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Creating a Wireless Home Network (Windows 7)

This document pertains to HP and Compaq computers with Windows 7.
Windows 7 supports connection of multiple computers in a home network. Creating a network can be a convenient way to share files and printers in the home. This document provides instructions for setting up a wireless home network and sharing folders and files on the network.
Setting up a local network and file sharing in Windows 7
Creating a network can be a convenient way to share files and printers between computers at home. Use the steps in this section to set up a home network using wireless hardware.
 note:
To perform some of the steps in this document you must be logged in to Windows 7 using the main administrative account. Normally this is the first account that was created when the computer was first turned on.
Step 1: Before you begin setting up a wireless home network in Windows 7
Confirm that you have the following hardware. Click the heading or the accompanying plus (+) sign to expand the information.
  • Wireless LAN hardware
    Not all computers come with wireless LAN hardware. If you are unsure if the computer came with wireless LAN hardware, check the product specifications. In the Questions or keywords field at the top of this page, enter the product number for your computer and type specifications (for example: 300-1025 specifications). Click the link for your product specifications from the list of search results. On the Product Specifications page, check the Networking section for wireless hardware.
    If the specifications do not show wireless hardware but you believe the computer has wireless hardware, check Device Manager by using the following steps:
    1. Click Start , and then type Device Manager in the Search box. Click Device Manager from the list of results.
      Figure : Opening Device Manager from the Start menu
      Opening Device Manager from the Start Menu
      The Device Manager window opens.
    2. Double-click Network adapters.
      Figure : Network adapters in Device Manager
      Network adapters in Device Manager
    3. Check for wireless LAN hardware.
       note:
      If no wireless LAN hardware is listed in Device Manager, click Action, and then click Scan for hardware changes. If the hardware is still not listed, restart the computer, and then return to Device Manager. Windows 7 automatically detects hardware and installs drivers upon system startup. If no wireless LAN hardware is listed after restarting, no hardware is installed.
      If no wireless LAN hardware is installed and you want to connect to a wireless network, purchase and install a PCI (internal) or USB (external) wireless LAN adapter.
  • Wireless router or access point
    If you need a network hub, consult with a network specialist at a local computer store to find a hub that meets your needs.
Follow these steps before continuing with the other steps in this document:
  • Disconnect from the Internet. If you have a DSL or cable modem, disconnect it.
  • Disable any firewall software. Firewall software might interfere with network setup and can reenabled after network setup is complete.
Step 2: Set up and connect network hardware for a wireless home network
Set up and turn on the power for the wireless network router or other networking device.
Step 3: Running the Windows 7 network setup wizard
Use the Windows 7 network setup wizard to help add computers and devices to your wireless network.
Step 4: Connecting to a wireless home network in Windows 7
Depending on the type of computer you are using, follow these steps to connect each computer to the wireless network.
Step 5: Turning on network discovery and file and printer sharing for each computer (Windows 7)
Turn on network discovery and file and printer sharing on each computer that you want to access on the network.
Step 6: Share drives, folders, and files in a wireless network (Windows 7)
Set sharing options for files and non-public folders on the computer you want to share from.
Step 7: Testing a wireless network in Windows 7
Check your network by browsing through the shared folders on each computer on the network from the Windows 7 Network window.
Step 8: Enabling Internet access and firewall for a wireless network
Once you have verified that your home network is capable of transferring files, connect and enable Internet connections for computers with Internet access.
 caution:
Make sure that each computer with Internet access is well protected from security threats. At the minimum, each computer should have its Internet connection protected with a firewall and Windows should be updated with the latest critical updates from Microsoft Windows Update. If malicious activity comes though one computer, the activity can quickly spread through the entire network.

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