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HP PCs - Creating a wireless home network (Windows 11, 10)

Windows allows you to connect multiple computers in a home network to share folders and files in the home.

Set up a local network and file sharing

Set up a home network using wireless hardware.


To perform some of the steps in this document, you must be logged into Windows using the main administrative account. Normally this is the first account that was created when the computer was first turned on.

Before you begin

Before you start setting up a local network, make sure you have the following hardware.

  • Confirm that you have a wireless network interface card (NIC) or an on-the-system-board wireless network port for each computer.

  • Confirm that the computer has a wireless network antenna. The antenna might be a part of internal networking hardware, or the antenna might be external and connected to the back of the computer.

  • Confirm that you have a wireless router or access point. If you need a network hub, consult with a network specialist at your local computer store to find a hub that meets your needs.

Follow these steps before you continue with setting up and connecting your network hardware:

  • 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. You can enable the firewall after network setup is complete.

Set up and connect the network hardware for a local network

Set up and turn on the wireless network router or other networking device. Follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer to connect a broadband cable or DSL modem to the router and set up security for the wireless network.


In some cases, the modem and router are combined into one device, and might be referred to as a wireless access point.

Examples of wireless networks

Configure the wireless router

The router is the communication center of your home network. To configure the wireless router for your local network, connect the router to the modem (if the router and modem are separate), and then temporarily connect a network cable from the computer to the wireless router. Follow the specific installation instructions that came with your router. The router and the computer must use the same communication protocols (802.11a, 802.11b, 802.11g, or 802.11n).

  1. Connect a network cable from a network port on the computer to one on the wireless router.

  2. Turn the computer on and wait for Windows to start and connect to the router.

  3. Open a web browser, and then type the router IP address into the address bar to connect to the router. See the following table for common router IP addresses, user names, and passwords.


    The information listed in the table is commonly used by popular router manufacturers. If the information is not correct for your router, see the manufacturer's documentation.

    Common router settings

    Router brand name

    Router IP address

    User name











  4. If prompted, enter the default router user name and password.

  5. Follow the prompts to configure the router security settings.

    Name for the router (SSID): This might be the name of your network. Type in a new name. Do not use the default name.

    Type of security: For example, WPA, WPA2, or WEP. Set up wireless security when you configure the router.

    Password or passphrase: Never use a blank password. For better security, use a password or passphrase that is more than 8 characters and contains letters and numbers.

    Administrator name and password: This is the name of a user account that is allowed to change the router settings. If you leave the default user name (admin), be sure to change the password.

Test the network connection while the network cable is still connected, disconnect the network cable, and then continue to the next step to run the wireless network setup wizard.

Run the Windows wireless network setup wizard to add devices to the network

Use the Windows network setup wizard to add computers and devices to the network.

  1. Using the directions for your operating system, open the Network and Sharing Center.

    • In Windows 11, search for and open Control Panel. Select Network and Internet, and then select Network and Sharing Center.

      Network and Sharing Center
    • In Windows 10, right-click the network connection icon in the system tray, click Open Network & Internet settings, and then scroll down and click Network and sharing center.

      Network and Sharing Center
  2. Click Set up a new connection or network.

    View your basic network information with Set up a new connection or network selected
  3. Click Set up a new network.

    Choose a connection option with Set up a new network selected
  4. Click Next, and then follow the on-screen instructions to set up a wireless network. When the network setup is complete, continue to the next step to connect to the network.

Connect to a local network

To set up a wireless home network, you must connect your computers to the network that you created.


On notebook computers, make sure that the wireless device is enabled. For most notebook computers, there is a light that illuminates white when the wireless device is turned on and enabled, and illuminates orange when the wireless device is either off or disabled. Some notebook computer models might use a different color scheme.

  1. In Windows, click the network connection icon in the system tray.

    Network connection icon in the system tray
  2. From the network list, select the wireless network that you created, and then click Connect.


    In Windows 11, you must click the expansion arrow next to the network icon to see the network list.

    Selecting a wireless network
  3. Enter the network password (or security key), and then click Next. The computer connects to the network.

  4. Click OK. Repeat these steps for each computer in the network.

Share drives, folders, and files on a local network

Turn on network discovery to access the computers on the network. You can also configure files and printers to be shared and customize sharing options for specific files or folders.

Turn on network discovery and file and printer sharing on a local network

Follow these steps to open advanced sharing settings and turn on network discovery and file and printer sharing.

Configure sharing options and permissions for specific files or folders on a local network

Configure the sharing options of files and nonpublic folders.

  1. In Windows, search for and open File Explorer.

  2. Browse to a folder to share.

  3. Right-click the folder, select Give access to, and then click Remove access (to remove sharing options) or Specific people (to add new sharing permissions).

    Menu for giving access to a folder
  4. After you click Specific people, the Choose people to share with window is displayed.

  5. Click the down arrow to open the drop-down menu, and then select a user with whom to share the folder. If the user is not listed, type the user name or email address, and then click Add.

    Add a new user to share with
  6. Click the down arrow under Permission Level to set the permission level for each user or group.

    Select the permission level for each user or group
  7. Click Share.

Test the local network

Open the Windows network window and browse shared folders on each computer or device on the network to make sure that sharing is set up correctly.

  1. In Windows, search for and open View network computers and devices. The Network window opens and displays computers and devices detected on the network.

    Click View network computers and devices in the search results
  2. Double-click the name of the computer or device to access it. If prompted, enter the user name and password to connect to the computer or device.

    Double-click the computer or device name

    If the computer can read and access files from a remote computer, the remote computer or device is set up correctly.

  3. Browse every available computer or device from each computer on the network. If there are any issues, repeat these steps and confirm that the settings are correct.

When all computers can read and access files from the other computers on the network, continue to the next step to enable Internet access on the local network.

Enable Internet access and firewall on a local network

After you confirm that your home network is capable of transferring files, connect and enable Internet connections for all computers that are part of the home network.


Make sure that each computer with Internet access is well protected from security threats. At a minimum, HP recommends enabling a firewall on each computer and keeping each computer updated with the latest updates from Windows Update. If malicious activity comes through one computer, the activity can quickly spread through the entire network.

Access shared files and directories on a local network

After you have set up a home network, you can access shared folders and files from computers or devices on the network.

  1. Make sure that network discovery and file sharing is turned on.

  2. In Windows, search for and open View network computers and devices.

    Click View network computers and devices in the search results
  3. Double-click the name of a computer or device to access it. If prompted, enter the user name and password to access that computer.

    Double-click the computer or device name
  4. Navigate to a folder or file to access it.