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I have a LAN of Windows XP Home Edition computers (my clients). My server has Windows XP Professional. I need to avoid that some users of a client computer (some need the access the others don't) have access to some folders in my server. I know that the best way to achieve this is by Windows Server Operating system, but I can't get it so I need something based on free software. I think the solution may come from setting a password to that folders.

Is there a better solution?

In case there's not, Is there any way to set a password to a folder in Windows professional? In case there's not, a better solution what's the best software to set a password to several folders in Windows XP professional?

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Are you on a Windows domain? –  heavyd Feb 26 '10 at 19:57
    
I don't understand excactly what you ask? I have Windows in every computer and all the computers are in the same workgroup. I don't have Windows Server so I think I cannot set domains in my LAN (I think :S) –  Juanillo Feb 26 '10 at 20:29

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You have two different options when it comes to setting up the permissions for your shared folder. You can either create a single account on your XP Pro machine that all of the people who need access to your files will share, or you can create an account on the XP Pro machine with the same usernames/passwords that your people use on their XP Home machines and then set account-level permissions for your shared files.

If you choose to go the single shared account route, you have the drawback of people needing to specify a different set of credentials to get to the shared folders. You also won't be able to set different levels of permission based on who needs to get what files. The benefit is that you only need to maintain one set of user credentials.

If you choose to create duplicate accounts on the XP Pro machine, you have the drawback of trying to maintain multiple accounts and making sure that if a user changes their password on their local machine, that you make the same change on the XP Pro box. The benefits, though, are that your users don't have to have a separate set of login credentials to get to the shared items, and you can create user-level permissions to restrict access to your shared content.

Take some time and weigh the benefits and drawbacks of either method before you implement. It's a pain in the butt to start one way and then switch to another. :-P

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