How to simplify folder sharing on your home network

I just spent a considerable amount of time troubleshooting a network glitch between two PCs on my network.

I just spent a considerable amount of time troubleshooting a network glitch between two PCs on my network: one running Vista, the other XP. And by "glitch" I mean that the Vista box can't see any of the XP machine's shared folders, and the XP machine gets a permission error when trying to open a shared folder on the Vista system.

Now, I'm no slouch when it comes to configuring Windows' ridiculously complex network settings, but I'm running out of hair to pull. Sheesh, what a nightmare. Right about now, Mac users are probably (rightfully) laughing their heads off at me.

Figuring things could hardly get worse, I decided to try Cisco's new Network Magic 5.0. Although there's a free version, it's the US$29.99 Essentials package that promises to simplify file/folder sharing--and, man, does it ever. It's literally a three-click process. The only caveat: to take advantage of this feature, the program must be running on each PC.

The Essentials version includes licenses for up to three machines, which is probably sufficient for most households--but not mine. The $49.99 Pro edition raises the cap to eight PCs. Of course, Network Magic does way more than just help with folder sharing. But its acumen in that area alone makes it worth the purchase price, in my humble opinion.

If you're not convinced, you can download a 7-day trial of the Pro version. It reverts to the free version if you don't buy Pro or Essentials at the end of the trial. I highly recommend it for anyone who's ever struggled with a home network.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags Networking

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Rick Broida

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Matthew Stivala

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?