So What's a Share?
A share, especially in terms of XP file and printer sharing, is a computer resource that's been made available to other computers on the network. In other words, a server creates a share.
You can create a print share, as you have already seen, and you also can create a folder share. This is a key point: you cannot share out an individual file; sharing is only done at the folder level. So even though we speak of file sharing, we actually share out the folders, and file sharing then refers to the contents of those shared folders.
You can share a folder using several methods. One is with the Shared Folders node, which can be found under the System Tools in Computer Management, as shown in Figure 11-2.
Figure 11-2. The Shared Folders utility.
To get started with this tool, right-click the Shares node and choose New Share… from the context menu.
But we're not going to be using this utility in this chapter. You have a more powerful tool for file sharing, one that has the added benefit of presenting a more simplified interfaceWindows Explorer. We'll share out and secure file resources with Windows Explorer throughout the rest of the chapter.