Sharing Your Own Folders
The Shared Documents folder is all very well and good, but it’s generic. When you feel ready to flex your technical muscles ever so slightly, it’s easy enough to “publish” any of your folders or disks for inspection by other people on your network. The trick is to use the Properties dialog box, like so:
Locate the icon of the folder or disk that you want to share.
Your disk icons, of course, appear when you choose Start→My Computer. You can share any kind of disk—hard drive, floppy, CD-ROM or Zip drive, and so on.
Sharing an entire disk means that every folder on it, and therefore every file, is available to everyone on the network. If security isn’t a big deal at your place (because it’s just you and a couple of family members, for example), this feature can be a timesaving convenience that spares you the trouble of sharing every new folder you create.
On the other hand, people with privacy concerns generally prefer to share individual folders. By sharing only a folder or two, you can keep most of the stuff on your hard drive private, out of view of curious network comrades.
For that matter, sharing only a folder or two does them a favor, too, by making it easier for them to find files you’ve made available. This way, they don’t have to root through your entire drive looking for the appropriate folder.
Right-click the disk or folder icon; from the shortcut menu, choose Sharing and Security.
The Sharing tab of the Properties dialog box opens (Figure 18-2