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I want to share a folder on my wife's PC so that I can access it from my PC.

For maximum security (since we both tote our computers and use open free WiFi) I have turned off all types of sharing on both computers.

I know having anything shared is less secure than having nothing shared, but what is the most secure way (using built-in means) to share the folder so that I can see it?

Both PCs are running Windows 7 Home Premium. Note: I don't mind creating a username for myself on her PC.

Edit1: all 3 answers so far suggest installing software. I don't want to do that. As I stated above, I just want to know the most secure way to share the folder using built-in means. Thank you just the same.

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How often do you need the information there? Daily, or only every once in a while you want to suck it down? – KCotreau Jul 27 '11 at 2:54
I'd have to say irregularly. – CChriss Jul 27 '11 at 2:59
up vote 1 down vote accepted

I have done this with 4 PCs in a Wi-Fi network and to do this I ensured that all the accounts that needed access to shared folders on other PCs had corresponding accounts created locally on the machines with the shared folders.

  1. In your case as you've already mentioned you don't mind having your account created on your wife's PC. Go ahead with this.

  2. Share a folder on the machine. By default the Everyone group should be added in the list of Share Permissions. Remove this.

  3. Now you can either add the group authenticated users or just your local user account to the list of share permissions.

This should be the safest way. Only if someone on the wi-fi network had the exact same username and password combination as either your wife's or your PC account, they would gain access to the shared folder. However, this would be highly unlikely.

If you add the group authenticated users to the Share Permissions of the folder then any local account on your wife's PC that has the same username and password combination set up on another machine in the network will be able to access the share. It's just an easier way to assign permissions when working with a large number of accounts so that you won't have to add users individually. But for the record, adding user accounts individually is safer than adding a group. It's just that it'll be more difficult to manage.

Additional security measure: You could configure a firewall on your wife's machine to allow connections from a specific machine (yours) to only the port number TCP 445 which is for windows shares. Now even users with the same username password combination from another machine will not be able to access the share. Overkill!!!

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Gotta agree. This will be the easiest way for not installing software. – surfasb Jul 27 '11 at 10:10

OK, based on your answer, then rather than even struggling with Windows sharing (making sure you have the same account on both computers with the same passwords, and then opening and closing ports based on whether you are going to be in public or not, and since I would assume that you always use the same connection at home and publicly, you could not set different firewall preferences), just use TeamViewer.

I would install TeamViewer, and set it to start with Windows on her computer Extra>Options>General>check "Start TeamViewer with Windows"

enter image description here

Then go to Extra>Options>Security and set a password.

This is going to be pretty secure, but if you want extra security, install it with the VPN option. This whole thing is VERY easy to set up and to use.

Once you run it, it has a great file transfer option. You can also use it when you are not at home, and still connect as long as her computer is connected to the Internet.

enter image description here

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Another thing that is nice is that you can transfer files while she is using it. It will pop up a small box that she can minimize, but it is not intrusive. One last thing, TeamViewer actually just facilitates a peer-to-peer connection, so none of your files actually goes through them. – KCotreau Jul 27 '11 at 3:17

You can setup an FTP server on her PC, and access it from your PC. Set up an account with a strong password and choose a random port number - you will be 99.9% safe.

FileZilla Server is a very easy way to setup an FTP server, and FileZilla Client is also easy to use.

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FTP uses clear text passwords. How would that be safer? – Canadian Luke Jul 27 '11 at 3:10
ok, use ftp with ssl -… – bortao Jul 27 '11 at 3:16

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