Windows 7 Networking: Using HomeGroups
Each new version of Windows made sharing resources on a home network a bit easier than the one that preceded it. Vista, for example, makes it relatively simple to share files stored in the Public Folder across a network. On the other hand, sharing standard folders — or those inside an individual user's account folder — in Vista still requires the rather cumbersome task of configuring specific folder and account permissions.
Creating a HomeGroup in Windows 7
Whenever you connect a Windows 7 system to a new network, you're asked to specify whether the network location is Home, Work, or Public. If you choose Home — you can't use HomeGroups on Work or Public networks — Windows 7 will automatically start a wizard allowing to you create a new HomeGroup. The HomeGroup wizard will allow to share the contents of the four pre-configured Windows 7 libraries — Documents, Music, Pictures, and Videos, as well as any printers attached to the system. (The Documents library — which is most likely to contain sensitive info — is the only item that isn't automatically selected by default.)
Note: For those unfamiliar, libraries in Windows 7 are basically collections of related folders that are stored in different locations. The four pre-configured libraries consist of the user's folder and the public folder — the Documents library, for example, encompasses both the user's My Documents folder and the Public Documents folder.
After you've chosen what to share with your HomeGroup, you'll be shown the HomeGroup's password; for optimal security, it's ten characters, alphanumeric and mixed-case. You'll need this password (which you can print for convenience) to join additional Windows 7 systems to the HomeGroup.
|Key Terms To Understanding HomeGroups:
Related Articles on Webopedia:
A frequent contributor to Internet.com sites, Joe Moran spent six years as an editor and analyst with Ziff-Davis Publishing and several more as a freelance product reviewer. He's also worked in technology public relations and as a corporate IT manager, and he's currently principal of Neighborhood Techs, a technology service firm in St. Petersburg, FL. He holds several industry certifications, including Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer (MCSE) and Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA).
A network is a group of two or more computer systems or devices, linked together to share resources, exchange files and electronic communications.... Read More »Computer Architecture Study Guide
This Webopedia study guide describes the different parts of a computer system and their relations. Read More »Webopedia Polls
The trend for the past two years has been for shoppers to spend more online during the holiday season. How do you typically shop for holiday... Read More »
- Watch Datamation's editor James Maguire moderate roundtable discussions with tech experts from companies such as Accenture, Dell, Blue Jeans Network, Microsoft and more »
Because nothing says "I Love You" Like an open source app. Read More »Guarding your Data against Cyber Attacks
In this new era of heightened stakes comes an increased need for a comprehensive security strategy. Let's take a look at how cyber-threats have... Read More »The Great Data Storage Debate: Is Tape Dead?
Tape clearly is on the decline. But remember, legacy systems can hang for a shockingly long time. Read More »