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Is NetBEUI secure when running file sharing on a SOHO LAN?

Ms. Hunter, you commented in your response about NetBEUI, "Most recent operating systems have largely automated the configuration of TCP/IP in a SOHO (small office/home office) environment, which largely negates any practical reason to opt for NetBEUI." I've heard, however, that since NetBEUI isn't routable, it's the perfect solution for running file sharing on a SOHO LAN. Even if you forget and set your permissions wrong, if file sharing is bound only on NetBEUI and not TCP/IP, you can guarantee that no one will be able to see and/or mount your shares. Do you have an opinion on this strategy?

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That theory is reasonable if you are stopping all threats at your router. (And that's a mighty big "if.") Obviously, if an intruder penetrates as far as your LAN, all the usual security risks inherent to NetBEUI become wide open for attack.

This was first published in January 2003

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