Chapter 5

Getting the Most from Homegroups

In This Chapter

arrow Setting up the prerequisites for Homegroups

arrow Joining, sharing, and navigating a Homegroup

arrow Making changes to your Homegroup

arrow Sharing with Windows XP and Vista and with a Mac

If you’ve ever used a house key, you know how to use Homegroups. Okay, that’s Microsoft’s analogy, and the process isn’t quite that easy, but it’s close.

The Homegroup bundles a bunch of settings in quite a handy — I’m tempted to use the word brilliant — way. When your PC joins a Homegroup, Windows strips away lots of the hassle and mind-numbing details generally associated with sharing folders and printers and replaces the mumbo jumbo with a cookie-cutter method of sharing that works quite well, in most home and many small-business networks.

All the computers in a Homegroup share their printers and some other peripherals. When an individual signs up for the Homegroup, their Pictures, Music, and Videos Libraries are shared by default. An extra click adds the Documents Library to the list. (See Book VII, Chapter 3 for a discussion of Libraries and instructions ...

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