Configuration of peer-to-peer network

CrocoTime is designed to operate in hierarchical networks. However, the program works in peer-to-peer local area networks as well. This detailed guide will lead you through peer-to-peer network configuration process.

In a peer-to-peer network, all computers have the same rights. Each computer can act as a client and as a server.

A peer-to-peer network is almost always represented by a work group. Such a network is appropriate if the number of computers does not exceed 20 and the security of your data is not so critical. The majority of small business organizations use this type of local area network.

It is important to remember that configuration of a LAN must be performed using the administrator account.

1. Setting up a workgroup

When configure your local network you must first make sure that all the computers in it are merged into one workgroup. To determine which workgroup computer is located in, click Start, right-click Computer and selectProperties from the context menu. The System window shall open. In the lower right corner of the window, select Change settings and check the workgroup name in the System properties window. By default, the workgroup in Windows is called WORKGROUP. You can come up with your own name or use already available name of your existing workgroup. You can change the name by clicking Edit.

It is important to use Latin characters only in order to avoid problems with access to network resources. The computer name can be changed in this window. After the changes, click Apply and OK. Windows will prompt you to restart the computer. Reboot and follow further instructions.

2. Configuring network adapters

At this stage, you must make sure that the workgroup computers have the same IP address range, the same subnet mask and default gateway (if you have a router to provide Internet access). For example, if there are 20 computers in your network each computer should have an IP address like: for the first computer, for the second computer, etc. and for the twentieth computer.

Subnet mask should be the same for all computers in your organization, e.g.

The default gateway is the IP address of your gateway (router), e.g.

You may have enabled DHCP – the network protocol that allows a computer to get an IP address and other parameters necessary for networking automatically. If DHCP is enabled, then when configuring CrocoTime time tracker, you must specify the name of the computer where the CrocoTime server is installed instead of its IP address. If DHCP is disabled, you can specify the server’s IP address.

To find out whether DHCP is used see the network adapter properties (Control Panel -> Network and Internet, click Network and sharing Center -> Change adapter settings -> LAN connection -> Information).

3. Setting up user accounts

Prior to configuring user accounts in Windows, you must open Network and Sharing Center and allow File sharing and Public folder sharing. This has to be done on each computer in your network.

Configuring user accounts for Windows 7, 8 Professional and higher is best done through the Managementconsole. To open the console, right-click Computer and select Manage from the pop-up menu. In the console tree, expand the list of Utilities, then the list of Local Users and Groups. If the list of Local Users and Groups is not displayed most likely you are logged in as a standard user or administrator account is disabled. Follow the instructions to enable the administrator account, and run it as administrator. Open the folder Local Users and Groups again and create or rename your accounts by clicking on it with right mouse button and selectingRename.

In Windows 7, 8 below Professional, an account with administrator privileges is configured through the User accounts console which can be invoked via the command prompt using the command netplwiz. Click Addbutton to launch user account wizard. Specify the account name such as «admin», the display (or full) name, and password. Make the account a member of the Administrator group.

Using the administrator account make sure that each of your computers has access to shared network resources. To do this, open any folder and in the address bar type the address in the form of \\computer_name\admin$, e.g. \\COMP1\admin$. If a folder is opened then computers within the network are able to exchange data with full access to any resources. If the system prompts you to confirm the access, type the Administrator account information in the box and click OK.

Now you can set access rights to user accounts of computers, if necessary. Navigate to Local Users and Groups (or to the User Accounts console), open the properties of the user account you need and click Group Membership tab. Click Add and select the groups with full or limited access rights (these rights can be configured for each object to be accessed over the network). You should remember that for ease of administration (access to computers on the network) this user account must be present on each computer and each computer must be configured to allow access of this user account to specific objects (documents, folders, and printers).

After you assign access rights and create the necessary accounts, configuration of the local area network is completed. You can proceed to installation of CrocoTime – smart time tracking and employee productivity monitoring software.

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