method 0: SneakerNet
SneakerNet is so-called because people would run around in Sneakers with a floppy in their hand from computer to computer. It's especially like that in old computer lab environments.
- Secure, to a degree.
- you always have a backup copy of the files.
- a hassle. nobody likes doing it.
- uses up a lot of media if media is not reusable
- sometimes files just don't fit on media (like 1hr camcorder videos).
move files between multiple computers using removeable media:
- burning a cd/dvd/blu-ray disc
- zip disk & USB zip drive
- usb stick/thumb drive/flash drive
- usb[/firewire] external hard drive, such as a Glyph
- the hard way: moving and installing a hard disk.
method 1: Ethernet networking and FTP server software
- works where File and Printer Sharing fails
- works cross-OS
- to keep inside LAN must purchase sonicwall tz-100+service (firewall appliance) and block port either port 20 or 21 (or both) outgoing (not sure which, one of those is used for incoming ftp traffic I think, unsure) put between modem and router after configuring.
- takes medium amount of effort to set up (like File and Printer Sharing, but more difficult)
- must set up FTP clients too.
You can install an ftp server and ftp clients, which is the route I went for. I suggest Filezilla.
If you do go that route, I suggest you use some security (at least use a username and password on admin account, and a username and password for the user accounts (unless you want an anonymous account for public access). You will also need to create at least 1 group I think.
setting up your router
you will need to set up the clients with multiple fixed IP addresses, since with DHCP you generally have a small range of IPs which are used (like 192.168.1.100-105 for 3 computers), so set up connections for each server with those addresses. you know your network better than I do. Things will be much simpler if you have set up your router with fixed IP's instead of being a DHCP server (meaning you are using static IP's for your local network).
you will be asked for an administrator password, possibly ad administrator username too. supply it with one and write it down and put it in your file cabinet.
do Edit|Groups. set up a group called
public (if you want to give public anonymous access), and
for each group
- in the General area, check the checkbox "Enable access for users inside group"
- in the Shared Folders area, add folders you wish to share. Aliases only work if you specify the full path using / instead of \ and no drive letters, for example /openoffice.org or /compaq. Make sure you set a home dir - it should probably not have an alias I should think.
if you intend to allow anonymous access, make a user called anonymous (for lack of a better name). make other user names as you like: these will be the actual account names.
For the anonymous account, in General, check "Enable account", uncheck "password". group membership should be public (it's a dropdown listbox). do nothing with Shared Folders.
For other users, in General, check "Enable Account", check "password", enter a password. for Group Membership, use
meonly in the dropdown listbox. go into Shared Folders and add any shared folders and aliases you wish. remember Aliases only work if you specify the full path using / instead of \ and no drive letters, for example /openoffice.org or /compaq.
see the links below for some ftp server software.
set the settings
change the general settings|Welcome message if you wish. I just leave it.
general|ip bindings are useful only if your router can set up a virtual server IP (belkins can). put in the numbered ip address, otherwise, use *
set passive for default, check "don't use external ip for local connections".
misc: check "Start minimized". don't bother with anything else.
setup FTP clients
install filezilla client binary for the OS you will be working with.
click on the leftmost icon (connection manager) to create connections.
click the "new site" button. enter the relevant data (specific ip address from the valid range like 192.168.1.100, change account to "Normal", enter username and password, click the advanced tab and enter the remote path using / rather than \. browse to the local directory (if you want it to go there automatically or just leave blank). click OK.
keep making new connections until all machines and all users are taken care of.
do File|Export and check "Site Manager Entries" and "Settings" and click OK. save in My Documents. Burn the Filezilla.xml file in My Documents to a cd or put it on a flash drive. also burn a copy of filezilla's setup program.
install the filezilla client on the usb stick or cd to the other machines. If filezilla is doing an upgrade (uninstall and reinstall),don't go any farther. you don't want to replace their site mgr entries.
do a File|Import and choose the filezilla.xml on the usb stick or cd. this will replace the existing entries (there aren't any on a new installation).
method 2: USB file sharing cable
I believe the file transfer software is built into the specialized cable module.
see the links below for some USB File Sharing Cable solutions.
Method 3: Ethernet networking and File and Printer sharing
- You can also share printers.
- it's relatively easy to set up a shared files network.
- to keep inside LAN must purchase sonicwall tz-100 (firewall appliance) and block port 135-139,445 incoming+outgoing put between modem and router after configuring.
- it's a magnet for internet worms like conficker/win32.downadup
- in the past, between os's like 2000 and xp or 98 and xp it's not compatible if you have different OS's (thanks, Microsoft)
If all your machines have the same OS (or you know they are compatible), you could try Microsoft's File and Printer Sharing (it's on by default). File and Printer sharing presents problems.
You need to create folder shares for everything that you want shared. The whole folder tree will be shared. You can set security on it too I think.
I have not tried vista and 7 together yet though. maybe they are compatible. maybe they are even compatible with XP SP3.
If you do use file and printer sharing you will probably use UNC naming convention (read up on it by searching microsoft.com).addresses typically look like:
joescomputername is the computer name of Joe's computer, and all the computers you want to have access to each other have the same WORKGROUP (set in Start|right-click My Computer, pick properties).
If everything is on the same OS and workgroup, you can possibly find the computers in Windows Explorer ([windows-logo-flag-key]-E or Start|Programs|Accessories|Windows Explorer). In this case, it's easy to find the computer name and its shares under My Network Places|Entire Network.
method 4: Internet File Servers
- either anybody OR your target email only can access the file (depends on the service)
- simple way to share files without revealing your IP address: more secure than setting up an FTP server or using File and Printer sharing or Bonjour/appletalk.
- no personal information revealed except maybe name & email address in some cases.
- files only stay on for 30-60 days. time can be extended sometimes if the file is accessed (depends on service).
- limited, usually small file space
- overuse will be penalized
- must keep track of links [and account, if any].
- to keep inside LAN must purchase sonicwall tz-100 (firewall appliance) and block port 80 outgoing put between modem and router after configuring.
Extending your wireless-LAN range
I am not sure, but I think you can do this... I suggest you get multiple long-range routers (sometimes called rangeplus or rangemax) and if they have the feature, use them over the same ssid, passkey, and same channel in WDS mode.
I don't *think* you would need to have an extra router plugged into the other routers on another channel.
Another possibility is to use an extended-range/long-range/rangeplus/rangemax router. see my wlan page.