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PCs For Dummies® Windows®, 7 Edition by Dan Gookin

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Chapter 16. Basic Networking Stuff

In This Chapter

  • Exploring your PC's network

  • Viewing a map of networked PCs

  • Setting up a HomeGroup

  • Sharing stuff in the HomeGroup

  • Using traditional file sharing

  • Getting at a network folder

After you get the hardware side of the network all connected and operating (divulged in Chapter 15), it's time to share and communicate using your computer network. The sharing is about using resources from other computers made available on the network. Those resources include printers, storage devices, and media players. Accessing all that networking goodness is this chapter's topic.

Network Fun in Windows

The main networking folder window thing in Windows is named, surprisingly, Network. Access it by opening the Network icon on the desktop, choosing Network from the Start button menu, or from a number of other places too numerous and confusing to list here. A typical Network window is shown in Figure 16-1.

The Network window.

Figure 16.1. The Network window.

The Network window lists various gizmos available on your computer's network. Specifically, you should see icons presenting other computers on the network. You might also see a network hard drive (if you have one) and perhaps other network stuff.

  • The computers you see in the Network window form a workgroup. That term refers to the computers connected to the type of peer-to-peer networks found in most homes and small offices.

  • In Windows Vista, ...

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