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I've set up a Windows homegroup and made some folders shared between the computers on my home network. Strangely enough, it's not the automatically generated homegroup password (which is quite hard) that is required to access my Windows shares from other computers but the relatively simpler Windows log-in password I use for my Windows account.

Anyways, I was wondering is it possible for someone on Internet to guess my simple log-in password and access my file shares?

And by the way, why won't Windows sharing ask for the homegroup password from anyone trying to access a shared folder?

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It appears that you have configured the shared folders with the standard windows sharing feature rather than with the Homegroup feature. You should click on Share with and choose Homegroup from the list. – Pincopallino Feb 16 '13 at 11:49
@Pincopallino That's exactly how I made those folders shared, by clicking the "Share with" button and selecting "Homegroup (Read/Write)" in the dropdown menu. – Desmond Hume Feb 16 '13 at 12:03
That's strange. Try to "unshare" the folder and create a new Library which includes that folder. The library should be shared with the homegroup. – Pincopallino Feb 16 '13 at 14:36
up vote 7 down vote accepted

It depends on how your home network is set up.

If you have a normal public IP address and no firewall then yes, it is certainly possible.

If you have a firewall setup to block traffic (and the default on any firewall should be to block everything except that which you specifically allow) then it should not be possible.

If you do not get a public IP for your computers but use NAT instead (which is pretty much everyone right now), then access is blocked as a side effect of NATting. This assumes you did not correct for this by enabling port forwarding.

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And do the settings in the Public section of "Advanced sharing settings" make any difference? – Desmond Hume Feb 16 '13 at 14:23
If the whole computer is not reachable from the outside: no. If it is reachable then you can define networks as 'home network' or 'public'. That will allow access depending on a few rules. I am not precisely sure how or where those are set. Maybe someone else can answer that. – Hennes Feb 16 '13 at 19:23

No it's not possible.

By default all the outside world can see is your router (and then not much of that beyond it's IP address if you've got it set up correctly).

Even if you turn on file and printer sharing on the computer that's only sharing on your local network. The information doesn't go outside your house.

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And what if I turn on "File and printer sharing" in the Public section of "Advanced sharing settings"? – Desmond Hume Feb 16 '13 at 13:29
The sense of the answer is that, if the router is set up correctly (and usually the default settings are correct), your home network computers are not accessible from the outside because the router doesn't forward connections to the network devices. So when you see "Public" in windows sharing it means, "Public to the devices connected to the home network" – Pincopallino Feb 16 '13 at 14:33

As long as your router is not set up to do port forwarding (which, by default, it isn't), then it isn't possible (assuming you have no viruses, etc.), no matter what settings are on your computer.

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