Originally Posted by Casper42
Just in case you are not already aware, Home Groups are not the only method to sharing files via Windows at home.
I simply create 4 user accounts on the "server" with a password for each user in my house. Myself, wife and 2 kids.
Each person gets their own password as well. Doesn't have to be rocket science. My daughter's login is her first name, her password is her middle name. My son has the same concept.
Then each person's machine has their own account using the same login name as they have on the server (and mine for easy remote access) with the exact same password(s).
Because the passwords match, you can easily get into shares on the remote machine without bring prompted.
This enables workgroup type file sharing very easily and has been around since at least NT 4.0, maybe longer.
Now you can use folder/file permissions on the server to lock your kids (and wife?) out of your porn or Rated R movies or whatnot as well.
When you setup Sharing, turn off Simple Sharing and use the so-called Advanced mode.
Read = Read Only
Change = Read, Add, Delete, Move (basically anything normal)
Full control = Change + the ability to remotely modify permissions and ownership. You are likely the only one in your house who needs this and even then, you could walk to the other room and tweak the permissions if need be, so Change might be adequate.
Now the side effect under Windows 7 at least (I haven't got 8 anywhere yet) is when you boot up, you have to enter a password to get in.
If you are OK with that, you are done.
If that's a hassle, and for my 3 and 5 year olds, it is. Then you simply turn off the requirement of needing a password by telling Windows to AutoLogon as the user who owns that machine.
Press WIN+R to bring up the "Run" box.
Type in the following and click OK: control userpasswords2
One of the options on that screen will say something like, Require a password to logon.
Click first on the User Account you want to default to, and then uncheck that box.
You will be prompted to enter the password twice, and upon doing so, the password will be encrypted and then stored in the Registry and AutoLogon will be enabled against that user account.
Click OK a few times to make sure it sticks
Reboot and watch as it logs right in as that User.
2 other things you might want to disable. The Screen Saver and Power Management (wake from sleep) will both be set to require a password upon wake. You can simply uncheck those 2 respective boxes and the machine goes back to behaving as if you had no password at all.
Doing it this way also means that non Windows machines can get in as long as they speak SMB.
ES File Explorer, an Android App I use a lot, has a Network feature where I can Add my home Server in and I give it my user and password for the server, and then I can copy files to and from my Windows based server all day long. I've found that for lower bitrate movies, I don't even have to copy them local. I can launch them from the server via ES and the Media Player app (I use Mobo) will effectively stream them over the network. My gut feeling based on limited testing is my tablet's wireless is faster than the NAND is anyway, so theoretically i can probably stream everything thats playable.
I would assume that most flavors of Linux could be setup in a similar fashion as all newer distros speak SMB.