I have worked an IT position in the past, so I feel as if I have a pretty well-rounded networking background from the business/office standpoint. However, when it comes to home networking, I tend to get a little bit more lost, even though I feel like it's much less complex. It seems that in order to have any form of file/printer/media sharing in the Windows environment, you need to first setup a Work or Home Group.
1. What is the difference between a Work and Home Group? Does one have more features/capabilities than the other?
I think this is a little annoying. When I worked my IT position, we had our own domain established. In order to add a new PC to the network, all we had to do was add them to the domain. With that, you could browse any other PC on the network, attach printers using IP addresses, and much more. Granted, we did have a number of different servers, including a DNS and printer server. This brings me to my biggest question:
2. Why can't I just have one PC act as a server and avoid using the Home/Work Group environment? A home network is no where near comparable to an office environment due to the smaller number of clients involved. Therefore, can't I just have one PC manage all the other PCs and printers on my network?
3. I'm also interested in knowing how all of this works. Shouldn't there be some sort of central location where all the computer names and IP addresses are stored and managed, just like a DNS server? Is this performed by the router somehow?
Any clarification on any of this would be appreciated!