Network Neighborhood Definition & Meaning

Network Neighborhood, also known as My Network Places, was the network browser feature of Microsoft Windows used to browse network resources. Resources included shared file folders on other computers, networked local printers, and URLs. It was first introduced in Windows 95 and Windows NT 4.0 and was renamed to My Network Places in Windows 2000 and later.

My Network Places is featured in Windows XP and older versions of Microsoft Windows. Windows XP has been discontinued since April 2014, so the feature is no longer available for newer devices.

My Network Places is accessed through the Windows Start menu. Launching the feature opens a new window through which you can search for, add, and remotely access network resources. The My Network Folder contains:

  • Add Network Place: Opens a “wizard” used to create shortcuts to network resources such as shared files, printers, and FTP sites
  • Entire Network: Provides links to all computers on your network
  • Microsoft Windows Network: A subcategory of the Entire Network that provides access to computers belonging to Windows Server domains and Windows workgroups.
  • Directory: Also a subcategory of the Entire Network that contains information about users, groups, and computers stored in active directory on domain controllers.
  • Computers Near Me: Shows all computers in the local domain or workgroup.

My Network Places can be used to troubleshoot when two local networked devices cannot communicate with each other. The feature does not guarantee that all resources will appear. Firewall interference, workgroup naming, or TCP/IP address settings can disrupt resources appearing in My Network Places.

Vangie Beal
Vangie Beal
Vangie Beal is a freelance business and technology writer covering Internet technologies and online business since the late '90s.

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