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Thread: trusted zone, internet zone & sharing question

  1. #1
    randicohen Guest

    Default trusted zone, internet zone & sharing question

    Please forgive the possible naive question:
    I have a wireless setup that is "locked / protected" with a code. I have 2 laptops and one desktop PC all networked. I am wondering if it's foolish to allow one of my laptops FULL access to the desktop by sharing the entire "C" drive on my desktop. I find that I often need information from my desktop & can't get to it from the laptop. The desktop is in a bedroom where someone is sleeping while I am "burning the midnight oil" working.

    Is it safe to share the entire "C" drive?

    Will I be able to access emails on the desktop from another computer if all files are shared?

    What is the difference between the trusted zone vs internet zone?

    Will I be able to run programs on the desktop from the laptop (like PC Anywhere?!)

    Win XP pro, Zone Alarm security (firewall & antivirus), linksys router

    Operating System:Windows XP Pro
    Product Name:ZoneAlarm Internet Security Suite
    Software Version:

  2. #2
    jarvis Guest

    Default Re: trusted zone, internet zone & sharing question

    >Is it safe to share the entire "C" drive?
    If you've used WPA on the wireless connection, and you trust everyone who uses the wireless and wired network, then yes it's safe. But what you could do is make sure you've got an identical account name on your main PC as on your laptop. Then set up the share so that only that account is allowed to access it. That way, only "you" will be able to use the share.

    >Will I be able to access emails on the desktop from >another computer if all files are shared?
    Depends on the email program. Outlook can be easily configured to use a .pst file that is not located in its usual place. I don't see why this couldn't be on a network share. Outlook Express may not be able to do this. Other email progs may vary. You could always choose the option "Leave messages on server" in your email program and then configure the email program on the laptop in the same way. Or find an email provider that gives you an IMAP account - which means you can organise your email into folders on the server and view them from any PC.

    >What is the difference between the trusted zone vs >internet zone?
    Internet zone contains all machines that are not added to the other zones. It is un-trusted so machines in it cannot see your machine (stealth) and your machine is not permitted to send any filesharing type communications to the internet zone (otherwise, Windows just advertises your network shares to all and sundry).

    The trusted zone is for machines you trust - filesharing is allowed, and by default no stealthing is done. There are still some restrictions though, to prevent fragmented packets or denial of service type attacks.

    >Will I be able to run programs on the desktop from the >laptop (like PC Anywhere?!)
    Not by sharing the C drive. But if you don't want to buy PCAnywhere, try RealVNC (free) or UltraVNC (possibly free?) which will accomplish the same thing.

  3. #3
    randicohen Guest

    Default Re: trusted zone, internet zone & sharing question

    Thanks for the thorough explanations! I finally figured out (with the help of many others & listservs) that I can use remote desktop and connect that way. It allows me to "be on" the desktop (as if I were really using it in its entirety) while I am actually on the laptop. I do believe, however, that the desktop can not be in use by anyone else at the time. (I still don't know that for sure).
    And, in fact, it's already installed on my computers!
    I am still dense about wireless.
    If I am in my car with my laptop and I am in front of your house (I promise not to stalk you!) and I log on to your open wireless to access the internet, I will be able to download my email and I will be able to surf. I will not, however, be able to send emails via my POP server unless I know what server you use. Is this correct so far?
    Then, do you know that I am in front of your house hitching a ride on the information highway? Can I get into your computer? Can you get into mine?

  4. #4
    jarvis Guest

    Default Re: trusted zone, internet zone & sharing question

    If I had an open wireless connection (which I don't) you could park outside my house and connect to it which would give you internet access, yes.

    You would probably be able to receive email because ISPs POP3 servers always require a log-in so they know who's mailbox to return. You might not be able to send because lots of ISPs leave their SMTP servers with no authentication (log-in) but they refuse connection to anyone who is not connected to the internet via their connection. If you were using my connection you probably wouldn't be able to send mail. If you had an email provider that gives you a SMTP server with authentication (e.g. Gmail) you would be able to send.

    Depending on your computer setup, I might notice that you connected. Assuming you had no firewall running (not even Windows firewall) Windows would probably broadcast it's NetBIOS name to the network and try to locate any file shares. Since I'm running ZA with all alerts shown, my PC would block this and alert me. If you were running a firewall I might not notice at all, unless I happened to log into my router and view the list of attached machines. There is software available that monitors your wi-fi connection for you and alerts you to any foreign connections.

    I would recommend against trying this (or running an open wireless connection). Some would say you were accessing a computer system without permission which would be illegal. Others say that since your computer may automatically connect to an open connection without alerting you to this (unless you make sure it only connects to preferred networks) it is out of your control. And since there were no technical measures to prevent you connecting, you haven't broken the law.

    If it's your connection that is hijacked by somebody parked outside, anything illegal they do on the net could be traced to your connection and you would be the one in the frame.

  5. #5
    randicohen Guest

    Default Re: trusted zone, internet zone & sharing question

    OK, so, what I am REALLY asking is, can someone get into MY stuff! I use ZA firewall, and have both a broadcast (named)
    and non broadcast SSID that are both locked (although, quite frankly, I am not certain how I can have both at the same time?!)
    If I use "remote Desktop," which I have just configured, from my laptop, I can "be the desktop!" That also means that no one else can be using the desktop at that time.
    Is there an advantage to using "remote desktop" rather than, as someone on another board suggested, naming the 2 computers with the same name (sounds confusing to me).
    Is "remote desktop" the best solution. I do not want to limit the use of the desktop when I do NOT need it. (and it's not limited use when I
    am not accessing it - but it DOES lock again when I am done)

    And staying with the wireless theme, I am assuming (uh-oh!) that I am safe if I have ZA firewall and a locked WPA w/ data encryption, right?!

    Thanks for the IT lessons!

  6. #6
    jarvis Guest

    Default Re: trusted zone, internet zone & sharing question

    You are safe from wireless interlopers if you're using WPA. I wouldn't worry too much about the SSID broadcast - I turned mine back on after I switched from WEP to WPA seeing WPA is so much more secure.

    If you don't trust everyone on your network set a password for remote desktop so that only you can use it.

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