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Mapping a Network Drive vs. Sharing via the right-click menu in Windows XP & Vista

Posted on 2007-03-17
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Last Modified: 2010-03-18
I have always shared stuff (directories, files, and drives) by simply enabling file & print sharing on all my network computer and then right-clicking the root drives (I have like 6 hard-drives) and choosing sharing & security.
I just found out about mapping a network drive.

What is the difference?  Pros and cons?
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Question by:davidgareau
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sirbounty earned 500 total points
ID: 18742060
For the most part, two different means to the same end...but technically you have to consider security as the difference

You have hidden admin shares (C$ - for example or Admin$ (C:\Windows)) that you can simply map to.
But that allows the user to connect to the root of the drive - and if they have the permissions to do so, without any further prevention, they could have access to the entire system.

You can limit what they can browse by creating your own share ("Stuff" can point to c:\really long path\hidden folder\subfolder\my data\stuff I want others to see) and they can only see that share (and below) - but they can't navigate upwards in the physical tree.
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by:sirbounty
ID: 18742078
Of course, you can map to a deep path as well...

Net use r: \\Computer1\c$\really long path\hidden folder\subfolder\my data\stuff

R:\ will hold only the data in the 'stuff' folder, but the user has the option to traverse the parent folders in this scenario...not usually a good idea if you're concerned about security... :)
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by:sirbounty
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What was missing that would have warranted an "A"?
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