One of Windows 8′s biggest benefits is how easy it makes setting up a network. Small or home businesses can take advantage of Windows’ networking capabilities to set up a “homegroup”, which lets them easily connect Window 8 computers with devices such as smartphones, printers or media servers so that they can communicate with one another and share data.
Here is how to Create a Windows 8 Homegroup:
(1) Your computer has to be connected to a network.
(2) In the Windows 8 Start screen, begin typing “Control Panel” until the Control Panel icon is displayed:
(3) Click on the Control Panel icon and then on Network and Internet.
(4) Click on the HomeGroup option. Click the Create a HomeGroup button.
The Create a Homegroup wizard opens.
(5) Click Next. The wizard asks you to select the files and devices you want to share within the homegroup and set the permission levels.
(6) Click Next. Windows will establish the sharing and permissions you just set.
(7) The wizard will then display an auto-generated password that must be entered into any computers that you want to add to the homegroup.
(8) Click Finish.
(9) To verify that the homegroup has been set up, go back into Control Panel>Network and Internet>HomeGroup. You will now see listed libraries and devices being shared in the homegroup.
(10) You can also tweak your homegroup settings from this screen.
(11) Verify that network discovery is turned on; otherwise you will have problems sharing data among member devices in your homegroup.
(12) To turn on this feature, from Control Panel>Network and Internet>Homegroup, click Change advanced sharing settings.
(13) Under Private (current profile), click the radio button to Turn on network discovery.
(14) Do the same for Turn on file and printer sharing if you want to share files and printers between homegroup members.
By default, Windows will manage your homegroup connections. For added security, you can create user accounts and password for any machine that connects to the homegroup and use those credentials instead. To do this, under HomeGroup connection, click the radio button next to Use user accounts and passwords to connect to other computers.
Here is how to Connect a Windows 8 Machine to a Homegroup:
(1) To connect another Windows 8 machine to your homegroup, ensure that machine is connected to the same network as the computer you used to create the homegroup. (This means both machines are wirelessly connected to the same router or access point, or both are connected to the same router, switch, or hub via Ethernet cables).
(2) From the machine to be connected to the homegroup, open Control Panel>Network and Internet>HomeGroup.
(3) The HomeGroup window should show that an existing homegroup has been discovered.
(4) Click Join now>Next. Select the folders you want this computer to share with other members of the homegroup.
(5) Click Next. Enter the password that was created automatically (or the one you set) when the homegroup was initially created.
(6) Click Next again. Windows will confirm that you have joined the homegroup.
From a homegroup-joined Windows PC, you can go into the Libraries folder from the desktop and you’ll see a listing for “Homegroups.” Under this listing, all the machines in the homegroup and all the folders they are sharing will appear. From here, you can quickly access another machine’s files within the homegroup.
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