Where can I find a computer network

Windows 10: How to set up your network

Artur Hoffmann, Thomas Rau

If several PCs are used in a household, it is advisable to set up a home network. This is the best way to do it.

Since version 1803 Windows 10 lacks the homegroup function. We don't know what caused Microsoft to remove the popular and easy support for setting up a network. What we do know is that even without the homegroup function, you can set up a private network where everyone can easily access shared data and use a shared printer. This not only helps with office work, but also makes it easier to access your film, music and photo collections.

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We'll show you step by step how to create your own home network and use shared shares. This article also provides tips on how to solve network and WiFi problems.

See also:Stream films, music & pictures in the home network

Setting up the home network: that's what you need

Two computers, a router with DHCP function, such as a Fritzbox, the appropriate network cables and basic PC knowledge - that's all you need to set up your own LAN. The advantages of such a home network are obvious: You can share folders and drives so that everyone can access them via the network. This makes it easy to transfer files from one computer to another. And if a network-compatible printer is available, it can be used by all computers.

EnlargeIn the router menu you can change the range from which it assigns the IP addresses.

Step 1: Set up the IP address for all home network devices

All connections in the home network run via the router, LAN, WLAN or Powerline. So that he can correctly distribute the data sent in the home network, he uses the IP addresses of the devices in the network. Therefore each needs a unique IP address. The router does this automatically using the Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP): It ensures that each device receives a suitable IP address that belongs to the address range of its own network, but does not appear more than once.

The Fritzbox, for example, uses an IP address range from as standard for the DHCP function. If necessary, you can adapt this address range to your requirements by selecting “Home Network -› Network ”in the configuration mask, bringing up the“ Network Settings ”tab and clicking“ IPv4 addresses ”in the“ IP addresses ”section. In the following dialog, enter the required new IP address for the router in the “Home network” area under “IPv4 address”, for example “”. The information under "DHCP server assigns IPv4 addresses" is then automatically adjusted. Confirm the change by clicking on "Apply".

EnlargeYou can assign a unique name to each computer.

Step 2: Assign names for PC and workgroup

Windows does not display computers in the home network with their IP address, but with a computer name. This makes it easier for you to differentiate between the various PCs in the network, for example if they are called “main PC” or “family laptop”. The name must be unique, so it can only appear once in the network.

To do this, all PCs in the network must belong to the same workgroup - otherwise they cannot communicate with each other under Windows.

To change the computer name: In Windows 10, open Explorer, bring the “Computer” tab to the front, right-click on “This PC” in the left column and select “Properties”. Then click on “Advanced System Settings” and select “System -› Advanced System Settings - ›Computer Name”. Enter a text under “Computer description” that explains the function of the calculator. Clicking on “Change” opens a dialog in which you enter a unique name, such as “Main PC”, for “Computer name”. The name must not be longer than 15 characters, spaces are prohibited.

To change the workgroup: At the bottom of this window you will find the name of the workgroup. The easiest way is to leave the default setting "WORKGROUP", which Windows uses by default. If you change the entry, you have to do this for every CP in the network. After clicking on "OK", Windows informs you that the changes will only be applied after a restart.

Tip:Windows 10 April update - all information & details

Step 3: Share files on the network

EnlargeFirst of all, the shares must be set up.

With file sharing, you neither have to send files by email nor transport them between the PC using a USB stick. When you share a drive or folder, all other users on the network have access to the files stored in it.
To do this, you must first take care of the user accounts: For security reasons, all access to shares requires logging in with a user name and password that is known to the PC on which the shares are located.
There are several options available to you: Either you set up the appropriate user accounts on all network PCs or you create a special account that can be used by all users. Or you can use the standard Windows user account “Everyone”.

You probably don't want to share all of your personal documents stored on your computer with everyone else on the network. It is therefore advisable to create a special directory in which all other people can exchange files. Open Windows Explorer and switch to the "Documents" system folder. Click on “New Folder” and give it a name, such as “Exchange”. Right-click the folder you just created to open the context menu. Select "Grant access to -› Specific people ... ", open the drop-down menu, select the name of the desired user in the list or select" Everyone "and click on" Add ". By the way, “Create new user” takes you directly to the system control function “User accounts”, where you can create a new user account.

Step 4: Set rights for file access

EnlargeYou can specify which accounts should be allowed access to shared items.

If you want the other user to be able to add files to this folder or edit documents, assign write permissions. Click on the desired user in the list below, mark “Read / Write”, confirm by clicking the “Approve” button and close the dialog with “Done”.
The “Share” ribbon is available in Windows Explorer. Go to it, highlight a folder and click on "Advanced Security". Select a user in the list and click on "Edit" to edit their rights in detail. If you click on “Show extended permissions” in this dialog, you could, for example, forbid the deletion of files or prevent the change of permissions - despite the granted write permissions.

Step 5: Access Shares

To access shares of another network computer from your own PC, open Windows Explorer. Click on “Network” in the left column and look for the desired device, which you can identify by its unique name in the “Computer” area. Open it with a double click. In the “Enter network login information” dialog that appears, enter your user name and password, activate “Save login data” and confirm with “OK”. This works not only with Windows shares, but also with Linux, Mac and NAS systems.