Can I share folders on a LAN using NTFS alone?

NTFS, like ext4, are partition file systems. They only operate on the local computer. You need to “share” a folder in order to make it accessible outside the local computer.

Further to that, when sharing via Windows (or Samba), the share permissions also apply. If you’re granted access via the share, you still need access via the underlying file system’s security.

The confusion is caused by your using old and new Microsoft documentation, where both are badly worded.

NTFS has a permissions model, while the ancient FAT32 does not.

In NTFS, files/folders can have permissions. A network share can also have permissions. But one does not imply the other, as both are entirely separate.

To access a file folder residing in a network share for an NTFS file-system, two checks are done, in order:

  1. Network check : To verify if the presented network credentials have the necessary access permissions to the share. And if they pass -
  2. NTFS check : Windows verifies the NTFS permissions needed for accessing the file or folder.

Both checks need to succeed in order to gain access.

(I note that deleting administrative shares has nothing to do with the above. It might be a good idea (or bad one, depending) if your local network environment is hostile.)

You ask two questions, so there are two answers:

In a Windows NTFS only environment, if I wanted to use NTFS alone to share folders on a LAN, could I do that?

No. NTFS is only a disk layout and not a network protocol. You will always need something like SMB (built-in Windows file sharing) or SFTP to make the files accessible over the network.

The sentences in bold are confusing. Fos instance, if Share permissions are often used for managing computers with FAT32 file systems does this not imply that, in a NTFS-only environment, I don't need Share permissions and I can rely on NTFS permissions only?

Yes. Share permissions are optional to use – you can just set them to "Everyone: Full control" at share level. (NTFS permissions will always be honored, and access is only granted if both mechanisms allow it.)

More or less, SMB share permissions only exist because they already existed in Windows 98 (e.g.), which did not have NTFS nor filesystem level permissions.

with the exception of one answer, which seems to suggest it is possible to use NTFS only:

It does not suggest that! It suggests that it is possible to use NTFS permissions only (instead of SMB share-level permissions), but it does not say anything about NTFS performing all the other functions of SMB, namely, actual network communications.