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How to: Network Sharing [n00b guide]

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This is a BASIC guide to sharing folders and files across different computers on a LAN (Local Area Network)

Why share files over a network?


If you are using multiple computers using the same router in one house, sharing can be very handy, for instance, you download a movie off a torrent site on your laptop but want to watch it on your desktop which has a larger screen, simply share the file and play it over the network. You can also use it to transfer files to a larger HDD to save up space.

Security issues:


Sharing files and folders over a network has some issues, for one do not do this unless your router has encryption or if someone else who you do not trust has access to the router.

How to do it:


Firstly, find the folder you would like to share over the network. If it's just 1 file, place it in a folder.


Now we have the folder you want to share, right click on it and select Properties then click on the Sharing tab.




Put a comment in for file if you want to, it would help identifying it.


You can also set permissions for this folder if you would like to, I'm not going to go into that as it's mostly used for Business, you will most probably do this for home use.


Now if you check where the file is located, for instance My Documents you will see a palm outstretched (shown below) which indicates it's a shared file.




so you've managed to share your folder! now we need to connect to see if it's working properly, so we need to find out what IP address you are using.


you do this by:


Start → Run → type "CMD" → type "ipconfig"


as shown below, my IP address is, yours will most probably be something along the lines of 192.168.1.XXX.




now go to Start Run then type "\\" then YOUR IP address.






Click enter, it should open up windows explorer showing the shared folder.


It's best to check from another computer on the network to see it's working properly.




Wallah! finished, you've successfully shared something over your network.


Hope this helps some people, instead of copying things to CD's and USB flash drives.


Any questions or help PM me.



Edited by Daze
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Once you share files... on another computer u can simply go to "My Network Places" and the folders should show up. They will list both the computer name and the folder.


Example: Hit the windows key + E to open the file browser. then on the left panel listing folders, "My Network Places" will be listed. if your looking for the "movies" folder on "my desktop" computer, it will be listed as "movies on my desktop"


TO QUICKLY GO TO SPECIFIC FOLDER: open "windows explorer" (win+e) then type in the address bar the "\\computername\foldername" which in this example is "\\my desktop\movies"


good luck!

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This is the complicated way, there's two much simpler ways to share things inside of your home network if you're using XP.


Every computer on a network is seperated into "workgroups" which you can change in windows' network setup wizard (easiest way), as long as you're in the same workgroup you can just do the rightclick->share thing and set permissions OR stick a file in the folder called "Shared documents" in explorer.

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