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Windows 2000 Pro: The Missing Manual by Sharon Crawford

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Chapter 15. Building a Peer-to-Peer Network

As noted in Chapter 13, Windows 2000 is all about networking; most of the world's Windows 2000 Pro computers are connected to a network in some way. Big corporate networks require the purchase of Windows 2000 Server, a computer or two that do nothing but run the network, and the services of a professional network guru.

If you're running a small business—or even a household—on Windows 2000, however, you're still invited to the network party. Without having to buy extra computers, operating systems, or staff, you can create a smaller, less complex kind of network called a peer-to-peer network. It's ideal for setting up several PCs to perform the convenience tricks that make networks so attractive:

  • Opening drives and folders on one computer while seated at another.

  • Sharing a single printer among all of your computers.

  • Installing programs from shared CD-ROMs.

  • Communicating with other users on the network using email, chat, and even (with the proper hardware) audio and video. (NetMeeting, described on Section 9.2.3, makes many of these features possible.)

  • Sharing a single Internet connection.

  • Running your own personal intranet Web server (that is, create a "Web site" that only the other machines on your network can visit).

  • Backing up your files to a single network tape or disk drive.

  • Venting your aggressions on your family and co-workers with multiplayer games.

Once you get used to having a network in your home or office, you'll wonder how you ever lived ...

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