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  1. #1
    5 Star Lounger st3333ve's Avatar
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    Earthlink vs. PCMag on 'file sharing' (XP Pro (SP-1))

    The Aug. 19 issue of PC Magazine warns: "Binding file sharing to TCP/IP on your Internet-connected device gives anyone on the Internet access to your hard drive." PC Mag goes on to say that you should "make sure that ... File and Printer Sharing for Microsoft Networks" is not selected in the Properties tab for your Internet device.

    Being nobody's fool, I promptly explored my Network Connections settings and unchecked the box.

    But Earthlink is my Internet Service Provider, and their software -- which Earthlink calls "TotalAccess 2003" (this is true) -- turns "File and Printer Sharing" back on every time I connect to the Internet. I've contacted them about this a couple of times (pointing them to PC Magazine's advice). Their first e-mail reply explained that "Just getting connected to internet using a stand alone computer does not allow access to hard disk", and their latest e-mail explains, "We want you to know that whenever you log on to the Internet, TotalAccess 2003 sets the option to active state. We also want you to know that your computer is safe while using TotalAccess 2003."

    Does anyone have the straight dope on this issue? Was PC Magazine raising an unwarranted alarm, or is Earthlink putting its users at risk?

  2. #2
    Super Moderator jscher2000's Avatar
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    Re: Earthlink vs. PCMag on 'file sharing' (XP Pro (SP-1))

    There's no reason to share your hard drive or printers on the Internet. What are they thinking?! It maybe true that you have to take the extra step of sharing a folder or printer in order for it to be used, but by having your TCP/IP stack responding to NetBIOS requests, you are inviting hackers to try to break in.

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    Re: Earthlink vs. PCMag on 'file sharing' (XP Pro (SP-1))

    Generally, I like Earthlink's support but that is a bunch of bunk (I'd say something else but ...). There is no good reason to have 'File and printer sharing' bound to TCP/IP on your stand alone PC. That is just lazy programming. If you can get a hold of someone other than 1st line (which you're probably getting on e-mail also), I'd protest to them - preferably a manager.

    Joe
    Joe

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    Re: Earthlink vs. PCMag on 'file sharing' (XP Pro (SP-1))

    Simply put, since you are with Earthlink, a real ISP vs AOL the marketing giant, the question is 'Why are you using more software than you need?' I cannot think of a reason to use any ISP's software. It adds another unneeded layer of programs. You have a browser and at least one email client with whatever PC you have. I use Earthlink (DSL and dial-up) and do not have any of their software. Take back control of your PC.

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