Chapter VII.1. Attaching to a Network

In This Chapter

  • Choosing between home, work, and public network types

  • Getting your computer attached to an existing network

  • Looking at how HomeGroups work

  • Slicing and dicing your HomeGroup

Attaching your Windows 7 computer to an existing network rarely involves more than a few mouse clicks.

Correctly attaching your Windows 7 computer to an existing network requires a bit more.


Historically, Microsoft has had no end of problems with networking. Computers drop on and off the network like hyperactive jumping beans, for absolutely no reason other than that they've entered a new phase of the moon. Shared printers or folders appear and disappear at random intervals. A Windows Vista computer can see a Windows XP computer on the network, but not vice versa. Or the other way around.

I've lost more than a few pulled hairs trying to get my networks to network. I would bet you have, too.

Windows 7 brings a whole new approach to the networking game and, if you understand what it's supposed to do, it works. Unfortunately, if you have Windows XP computers or Windows Vista computers connected to your network, they'll likely continue to suffer the same slings and arrows that have always dogged them. But, in my experience, the Windows 7 computers on your network will work together nicely, and in most cases they play well with their less-endowed brethren.

This chapter takes you through the steps necessary to get your Windows 7 computer attached to an existing network ...

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