Windows XP - Create A Small Network For Sharing Files And Printers

It's amazing to think of how computers have changed our daily lives. Not long ago, it was unusual for a small business to have a PC available for every employee, or a family to have one computer in their home. However, as technology evolved and the prices of computers decreased, it soon became more unusual to fine homes or small businesses without one. These days it isn't uncommon for homes or small offices to have two or more computers.

Having multiple computers generates several potential problems for the computer savvy PC user. First, how do you share important files, such as budget spreadsheets or meeting agendas, between multiple PCs? Second, how do you share other resources such as printers? The solution to both of these problems is to crate a small network of your office or home computers using Windows XP's Network Setup Wizard. In this way, you can save time money, and a great deal of effort in the long run, as a properly functioning small network is the key to increased user productivity.

Get your network in order

To begin the process of creating a small home or office network, we'll start by providing you with a basic overview of the different hardware solutions available to you. Then, we'll look at the Windows XP requirements for networking. Next we'll explore how to make your files available to other computers on your network. We'll also examine what's required to share a single printer with more than one computer. In addition, we'll look at what measures you can take to keep your resources secure if you're connected to the Internet. Let's get started.

Note: Keep in mind that if your computer is a member of a domain (a group of computers on a network that are administered as a unit with common rules and procedures) you won't be able to use the Network Setup Wizard.

Home Networking

  • While the steps in this article refer to crating a small business network, the process works equally as well for crating a small home network.

Read the next tip Picking a network medium.

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