Once we have our home network set up, often, our next desires are to be able to copy files from one computer to another and to be able to share a printer among multiple computers.
Sharing files is usually an easy step, except that Windows likes to protect us.
The first step is to open My Computer ( Start > My Computer ).
If you want to make your entire My Documents folder available to other computers on your home network, you can right-click on the folder for [YourID]’s Documents. Then,from the popup Context Menu, select "Sharing and Security…"
Notice that, until you put a checkmark in the box that says "Share this folder on the network," Windows will not show you the default name that will be seen from other computers (the "Share name."
Similarly, until you check the share-this-folder box, Windows won’t allow you to put a check in the "Allow network users to change my files" checkbox.
Think carefully whether you want to be able to change files across the network. That will allow deletion as well as renaming or replacing the file by someone connected from another computer. You may be safer if you only allow changes to the computer that the user is actually touching.
Want to copy files from your computer to the other computer? Go to the other computer and then copy them to that one. It make take more effort, but it can prevent problems…
Sharing printers is easy, too, except for complicated printer drivers like HP’s. In order to print to the remote printer, you’ll have to have the printer drivers for the remote printer installed onto your computer. The easiest way to do this is to directly connect to the printer, temporarily, and then install the driver software to your computer. Then, you can switch to accessing it by a wired or wireless connection.
To share a printer, Start > Printers and Faxes or Start > Control Panel > Printers and Faxes.
Then, right-click on the icon for the printer to be shared and select "Share…" Similarly to the folder being shared, you can specify the name that you want the remote computers (all that aren’t directly connected to that printer by USB or parallel cable) to see.