Why you should use Windows 7 Home Group

Home Group Network is one of the biggest features in Windows 7.  It is basically

  • A virtual group where you can add trusted computer at your home or friends over wireless
  • Give them same kind of sharing and permissions.
  • You also manage these settings from one central place.
  • Stream Media to all people in same way
  • Share Libraries with them.
  • And Make your lie much easier when it comes to managing home network.

To start with, Home Group is available in your Network and Sharing section. This gets enabled when you add first computer to it. So when you click on Home Group you get options on what you would like to share i.e. Videos, Pictures etc. Once done with this you are ready to explore more features of Home Group.

Home group

As this is a new feature in Windows 7, computer running windows 7 and which have decided to go for Home Network options can really benefit the features.

You also are allowed to set a password for your home group when you create it for the first time. This runs with an extra level of security so you can only allow certain people to join in even in the home network.

Home Group Settings

Managing Home group settings

If you see the above Home Group Settings screen you start with sharing the libraries (a new feature in Windows 7) and you can share your media i.e. pictures, movies etc but you would require Windows Media Center for this.

Other Settings

If you take a look at Other Home group actions they all are pretty important. It allows you to change the password, print password in case you would like to give it to your kid or parents and also if you had already joined an existing home group you can also leave and create your own.

Home group trouble shooter is very important because in case anything messes with this group there are lot of features this wizard can fix if you are left with no clue.

Advanced Home group Settings

The fun actually begins in the advanced sharing settings which forms a strong backbone for Home Group. This feature allows you to configure settings for the whole group right from file sharing, media sharing, printer sharing, network discovery etc.

Home Advance Settings

Coming back to Home Group trouble Shooter :

This wizard guides in a step by step process when you have a problem with home network you cannot figure. It starts right from network detection, refresh recently applied settings, security permissions, file and printer sharing problems etc.

Overall Home Group is an excellent feature to bring all your trusted and family computer at one place and managing all the settings in one shot instead of doing it one by one but then again everybody needs to have Windows 7 Install which I would highly recommend as it is much faster than Vista and XP both.


About Ashish Mohta

A Professional Tech blogger, Editor and Writer who talks about solving day to day problems of people who use computer. His expertise are in Windows 7, Microsoft Office, Software, Mobile Apps and Video Posts.

4 comments

  1. Shared libraries are one of the best features of Win 7. I now set Win 7 RC as the default with dual boot to V64 as a fallback. I do find some confusion with Homegroup and Workgroup. The latter was already set up in V64 so that my wife’s iMac could access the internet via ethernet connection to our router. My desktop and notebook PC’s both access network printers as well as shared folders under V64, with the notebook using Wireless N. My wife’s notebook PC runs XP Pro and also uses the Workgroup wirelessly for internet access.

    Now Win 7 Homegroup enters the scene. We cannot do away with our WPA Workgroup, given the iMac and PC running XP. Network on Win 7 now shows a proliferation of devices and shared folders, many of which are duplicates. Homegroup adds more. For example, each networked (separate IP) printer appears as multiple devices, because it is seen as shared by multiple computers under both Homegroup and Workgroup. Sometimes, the printer will not be accessible to the Win 7 notebook if the Win 7 desktop, which set up Homegroup, is turned off.

    I have not figured out a way to have the shared library advantages of Homegroup without all the device and shared folder clutter of the Workgroup. MS needs to make Homegroup cross-platform in the final retail version.

  2. The features that are touted as being the best part of Windows 7 are just an annoyance and security risk for me. I have never used my documents or similar folders – if I did ever get a virus it would be an automatic folder for the virus to look for and I can organise my own files thank you very much. Libraries seem to be the same thing and are only a security risk, the fact that they cannot be turned off just as my documents could not be turned off is a concern. Similarly I already have a set up XP network. I would like windows 7 to join it but it does not seem to be able to do so and insists on homegroup which I see as just another target for the virus writers. If I have a network with my own choosen name it makes it more difficult for malicious software to find it. If I cannot find a work around I will be stuck when XP maintenence is turned off as I do not want such structures forced on me – give me the option to organise my own!

    I may have to move to Linux if windows 7 does not get some common sense!

  3. I can’t join a home group on my laptop after setting up a home group on my desktop (on same network). The laptop always asks me to create, not join, a home group. I have a wireless router for the laptop. I did some home trouble shooting after calling Microsoft, HP and Belkin, all of which were helpful, but couldn’t resolve my issue. I hooked up my laptop via an Ethernet cable from the back of the router to bypass wireless and low and behold, I received a join now button instead of a create button. Two problems, 1, I don’t want to keep my laptop 2 feet away from my desktop via wire and 2, when it prompted me for the password, which I entered correctly several times, it would not connect. Any suggestions? Anyone else have a similar issue? Thanks!

  4. This forum is old but I am hoping someone is still accessing. Recently, I am constantly getting ‘not connected to a network’ messages. We have 2 computers & share a printer wirelessly. A Home Group was set up but now I am having problems when in Pogo or even trying to open my E-mail. It says I am not connected to the Internet although my computer is definitely online with a secure broadband. Just refreshing the page allows me to reconnect but the frequency of this happening is very frustrating. Do I have to use Home Group or can use the leave group on both computers? I think it may be a recent Windows 7 Security update that created the issue as the problem surfaced this past year & continues to occur.
    Is anyone else encountering the same issue or have a suggestion to resolve it?

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