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HP PCs - Creating a Home Wired Local Area Network (Windows 10, 8)

This document pertains to HP and Compaq computers with Windows 10 and Windows 8.
Windows allows you to connect multiple computers in a home network. This is a convenient way to share files in the home. This document provides instructions for setting up and sharing folders and files on a wired home network.

Setting up a local network and file sharing

Use the steps in this section to set up a home network using standard RJ-45 hardware and cables.
When using steps involving Windows, log in 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 setting up your local wired network, confirm that you have the following hardware and follow these steps:
  • Network interface card (NIC) or an on-the-motherboard network port for each computer. HP and Compaq computers are network ready with NICs installed. Confirm the computer has a RJ-45 network port on the back.
    Figure : Shape of RJ-45 connector
  • Network hub (or router). A separate network hub may not be necessary if your home is already equipped with RJ-45 jacks in the walls or if your DSL or cable modem provides RJ-45 ports (select models). If you need a network hub, consult with a network specialist at your local computer store to determine a hub that meets your needs.
    A crossover cable can be used to connect two computers without a hub. However, it only allows two computers to connect and is not expandable.
  • Network cables for each computer.
  • Disconnect the Internet. If you have a DSL or cable modem, disconnect it.
  • Disable any firewall software. Firewall software may interfere with network setup. You can enable the firewall after network setup is complete.

Step 1: Connecting the network hardware and cables

Do the following to set up the wired network hardware and connect the networking cables.
  1. Set up and turn on the power for the network hub or other networking device. (Follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer).
  2. Connect the computers to the networking device. If a crossover cable is used, connect the cable to the RJ45 network ports on each computer.
    Figure : Example of one possible setup configuration
  3. Connect the computer power cords and turn the computers on.

Step 2: Setting up a HomeGroup

Set up a HomeGroup to share libraries and devices with other computers on the wired network. You can also stream media between devices.
  1. In Windows, search for and open Homegroup.
  2. If a homegroup has not been created, click Create a homegroup.
    Figure : Clicking Create a homegroup
    Location of Create a homegroup button
  3. In the Create a Homegroup window, click Next.
    Figure : Clicking Next
    Location of Next button
  4. In the Share with other homegroup members window, select Shared in the box next to the folders or devices you want to share, then click Next.
    Figure : Permissions for folders and devices
    Permissions for folders and devices
    The password displays in the Use this password to add other computers to your homegroup window. Click Finish.
    Figure : Use this password to add other computers to your homegroup window
     Password displays in the Use this password to add other computers to your homegroup window
    Use the homegroup password on each computer or device in the homegroup.

Step 3: Sharing drives, folders, and files

To access the computers on your wired network, you must turn on network discovery. You can also set files and printers to be shared as well as set sharing options for specific files or folders.

Step 4: Testing the wired network

Check the network by browsing through the shared folders on each computer on the network. To verify the setup of your wired network and browse the shared folders, follow these steps:
  1. In Windows, search for and open Network.
  2. Double-click the name of the computer or device to access.
  3. If prompted, enter the user name and password to connect to the computer or device.
    If the computer is able to read and access files from a remote computer, the remote computer or device is set up correctly. Browse to every available computer or device from each computer on the network. If there are any issues, go back through these steps and verify that the settings are correct.
    If you are unsure how to browse shared folders or are experiencing difficulties, refer to the section Accessing shared files and directories.
    When all computers are able to network to each other computer on the network, continue to the next step.

Step 5: Enabling Internet access and firewall

Once you have verified that your home network is capable of transferring files, connect and enable Internet connections for computers with Internet access.
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.

Accessing shared files and directories

Do the following to access shared files and directories:
  1. Make sure network discovery and file sharing is turned On.
  2. In Windows, search for and open Network.
  3. The Network window opens and displays computers with shared folders that are detected on local networks.
  4. Double-click the computer you want to access.
  5. If prompted, enter the username and password to access that computer.






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