June 2008 Reader Challenge

Ad hoc networks

Nobody won the May 2008 Reader Challenge, so we wish you better luck this month.


Take the June 2008 Reader Challenge:

Solve this month's Vista Update challenge, and you might win a prize! Email your solution (don't use an attachment) to [email protected] by June 12, 2008. You MUST include your full name, street mailing address (no P.O. Boxes), and a telephone number. Without that information, we can't send you a prize if you win, so your answer is eliminated, even if it’s correct.

I choose winners at random from the pool of correct entries. I’m a sucker for humor and originality, and a cleverly written correct answer gets an extra chance. Because I receive so many entries each month, I can't reply to respondents, and I never respond to a request for an email receipt. Look for the solutions to this month's problem at http://www.windowsitpro.com/articles/index.cfm?articleid=99391 on June 13, 2008.


The Challenge:


I received an interesting message from a reader. He works in his company's financial department and because of security concerns (especially about payroll records), this department runs within its own peer-to-peer network. Sometimes an employee from Human Resources comes into his department's office to work on budget preparation documents for department heads, or to perform other tasks. The computer the visitor uses is not connected to the peer-to-peer network; instead, data is copied from one of the finance department computers to a stick drive and given to the "outsider" via sneaker net.


The reader's purpose in writing to me was to point out that old-fashioned techniques like sneaker net are still used in large enterprises to make sure that security is tight as a drum. He concluded with, "Thank goodness for modern networking functions, because I wouldn't want to run a company full time on sneaker net. The files we work on would be moved back and forth among us constantly, which means safely removing the stick drive, walking it back to the original computer, editing the documents, reversing the process, and so on and so on."


Actually, there's a better solution, and I sent him the instructions for an ad hoc network between two computers. An ad hoc network makes his paradigm easier to work with than sneaker net and still maintains security. This month's challenge is to gauge how much you know about ad hoc networks:


Question #1: An ad hoc network requires wireless connections and can’t be set up with Ethernet connections.


A. True

B. False


Question #2: An ad hoc network doesn’t include the ability to share an Internet connection.


A. True

B. False

1: A
2: B
However, to share an Internet connection one computer must implement Internet Connection Sharing (ICS) because you can’t set up an ad hoc network to share a connection directly through a router.

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