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Tips: How To Create Home Group For Different Versions Of WindowsOperating System In Same Network

As we have already discussed, creating a homegroup is the best option to setup files and printer sharing. A homegroup links computers on your networks to let you share pictures, music, videos, documents and printers. Moreover, you can protect a homegroup with a password  and you will always be able to choose what you share with the group. If you’ve all the computers in the network running Windows 7, creating a homegroup will be one of the best options. The homegroup feature is applicable in all editions of Windows 7. However, if you’ve Windows 7 Starter or Windows 7 Home Basic, you can join a homegroup and you can’t create a new one.



If you’ve the different versions of Windows in the computers, you can still put all of them in the same workgroup

Consider you’ve a network of the computers that run different versions of Windows, you can still use all the computers in the same workgroup. If you’ve successfully setup the physical network, the next steps is to fine-tune it. Therefore, all the computers can find each other to share the files and the printers.
If you’ve the computers that have Windows XP, it is required to use the same workgroup name for all of the computers on the network. This will make it possible for the computers running different versions of Windows to detect and access each other. Make sure that the default workgroup name is not same for all the versions of Windows.





Now, let’s discus about finding and changing the workgroup name on a computer running Windows XP.
1.    First, click on the start button, right click on My Computer to select Properties.
2.    Now, in the System Properties, it is required to click the Computer Name tab to see the workgroup name.
3.    If you wish to change the name, click Change and type the new name in Computer Name.
4.    Now, click OK.
Let’s discuss about finding the workgroup name on a computer that has Windows Vista or Windows 7
1.    It is something similar to Windows XP.
2.    You can open System by clicking on the Start button, right clicking on Computer and selecting Properties.
3.    Now, you can view the workgroup name under the Computer Name, Domain and Workgroup Settings.
If you wish to change the workgroup name on a computer running Windows Vista or Windows 7, follow the following steps
1.    You can open System by clicking on the Start button, right clicking on Computer and selecting Properties.
2.    Now, under Computer name, domain and workgroup settings, click Change Settings.
3.    After that, in the System Properties, on the Computer Name tab and click Change.
4.    Then, in the Computer Name/Domain Changes in Workgroup, it is required to type the name of the workgroup you want to use and then click OK.
5.    Now, it is required to restart the computer for the changes to take the effect.



Now, it is required to set the network location to Home or Work
Once you’ve finished all the above steps, you can check the network location on all computers that run Windows Vista or Windows 7. The network location is a setting that lets Windows automatically adjust the security and other settings based on the type of the network that the computer is connected to.
There are four network locations:
•    Home. The computer is connected to a network that has some level of protection from the Internet (for example, a router and a firewall) and contains known or trusted computers. Most home networks fall into this category. HomeGroup is available on networks with the Home network location.
•    Domain. The computer is connected to a network that contains an Active Directory domain controller. An example of a domain network is a network at a workplace. This network location is not available as an option and must be set by the domain administrator.
•    Public. The computer is connected to a network that's available for public use. Examples of public network types are public Internet access networks, such as those found in airports, libraries, and coffee shops.
•    Work. The computer is connected to a network that has some level of protection from the Internet (for example, a router and a firewall) and contains known or trusted computers. Most small business networks fall into this category.
If you’ve a home network, it is required to confirm that the network location type is set to Home. Read the instructions to confirm if the network location is set to Home.
•    First, it is required to open Network and Sharing Center from the Control Panel.
•    Now, in the search box, it is required to type network and then click Network and Sharing Center.
•    If your network type is Public, it is required to click Public Network and then select the Network location you wish to join to.
•    Make sure that, you can only change a network to Home or Work if it is a known or trusted network like your home or small business network.
•    If you still change a network in a public place to Home or Work, it will be a security risk as it allows others to see your computer on the network.



How to check if the firewall allows file and printer sharing
If you're using Windows Firewall, you can skip this section, because Windows Firewall automatically opens the correct ports for file and printer sharing when you share something or turn on network discovery. If you're using another firewall, you must open these ports yourself so that your computer can find other computers and devices that have files or printers that you want to share.
To find other computers running Windows Vista or Windows 7, open these ports:
•    UDP 3702
•    UDP 5355
•    TCP 5357
•    TCP 5358
To find other computers running earlier versions of Windows, and to use file and printer sharing on any version of Windows, open these ports:
•    UDP 137
•    UDP 138
•    TCP 139
•    TCP 445
•    UDP 5355
To find network devices, open these ports:
•    UDP 1900
•    TCP 2869
•    UDP 3702
•    UDP 5355
•    TCP 5357
•    TCP 5358
To make HomeGroup work correctly between computers running Windows 7, open these ports:
•    UDP 137
•    UDP 138
•    TCP 139
•    TCP 445
•    UDP 1900
•    TCP 2869
•    UDP 3540
•    TCP 3587
•    UDP 3702
•    UDP 5355
•    TCP 5357
•    TCP 5358

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