Share Your Wireless Network With Guests - Page 3

By Eric Geier

April 21, 2011

However, this feature doesn't separate or isolate users from your private network. Therefore, just like when giving your private key or passphrase, you should verify what you're sharing. The benefit of using this feature is that they can use a different security passphrase that you can change easily. Refer to the next section to check for shared folders and then return here.

Instead of using the commands provided by Windows 7 for managing Wireless Hosted Networks, you can download and use an application, such as Connectify. It will help you create the network name (SSID), WPA2 security passphrase, and share your Internet connection.

Checking or Disabling Shared Folders

If you give guests your private key or passphrase or use Connectify, you should first verify if and what folders you are sharing from each of your computers that will be on the network.

To check you can use the Computer Management console. To open this up in Windows XP, click Start > Run, type compmgmt.msc, and hit Enter. In Windows Vista or 7, simply click Run, type compmgmt.msc into the search field, and hit Enter.

Once you're on the Computer Management console, click System Tools > Shared Folders > Shares.

Ignore all the shares ending with the dollar sign ($) for their share name. These are administrative shares created and used by Windows, and users can't see or access them.

If you find shares that you don't guests to access while connected to your private network, you can either adjust the sharing permissions to limit access or turn off all sharing.

To see who can access the shares and what permissions they have (Full, Change, or Read only), right-click a share, select Properties, and select the Share Permissions tab.

If you'd rather just temporarily turn off sharing, you don't have to remove the shares on the Computer Management console. In Windows XP, open up the Network Connection Properties and deselect the Printer and File Sharing protocol. In Window Vista and 7, open the Network and Sharing Center to disable sharing. In Windows Vista, this setting is on the main window. In Windows 7, click the Change Advanced Sharing Settings link.

Eric Geier is the founder of NoWiresSecurity, which helps businesses easily protect their Wi-Fi networks with the Enterprise mode of WPA/WPA2 security by offering a hosted RADIUS/802.1X service. He is also a freelance tech writer--become a Twitter follower or use the RSS Feed to keep up with his writings.

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