How to share files between home PCs

When we think of home networks, we think of connecting our computers to the Internet. But there is another option when it comes to networking: the option of linking various home computers, allowing for easy file sharing and access to printers and other networked devices.

If your PCs are running Windows 7, then there is no need for servers or complex networking software. Instead, you can use Windows 7 to create a HomeGroup, which will give you all the file-sharing capability you will need.

Here’s how you do it:

  • Go to the Control Panel and under Network and Internet click on Choose homegroup and sharing options.

  • If you have not previously designated your network connection as your Home Network, Windows will ask you to do so. This prevents sharing across third-party or unsecure networks.

  • Once you have designated your Home Network, you will see a window with the heading Share with other home computers running Windows 7. Click on Create a homegroup.

  • Windows will ask you what you want to share. Pictures, Music, Videos, and Printers will be included by default. Check Documents, if you would also like to have that sharing option, then click Next.

  • Windows will automatically generate a password. Write this down; you will need this password to add other computers to your homegroup. (There is an option to print the password, along with instructions.) Click Finish.

  • You will see a summary of your homegroup settings. You can access this page from the Control Panel and change your settings at any time.

  • Now you can go to the other computers on your Home Network, open the homegroup option on the Control Panel and you will see your newly created homegroup. (There may be a slight delay before your new homegroup appears.)

  • Click Join now, enter the password, and follow the other steps in the set-up wizard. The computers in the homegroup will now be able to share files.

To see a shared file, click on the Windows Explorer icon in the bottom tray. On the left, you will see the computers that are in your homegroup. Click on one of them and the shared libraries with appear in the panel on the right. 

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