Windows 2000 Professional provides peer-to-peer networking to allow users to share files with one another. While it isn't difficult to share or access files across a network, some users have trouble browsing the network to find resources. But these users typically have no problems finding resources with a Web browser.

Internet Information Services (IIS) allows users to share their files and make them accessible from a Web browser. This is also an alternative to using FTP to host files.

The easiest way to share files through IIS is to create a virtual directory for the folder you want to share and configure it for browsing. Follow these steps:

1. Open the IIS console, right-click Default Web Site, and choose New | Virtual Directory.

2. Using the Virtual Directory Creation Wizard, enter an alias for the virtual directory. Remote clients use the alias to access the folder. For example, you might use an alias of files, as in

3. Select the physical directory containing the files you want to share, and click Next.

4. Select the Browse permission, click Next, and click Finish.

5. Point a Web browser to http://<server>/<alias> where <server> is the IP address or host name of the computer, and <alias> is the virtual directory's alias. You should then see a file listing. Clicking a file link should begin a download.

If you need to provide a consistent front end for users who need to access these virtual directories, another option is to create the virtual directories from your intranet Web server and point each virtual directory to the shared folder on each user's computer. Then create a link page on the server that lists each virtual directory, enabling users to simply click the link.