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Windows 7: Home Network Basic Configuration

16 Jul 2015   #1

Windows 7 32 bit
Home Network Basic Configuration

I have a few questions about simple WIndows 7 home networking. First, here are the various elements I have encounterd (let's leave any domain stuff out of this for now). There's the Workgroup, the LAN network, the wireless network and then the home group.
Could someone explain to me how all these elements are supposed to work and be configured just to set up a simple network for file sharing? I would also like to be able to use either Remote Desktop or Assistance if possible.
Actually, the file sharing thing is working - I have set up the public folders on computer A and can access that public folder from computer B. But I like things neat and tidy so that's why I would like to understand more of what's happening. One computer A, a created a LAN network and gave it a name. But on computer B, I would like t join this network, but it has already given me a network name (Network1). When I go to change the network, it brings up wireless neworks - how do I join the original network?
Can this LAN network and the wireless network be the same thing, or must they be different networks?
What about the Workgroup and Homegroup - do these these offer any advantages and if so how do I set them up? Thanks.
I am running WIndows 7 Home Premium SP1 on both computer.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Jul 2015   #2

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1

Short answer: You get a network by sticking a cable between 2 computers. Wireless is the same thing just without a physical cable. Workgroup and HomeGroup are just something MS invented for LANs. As long as you have the cable between 2 computers and the IPs are in the same network segment, they will share resources. HomeGroup is just a way to make the trust and sharing between computers easier. You just select the HomeGroup and enter the password and you are done. Once you set up HomeGroup, you can just right click a folder and share it easily.

That network name (Network1) is not relevant. Create a HomeGroup on 1 PC and join to it with the other. With our basic home routers wired and wireless connections are both in the same network segment, there may be some that can configure a different one for wireless though.

I have run without a HomeGroup for years and haven't faced any issues. As long as it works, it will simplify your job. As you learn more about networking, you may find it redundant. Possibly better when you have more than a couple PCs at home.

Sorry, can't go into much detail due to time, if you have any specific questions, ask away.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Jul 2015   #3

Windows 7 32 bit

That's pretty good detail, thank you! But a couple specifics. As stated, on computer A, I went to create or join a network in the sharing center. It already had the default Network 1, but I made up a new name, like "My Cool Network", a LAN. Now on computer B, I go to join a network and would like to join it to this one I made, but it just takes me to a list of wireless networks in the vicinity, then a link back to the sharing center. Not being able to join computer B to this network doesn't affect my ability to share anything, I just would like it to for neatness sake. Is this perhaps a limitation of the Home Premium edition?

Second, I wanted to get Remote Desktop working, but found out that this is a limitation of the Home edition. But, Remote Assistance will work. I created the invitation using Easy Connect on Computer B, entered the password on Computer A but it was unagle to make the connection. So for RA to work, they must be on the same network and by the one definition you gave, they are with the IP address thing and all. Each computer can see the other under Network, and access the public folders ad map drives to those folders - either with or without passwords. But with these two different LAN names, is it possible that one some level they really aren't on the same network thus preventing Easy Connect to connect easy. What's the point of specifying a network name if it really doesn't mean or do anything - unless of course, it only means something in a higher edition of Win 7. Or I suppose it could be blocked by Windows Firewall and/or some weird router thing.

So yeah, that's really the objective - two computers each with dedicated tasks and I would like to control both using the same keyboard, mouse and monitor. I do know about apps like GoToMy PC and Team Viewer, but was hoping to use Windows features first if possible.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

19 Jul 2015   #4

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1

Can you post screenshot of your Network and Sharing Center of both PCs please? Screenshots and Files - Upload and Post in Seven Forums

Idea is connect to the router not the other computer. Connect PC A with cable, and PC B with wireless to your router. Then they will have IP addresses in the same network segment. Then a bit of configuration to actually connect the two PCs.

Run in cmd:
and copy paste here for both PCs.

TeamViewer is much better than Remote Desktop Client if you ask me, and you can either make it work from LAN (faster, better quality) or Internet (connect from anywhere, even your smartphone) and it is free for personal usage.

To sum it up:
- post screenshot of PC A - Network and Sharing Center
- post screenshot of PC B - Network and Sharing Center
- copy paste: ipconfig on PC A
- copy paste: ipconfig on PC B
My System SpecsSystem Spec

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