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Use shared network to access internet, share files and printers with a workgroup while keeping files  private from other network users

Posted on 2012-09-09
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2012-09-15
A small organisation has just relocated into two rented offices in a large building that has network sockets in every room providing internet access. If you connect a computer to one of these network sockets it automatically gets an ip address by dhcp and can immediately browse the internet. I need to be able to connect the two offices together so that users in one office can access the printers and confidential data in the other office. I have established that the computers can be connected this way but I need to make sure that no one else in this building can access their data through the main building's network system. I cannot connect the two offices directly by wireless or cable as they are too far apart so I have to use the existing wiring. Thank you
Question by:it4
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Expert Comment

by:Norm Dickinson
ID: 38381081
You will need to make sure each user has a password on their account and also that any sharing of resources only be done using strict, specific permissions to particular users or groups, instead of just simple folder sharing. You may want to provision your firewall to only accept incoming connections from the machines you control on the network as well.

Assisted Solution

Jelcin earned 1000 total points
ID: 38381175

i would do in every office it's own network separated from the buildings internal network. That makes sure that in each office you can control the network easily and you are at least partially not dependend on the buildings network. The next step would be connect one router in each office to the buildings internal network and build a site to site vpn between those offices. Never done this before but since the buildings network is tcp-ip this should be possible. And if you don't trust the buildings network at all i would also try to encrypt the internet access by renting a hosted server on the internet that would act as an external proxy for the people in the two offices. The traffic to the internet would first go to the external proxy (enrypted) and than to the internet. So no one in the building could see what websites the poeple are browsing. The last part with the proxy could be harder to setup since you don't know what infrastructure is behind the buildings network.

Author Comment

ID: 38381235
Hi tqfdotus, this is probably the solution I'm looking for as I don't want to over complicate matters or buy extra equipment if possible. I just wanted someone to confirm that this way would give me adequate security and make it difficult for anyone to get access to the computers in the workgroup. Can you give me some more detailed instructions on how to configure the shares and firewall settings, there are several computers of various ages so I will need details for Windows XP,Vista and 7, also will I need to have a user account on all the computers with the same name and the same password? You can just give me links for the instructions if you like. Thanks
LVL 13

Accepted Solution

Norm Dickinson earned 1000 total points
ID: 38381417
Sure. Here is a link explaining how to get computers running different operating systems to work together:

Using permission-based sharing in XP:

Disable simple file sharing and enable permission-based sharing on XP:

Permissions on shared folders in Windows 7 and Server 2008:

Vista file sharing essentials:

A little more in depth:

Firewall configuration:

Firewall with XP

Hope this helps!

Author Comment

ID: 38382545
Hi Jelcin, at present they do have a network in one of the offices connecting those computers to each other and to the internet through a dsl router but there isn't any way of connecting them to the computers in the other office. If I could eliminate this router and just use the building's existing network this would make more sense as they could also cancel their contract to their isp and save money by using the internet provided as part of the office rental.

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