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Sharing Folders

There are many ways that you can make the contents of a file accessible to multiple users. One of the oldest ways is the file transfer protocol that is found with just about all implementations of TCP/IP; this allows you to download files, work on them, and return them to the server. Similar processes are possible with some of the extensions that have been grafted onto HTTP, so files can be accessed through a Web browser. Normally, sharing folders means that you make part of a local disk available to other users on the network who can connect to it and use it much as they would on their own machine. So, in a typical Microsoft operating system, a computer connected to a shared folder sees an additional drive letter or perhaps a desktop shortcut.

There is more than one way for client computers to gain access to shared folders. Microsoft clients use a protocol called Server Message Blocks (SMBs), Apple computers use the Apple File Protocol (AFP), Unix machines use the Network File System (NFS), and Novell clients communicate with servers using the Netware Core Protocol (NCP). Like Windows NT 4.0 before it, Windows 2000 supports Microsoft Networking as both a Client and a Server; it can share files and printers with Macintosh clients and use Macintosh printers. Client support for Novell networks (both NDS-based and older bindery-based NetWare V2 and V3.systems) is built-in. In the case of the server products, it can act as gateway between Microsoft clients using SMB and NetWare servers. Additional software can be purchased to allow Windows 2000 to also act as a NetWare Server, or NFS Client or server.


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