How to Set Up a Home Computer Network
Level of difficulty:
A computer network is a group of two or more computers linked or connected to each other. This allows the computers to share files, internet connection, printer, and other peripherals. Windows has a built-in feature that will allow you to network two computers and share files without installing additional software.
- Ethernet crossover cable
- Network Interface Card (NIC)
- two computers
Hook the Ethernet crossover cable into the NIC of the computers found at the back of the Central Processing Unit (CPU).
Make sure that the computers are in the same workgroup or domain. On each computer, right-click 'My Computer', choose 'Properties', and then click on the tab called 'Computer Name'. All the computers you wish to network should be in the same Workgroup. If they are not the same, just click the 'Change' button on the lower right of the Properties window to edit the Workgroup.
If the computers are already on the same domain or workgroup, set up file sharing on one of the computers. Look for the folder with all the files that you want to share. Right-click the folder, click 'Properties' and then choose the 'Sharing' tab.
On the Sharing tab, click 'If you understand the security risks but want to share files without running the wizard, click here'. Choose 'Just enable file sharing' and then click 'OK'.
There will be a new check box called 'Share this folder on the network' under the Sharing tab. Choose that check box to share the folder.
On the other computer, double-click 'My Computer', click 'My Network Places' and then click 'View workgroup computers'. This will give a list of all the computers in the workgroup and the name of the other computer with the shared folder should be on this list.
If the shared file does not appear on My Network Places, restart both computers and go to My Network Places again to check if the other computer is already there. 'Access is denied' or 'You do not have permission' are also issues a user might encounter while setting up a home network. Adding File and Printer Sharing as an exception in the Windows Firewall will fix this error.
There are also other ways to set up a home network. If you want to network more than 2 computers, you will need other peripherals such as a hub, a router, or both.