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Redirector and Server

The client redirector is what handles the presentation of resources on the network. This module handles user account security, resource availability, the actual "connection" to a remote server's resource, and other network operating system-specific functions. Essentially, once two computers are able to communicate with each other, the redirector provides the local operating system with the ability to access the remote system.

For example, File Manager doesn't understand network concepts explicitly, but instead relies on the redirector to handle requests for it. If you connect to a remote server and list the files in one of its directories, these requests are passed to the Windows kernel which checks to see if the resource is local or remote. If it is remote, it passes the request to the redirector, which passes it to the remote system. That system processes the request, and returns some sort of answer. The redirector then passes the data back to the kernel for presentation to the application that requested it.

Windows for Workgroups also provides a server component that listens for requests from remote systems. If you have enabled file sharing on your PC and another user connects to your system, then his redirector is talking to your server. The server is, in essence, the opposite of the redirector. However, the server also relies on the redirector to provide the interface to the network for it. When the server wishes to advertise a resource, it publishes the information with the redirector, which then sends the information out onto the wire.

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