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Password Protecting Network Folders and Files

Posted on 2006-05-31
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I have a small network of about 30 pcs. I have a server that runs Windows Server 2000 and all PCs run xp. I want to password protect some of the folders on my network. I know that Windows has a password protect feature but you must zip the folders. I do not want to do that. I want a third party program that I can password protect these forders at the server level and if I am on a PC in the network and i try to access this folder, I would have to punch in a password to get in.
Can any of you think of any third party software that may do the trick? remember, I need to install on Windows Server 2000.  
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Question by:tonyarm99
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by:1_UP
ID: 16801018
tonyarm99,

Are you entirely set against using Active Directory/GP permissions to protect the folders??? Are you using a domain?

1_UP
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by:Joe
ID: 16801090
You can try this free software

http://www.download.com/DirLock/3000-2092_4-10462112.html?tag=lst-0-4

You have to right click the folder to bring up the options.


DirLock is a simple but easy to use program that lets users lock/unlock any folder on a NTFS volume. DirLock is designed for users who keep their computer turned on/logged in for others to use it. So using this app you'd be able to lock individual folders instead of just locking the whole computer. It also has features to hide and encrypt any folder. Although encrypting a large folder is not recommended because it is a slow process. Version 1.3 may include unspecified updates, enhancements, or bug fixes.

Joe
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by:fnbgppl
ID: 16801254
I'm with 1up, with a network of 30 pc's you should have them all networked already.  Using 2000 server it would be very easy to start using AD and Group policy.  After that map some shared folders for your users with log on scripts and then change security settings in folders properties.  I would suggest that you create one folder that holds folders for each individual in your company, allow access to all domain users, this can be used for none sensitive information.  I would create another folder with a folder for each individual that only they and administrators can gain access to.  and then folders for what ever groups you have within your organization.

FNBGPPL
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by:Joe
ID: 16801420
If some of his machines are XP Home he will not be able to do this.
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by:prashsax
ID: 16801509
You can use NTFS security, if you want to protect your files from unauthorized access.

If you want to encrypt your files, then you should use EFS.

EFS is just like password protecting your files, but it wont ask for password. Instead, the file will be decrypted transparently if the user have a certificate installed on his machine.

If he doesn't then he won't be able to open the files.


If you want to use any third party software, then a client of that software must be installed on all the machines which are trying to open those files.

Similary, EFS certificate needs to be imported by all the users who want to access the files.


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1_UP earned 2000 total points
ID: 16801699
JoeZ430&tonyarm99,

I have a network of 50+ PCs(a mixed bag of Home, Pro, and a single ME(yuk, but it belongs to the employee)) and I have not encountered any problems with mapping a drive to a Home machine...I use AD to set up users,almost the exact same algorithm as described by fnbgppl above, including a master folder that all can access, with specifically secured subfolders accessible only by me and the appropriate user, that get accessed via shares and internal FTP. However that does not mean that there are not problems out there that I am not aware of!!!

However, to be sure(I hate saying something and then being wrong), I just went to my secretary's computer(who uses XP HOME) and via this command I was able to quickly and easily map a shared(and secured through Active Directory) folder from my server to her computer and move files through it...I don't see the problem.

net use * \\SERVER\SHAREPATH /user:username@domainname * /persistent:yes

This always works(in my experience) even when Windows is being a bear about it!!!

My suggestion to tonyarm99 is simple. Set up a domain, set up each of your users with a user account and password, then create a file/folder architecture as described by fnbgppl above, and go to town...It is free(included with your server OS), and not too hard. The biggest benefit is internal data security...remember the biggest threats to any network don't come from hackers on the outside...but from disgruntled or bored employees who already in your network!!! Gotta keep a lock on them as much as you need a firewall between you and the world...

Hope this helps,
1_UP
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by:Joe
ID: 16801858
"I want a third party program that I can password protect these forders at the server level and if I am on a PC in the network and i try to access this folder, I would have to punch in a password to get in. Can any of you think of any third party software that may do the trick."

I agree the domain would be a very nice solution to go with, But in his original question he stated he wants a 3rd party app to do this for him. He would not be able to use AD/GPO with any of the home machines, although he would be able to still access network resources. I think your solution is a good one :), guess we have to wait for  tonyarm99 to reply so we can gather more information from him.

Joe
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by:1_UP
ID: 16802026
Joe,

You are correct, he did ask for a 3rd party solution...if that is the way he chooses to go that is up to him, and we can help him with that. :)

However, I generally advise the route I feel to be best first, then if my solution doesn't jive with the customer/client then we will do it their way...it is their money/points after all...

And I still contend Home will not have any problems, they will just be stuck in a peer to peer paradigm, rather than true members of the domain, but you can still set up a user name for the person, and give them access(as you said) to shared resources...6 of one, half dozen of the other...

Let's see what tonyarm99 wants to do...It would also be possible to script an auto-map .bat that he can keep on a flash drive to avoid the whole repeated password input problem, if that is the main sticking point...

It has been fun going back and forth with ya, this is what makes EE so great is you can always learn something new...
1_UP
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by:Joe
ID: 16802126
1_UP ,

Yeah I learn something new here all the time, come to think of it I beleive there is ways around XP home to be able to join it to a domain. But do not know if that is legal? Also I wonder if you were able to join XP home to a domain if it would push down policy settings etc to the home machines. I fully agree with what you posted, I hope I did not sound harsh in my comments above those were not my intentions at all. Hope to see you around :)

Joe
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by:1_UP
ID: 16802166
Joe,
Nope, you are fine bro, not harsh in any way, you were just making a valid point...I dunno about Home and domains(I just keep em p2p, though there may be some hack somewhere), and I know zilch about legal type stuff!!!
Later dude,
1_UP
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by:kevinf40
ID: 16844062
Hi

It is legal to add certain XP pro features to XP home check these links out for info:
http://www.petri.co.il/forums/showthread.php?t=6868

and
http://vowe.net/archives/001639.html

2nd one highlights the same tool, but link leads to more download locations

1st link contains quite a lot of other useful info.

Looks like you can add XP home to a domain, but you may not get all the advanced GPO features, but this should allow you to use domain users and goups for easy permissions management of your folders.

cheers

Kevin
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