How to Configure HomeGroup Networks in Windows 7

What is Home Network?

Home network is new feature which comes in Windows 7 for easily setting up a home network and share files and resources. You can easily share the files on your computer with other computers in your home and you can access the files on other computers the same way. You can access printers or scanners connected on any computer from yours with great ease.

Setup Home Network

To set up Home Network you first need to change the network you use in your house to Home Group. This can easily be done by going to Network and sharing center and selecting the network type. Make sure that you do not change a public network to Home Network because if someone else does the same on a public network then he/she would be able to access your computers resources. Only change the network you use at home as home network. Before you can connect your computer to a Homegroup you need to create it first. A Homegroup can be created by going to Control Panel -> Homegroup and then click on “Create a Homegroup”. After creating a Homegroup connect your computer to it and then walk to each computer and connect them to the newly created Homegroup by clicking “Join Now” in Control Panel -> Homegroup. Once this is done you can share all the files and resources you want to share on the Homegroup.

Security

Homegroup is protected by a password of your choice. Password can be set while creating the Homegroup and can be changed later if required. All the computers connected to your Homegroup should be reconfigured with the password in case of password change. If you forget the password of your Homegroup then it can be found from another computer connected to the same Homegroup. Follow the following steps to get the password back:

1.                    Click Start -> Control Panel -> Homegroup

2.                    Click link “View or Print the Homegroup password”

Important

To make the Homegroup perform best for you, please remember the following:

1.                    Make sure that the PC which you want to access is turned ON and connected to the Homegroup. Logging in is not necessary but it should not be in Sleep or Hibernate mode. This point is very obvious because you cannot access the resource of a computer if it is not ON, but this kind of issue is likely to happen if all the computers are in different rooms and you can’t see by yourself if they are ON or OFF.

2.                    On changing the Homegroup password it should be entered in all the computers which are allowed to connect to your Homegroup else they won’t connect automatically.

3.                    If your computer is also a part of any domain (tough currently not connected) then domain level policies might apply on files and folders and it might be difficult for other computers of your Homegroup to access your computer’s resources.

Homegroup is only available for computers which have Windows 7 so to use the Homegroup feature all the computers should have Windows 7 installed on them. Homegroup is available in all the editions of Windows 7.

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