How do I restrict access to shared folders?

March 3, 2011 at 07:18:00
Specs: Windows 7 Professional, 2.66Ghz Dual Core, 2Gb DDR2 RAM
We have recently ordered a laptop along with a docking station with the intention of connecting it with the desktop PC in the office. We want the documents folders of both computers to be synchronized and to that end we want to share the folders between each computer. However, to do so we will have to connect the laptop to the larger network in our office. Given the sensitive nature of the documents we only want the desktop PC and the laptop to be able to access these files and synchronize them.

Is there anyway in Windows 7 to specify exactly which computers are allowed access to shared folders on a computer? What's the best way to achieve the file synchronization between the two?


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#1
March 3, 2011 at 07:23:31
It is imposable to synchronize files without a connection. I would talk to your Network Admin to get help. He might be able to setup a VPN connection between the computers or a separate subnet so that no one else in the office can see these files. He might even setup a second NIC or Wireless Card in your computer so that you can connect to it. In either case you are going to have to get with the network guys.

The other option is use a Flash drive and install synchronization software on it but the problem with this is if the files are modified by two people at the same time the program will not know how to synchronize them.

Good luck.


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#2
March 3, 2011 at 07:26:21
Unforunately to say, I AM the "Admin Guy". We're a pretty small company and I've been asked to undertake a pretty hefty task. Still, I was contemplating the idea of using Ethernet crossover cables rather than the router. It just came to mind because it was already present. Would a direct crossover cable connection achieve the same result?

Also what would you recommend in terms of syncing up files in general? I think I can do the job with either the in-built Sync Centre or using SyncToy. We don't need massive amounts of security, just want to make sure other employees can't access the file.


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#3
March 3, 2011 at 07:37:57
Still, I was contemplating the idea of using Ethernet crossover cables rather than the router.

This is the only way to directly connect two computers. However, since you also seem to want both to access the work network/internet as well as share this one folder of documents, there is an easier way. Well, easier for someone who know's about shares, user accounts and permissions.

Since both computers could access each other over the LAN, the direct connection isn't necessary. If you create a shared folder on one of the two computers in question, and put appropriate shares, with appropriate permissions on said folder, you can choose who does, and who doesn't have access to the data.

Alternatively, you could create a shared folder on a file server within your network and again, use user accounts and permissions to control who does, and who doesn't, have access to that folder.

It matters not how straight the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate;
I am the captain of my soul.

***William Henley***


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Related Solutions

#4
March 3, 2011 at 07:39:52
I have used "SyncToy" before when migrating from an old Netware server to a Windows 2000 server. It worked great.

I think installing a second NIC and using a Cross Over cable would be the easiest way. Just not that the laptop would only be able to see that computer, no internet, if that is ok. If not then you might look into setting up a VPN connection to the desktop. Don't forget when you setup the Workgroup share on the desktop, it will be visible on your LAN so make sure you restrict the access to the share to a specific user setup on the desk top. You could put the share on the laptop ONLY so that it is not visible on your LAN but when the laptop is not connected the desktop will not have access to the folders.

If you have two folders one on the desktop and one on the laptop and use something like synctoy remember it will not be able to do reconciliation. This means if two people change the same file while not connected it will not know which file to except at the master and to sync with. To do this you will need to think about what you are trying to do and get a programmer involved.


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#5
March 3, 2011 at 07:51:26
Well, easier for someone who know's about shares, user accounts and permissions.

Again another issue, I'm a bit lost in terms of properly setting up shares, user accounts and permissions in this particular instance. I had the idea of using one of the docking station's USB ports as an Ethernet port using an adapter. That way I could connect the laptop to the internet router and still use the Ethernet crossover. The main thing I would like to know about is how to setup so the folders are shared/synced between the laptop and desktop. I've been searching for ages and there's plenty of tutorials about general sharing over a network without restriction, but I've found little in terms of specifying which users on what machines have access.

Forgive me if I seem ignorant of the subject, but in all honesty I am. Never was much of a network guy at Uni. :)


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#6
March 3, 2011 at 07:59:58
I recommend you get an consultant to help you. If you don't do it right you might not be happy with the results.

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#7
March 4, 2011 at 00:41:10
I recommend you get an consultant to help you. If you don't do it right you might not be happy with the results.

We're a charity with a limited budget. That's unfortunately not an option.


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