Home network, leave one PC on 24/7 to leave network share available?

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  1. Posts : 7
    win 10
       #1

    Home network, leave one PC on 24/7 to leave network share available?


    Hello. New user, first post!

    Imagine I have a typical home network - modem, router, a desktop PC and a couple of laptops. The desktop is Win10, the laptops are Win8.

    The PC has some files on its hard drive that the two laptops want to access semi-regularly.

    Is this not exactly what networking was designed for? I would leave the PC on and connected to the network, share the applicable folder, and the laptops can access the files whenever they want.

    I have been told no, no, this is a terrible idea, you must set up a NAS. But to me this seems like the very purpose of Windows networking.

    Would this board be kind enough to educate me one way or the other?

    Thanks.
      My Computer

  2. thomaseg1's Avatar
    Posts : 13,332
    Windows 10 Pro (x64) 20H2 19042.804 & 21327.1000
       #2

    personal preference actually .
    All can really give you is my setup.
    My Main computer is usually up most of the time, with the other laptops and desktops having
    links to share folders for a on my desktop, as well as the desktops of the others.
    If the computers aren't active I just don't open the link to the others.
    If I have say four computers active I can link to any of them though the shortcuts.
      My Computers

  3. Try3's Avatar
    Posts : 7,791
    Windows 10 Home x64 Version 20H2 Build 19042.928
       #3

    About
    you must set up a NAS
    It would have been far better to have explained to you that if your router has a USB connection then you would have the option of connecting an external HDD to it so that all your computers could use the same source files without having to leave one of the computers on all the time.
    - If you want to do this you will probably have to enable the Windows 8/10 component SMB1 on each Windows 8/10 computer for each of them to see the drive.
    - This is done through Control panel, Progs & features, Turn Windows features on or off [and also accessible through Settings I imagine] and is explained in Enable or Disable SMB1 - TenForumsTutorials The tutorial does mention both Windows 8 & Windows 10.

    If your router does not have a USB connection then you might merely wish to file this thought away for when you decide to replace it.

    Denis
      My Computer


  4. Posts : 7
    win 10
    Thread Starter
       #4

    thomaseg1 said:
    My Main computer is usually up most of the time, with the other laptops and desktops having
    links to share folders for a on my desktop...
    Yes, exactly what I had in mind. Thank you for confirming that other, more knowledgeable people than me actually do this.

    Can I delve into this a bit with you? The question that comes first to mind is, when your main computer goes to sleep, do you still have network access to the shared folders?

    - - - Updated - - -

    Try3 said:
    ... if your router has a USB connection then you would have the option of connecting an external HDD...
    Hey, thanks for the helpful reply. You mean like a WD My Book, yes? I've looked at that option. I like:
    - the simplicity
    -the fact that I can have the network drive in NTFS, so that if a single-drive enclosure were to fail I still have a perfectly usable NTFS drive I can connect directly to any Windows machine.
    On the other hand:
    - it means adding yet another device
    - I'm using the cable company's combo modem/router, and it doesn't have a USB port. I know, everyone says you'll get better performance out of a commercial router - but, I have a good quality commercial router - I tested signal strength and channel quality on both, and the combo box won. Plus, incredibly, the combo box has better security features, so I stuck with that. The only thing it lacks is USB.
    - even if I had a USB port, this would require the drive to be physically located very near the modem, and I'd prefer it located elsewhere, like where my desktop is, and that requires network attachment

    Try3 said:
    - If you want to do this you will probably have to enable the Windows 8/10 component SMB1 on each Windows 8/10 computer for each of them to see the drive.
    Sorry, by "do this", do you mean set up a USB network drive or leave the desktop PC on 24/7?

    I've read that enabling SMBv1 is not recommended because of security holes. Is that just because of the mix of win8 + win10?

    Thanks again.
      My Computer

  5. Try3's Avatar
    Posts : 7,791
    Windows 10 Home x64 Version 20H2 Build 19042.928
       #5

    Sorry, by "do this", I mean connect an external HDD to your router.

    SMB1 is not regarded as secure but router maker's seem to have been slow in building routers that work with SMB 2/3/... It is SMB1 that is the problem not the mix of Win8/10. If you search the forum you'll find lots of discussions about SMB1. You might read some of these if you are very bored one day
    about the new network protcol - TenForums
    How to Enable SMB 1.0-CIFS File Sharing Support - WD Support
    Stop using SMB1 - Storage at Microsoft
    SMBv1 is not installed by default in version 1709 - MSSupport
    Missing Network lists - smb1 can be okay behind the router firewall - Compumind - TenForums
    and
    Enable or Disable SMB1 - TenForumsTutorials

    So just bear all this in mind for the day you decide to get another router [or your ISP provides you with a different one]. In the meantime, what you are doing now is fine as long as you do not mind having one of the computers on all day so the others can connect to it.

    Denis
      My Computer


  6. Posts : 7
    win 10
    Thread Starter
       #6

    Try3 said:
    Sorry, by "do this", I mean connect an external HDD to your router.

    SMB1 is not regarded as secure but router maker's seem to have been slow in building routers that work with SMB 2/3/... It is SMB1 that is the problem not the mix of Win8/10.
    OK, clear, thank you. I'll check my router. Glad it's not the mix of 8/10. This added to the USB thing might be the the issues that get me to look for a commercial router that beats the combo in performance.

    Try3 said:
    In the meantime, what you are doing now is fine as long as you do not mind having one of the computers on all day so the others can connect to it.
    Very good, thanks. Although there remains the question of can the others connect to it if I leave it on all day and it goes to sleep? I've read about Wake on Lan, but I'm hoping that for just this basic application the share drive will remain visible to the other computers and simply selecting it in Windows Explorer will wake it up.
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  7. thomaseg1's Avatar
    Posts : 13,332
    Windows 10 Pro (x64) 20H2 19042.804 & 21327.1000
       #7

    sevenateten said:
    Yes, exactly what I had in mind. Thank you for confirming that other, more knowledgeable people than me actually do this.

    Can I delve into this a bit with you? The question that comes first to mind is, when your main computer goes to sleep, do you still have network access to the shared folders?
    .
    If the main computer is asleep then no I can't access the the "main" Computer's shares.
    But I can access the other "on" computers shares.
    Basically I have two desktops wired to my modem/router and all the others access through wifi.
      My Computers


  8. Posts : 7
    win 10
    Thread Starter
       #8

    thomaseg1 said:
    If the main computer is asleep then no I can't access the the "main" Computer's shares.
    That's what I was afraid of. I guess NAS boxes let the drives spin down but never go to sleep like a PC?

    I've read about Wake on LAN, but I've never found a really clear article about how to implement it without resorting to some third party utility.
      My Computer

  9. thomaseg1's Avatar
    Posts : 13,332
    Windows 10 Pro (x64) 20H2 19042.804 & 21327.1000
       #9

    Never use it my self. the Bios one, Windows device manager networking / your card or wifi
    has one. Double click on the adapter and go to the power management tab, you'll find it there.
      My Computers

  10. jimbo45's Avatar
    Posts : 10,594
    Windows / Linux : Arch Linux
       #10

    Hi there

    If you are worried about whether a drive fails and you use the external USB enclosure method to attach a shareable HDD to a router -- you could use one of those multi USB HDD enclosures which have built in RAID --usually set via a switch or dip stick settings -- the device is presented to the computer / USB port as a "standard" HDD -- the RAID hardware and software functions are simply managed by a small chip within the enclosure.

    The preference for a NAS rather than a "standard computer" for sharing is that these things are designed for 24/7 operation, can have a much smaller OS - don't need as much power etc , can run headless (i.e no keyboard / screen needs to be permanently connected - or even connected at all) --commands via RDP etc and are better designed for multiple file sharing, media streaming etc and rarely need re-booting. HDD's can be "quiesced" when not in use - and respond pretty quickly as soon as an access request comes in --these things are designed for long continuous running.

    Using a standard "Desktop Workstation type of working computer" for this is not the best method --apart from the fact that file sharing between desktop computers will involve all sorts of security issues - especially when other computers on a Lan can be doing all sorts of dubious things etc. Plus response will also be dependendant on whether there is activity taking place on the main computer --e.g if you were doing photoshop edits etc etc. You could also have to re-boot when updates are presented.

    Setting up individual access to drives / directories on a NAS type device is simple too -- I'm not sure on a laptop for example I'd allow others to read and write stuff other than perhaps to a public shared folder-- I'd always go via a shared drive on a NAS.

    If it's just a few ocasional files you need to share then perhaps something like OneDrive would be a better solution.

    In general for any sort of sensible file and media sharing I'd always go the NAS route wheter a purpose build NAS or a self built one using a Linux type OS.

    Cheers
    jimbo
      My Computer


 
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