a password (ALICE-PASSWORD) when accessing a shared directory. The best way to do this is to create a local user account on the machine that will share a folder. This user account will be called by the person who wants to access this shared folder. Obviously it’s possible to create as many user accounts as you want to. The first step is to access the “Control Panel” and then “User Accounts”. This is to create a new user account, so click on “Manage another account“ then “Create a new account” or “Add a user in the computer settings” (depending on the version of Windows® you use). Perform the creation of the standard user account, ignoring the steps requesting a phone number, an e-mail address or a Microsoft account (depending on the version of Windows® you use). If this hasn’t been done when creating the account, you must add a password by clicking on the name of the account and then “Create a password” (Windows 7). The identifiers of this new user account have to be communicated to the person who will, later on, access the shared folders. Always favor a secure communication method (encrypted message, etc…).
Step 3/4: Set the permissions of the folder(s) to share
This step consists in giving the access rights, on the directory to be shared, to the user account created in the previous step. You must right click and access the “Properties” of the folder to share. The permissions are set in the “Security” tab. You must add an authorization by clicking on “Edit” and then “Add”. Enter the user name of the account created previously, then “Check names” and confirm with “OK”. By default, only read rights are set. It is possible to grant or withdraw rights by checking the corresponding boxes. Finish and confirm the changes with “OK”.
Step 4/4: Configure the files sharing
You must access the folder to share Properties to be able to configure its Share settings. Then, on the “Sharing” tab, access the “Advanced Sharing”. In this new window, activate the folder sharing by checking the “Share this folder” box. It is possible to choose a “Share name” different from the original name of the folder (SHARE-NAME, according to the naming convention available here). This is the name given here that will appear when someone wants to access this share. By default, shares are read-only. If write permissions are required, you must access the “Permissions” settings and proceed to add specific permissions (similar to the previous step “Set the permissions of the folder to share”). Once all the parameters have been completed, you need to validate by clicking on “OK” and the file sharing is effective. Always remember that when sharing a folder, both the sharing permissions and the folder access rights apply. You always have to check which user accounts can accede to the file that you share. This makes it possible to use the built-in file-sharing feature of Windows®, without installing third-party software and preserving all the benefits of your MyCrypNet private network: security, speed and simplicity.
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