Resource Sharing in Windows 7

Resource sharing is a feature in Windows 7 that allows to share resources over a network. Resource sharing can be done through home group feature of Windows 7.We can ensure security of our shared data by applying different permissions.  Windows 7 allows us to share different resources such as files, folders and printers over a network. Home group is a new feature for sharing files, folders and printers on a small network.

Network and sharing centre

Network and sharing centre is used to configure advanced resource sharing options and Homegroup. Network and sharing centre assigns the designation to your network. The sharing options that you can configure through Network and sharing centre are:

  1. Network discovery: Network discovery is a network setting that enables your computer to determine whether your computer can find other computer and devices on the network. It also makes the clients visible to other computers on the network.
  2. File and printer sharing: This setting enables other computers on the network to access files and printers that you have shared.
  3. Public folder sharing:  This setting enables network users to access files from public folder.
  4. Media streaming:  This setting enables other users on the network to access pictures, music and videos.
  5. File sharing connection:  Windows 7 uses 128 bit encryption to protect file sharing connection. You can select 40 or 56 bit encryption option for devices which do not support 128 bit encryption.
  6. Password protected sharing: This setting ensures that only users who have an account configured locally can access the shared resources.
  7. Homegroup connection: This setting determines how windows 7 manage the connection to other computers on the network. If all computers have same username and passwords, then you can select the option ‘Allow Windows to manage the homegroup connections’.

Steps to change the network designation:

  1. Go to ‘Start’ – ‘Control panel’ – ‘Network and internet’ – ‘Network and sharing centre’.
  2. The ‘Network and sharing centre’ window appears. Click on the ‘Network type’ name on which you are connected. The ‘Set Network location’ wizard appears.
  3. Select the network which you want to change.

Home group

Homegroup is a new feature in Windows 7 which allows you to connect to other computers and share music, pictures, documents, printers and other files with other computers. We can allow other computers on Homegroup to modify our files. We can also make them read only to ensure the security of the files. Other users cannot change the security of the file unless we give them the permission to do so.

Steps to configure Homegroup in Windows 7:

  1. Go to ‘Start’ – ‘control panel’ – ‘Network and internet’ – ‘Choose homegroup and sharing’.
  2. This opens the ‘Homegroup’ window. Click the ‘Create a Homegroup’ button.
  3. In the ‘Create a Homegroup’ window, select the checkbox for the items that you want to share. Click ‘Next’.
  4. This will display a window with password information to other computers on the network.
  5. Click ‘Print password and instruction’ and give this password to other computers running Windows 7 on the network to join your Homegroup.
  6. Click ‘Finish’.

Steps to join a Homegroup network:

  1. Go to ‘Start’ – ‘Control panel’ – ‘Network and internet’ – ‘Homegroup’. The Homegroup window will appear.
  2. Click ‘Join now’ button to join the specific Homegroup. Select the items that you want to share with other computers and click ‘Next.
  3. Enter the ‘Homegroup password’ that you got from the person who created the Homegroup and click on ‘Join now’ button.

Note: We cannot create a Homegroup on a Domain network. The Homegroup connection setting is available only on Home/Work network profile.