Windows 8 allows you to easily connect to multiple computers across your wireless network easier than ever before. Creating your own home network can be a convenient way to share media and files among your devices such as your Windows laptop. This is a step by step guide on how to setup a wireless home network and share files and folders. To complete these steps you will have to be logged into the administrative account on your PC or laptop. This is normally the first account that was created when you first started Windows 8.
Before you begin setting up your local network in Windows 8 you will have to confirm that the following hardware is all working correctly:
- Wireless Network Interface Cards (NIC) or if you’re using a laptop this could be the inbuilt wireless network port.
- Check that the wireless network antenna is not near any mobile phones, or radio equipment as this can interfere with the signal.
- You will also need a wireless broadband router, or a separate wireless router if you already have a broadband router. Many broadband routers from companies such as Virgin come with wireless capability, so make sure you have the password on the router handy.
Disconnect from the internet first. If you have a DSL or cable modem, take out the RJ45 connection cable. This allows your network to stay safe while you complete the next step, and stops you from getting confused about which network you are connected too.
- Connect your wireless router up to the power supply and make sure you have fitted any antenna required.
Next step is to run the Windows 8 wireless network setup wizard.
- At the start screen, type “set up network” to open the search for network dialog box.
- Choose “Set up a new network”
- Windows will then search for your wireless network router, and display the corresponding SSID. You have to be careful that you select the correct device so make sure that you can match up the details with your own router.
Follow the network connection wizard though the remaining steps.
Connecting To Network
Once the network wizard is finished you should check that the laptop or computer you want to connect with has it’s inbuilt wireless device enabled. This will usually be shown with an icon like this.
- Now go back to the start screen and type connect. This will display the option to connect to the network, and then select this.
This will display a list of the wireless networks in your area. Select the one that you named in the previous step, and connect.
The next step is to set up a homegroup network to allow you to share your files and folders with other computers on the network.
- Once again, go to the start screen and this time type homegroup in to the search box, and select homegroup at the bottom.
- You will be presented with a join homegroup screen that allows you to either connect to the new homegroup or set on up. Normally there is a password you’ve set up, so you will have to enter that here.
- From the libraries and devices window, select the content that you want to share on the network by clicking the toggle button next to the content. If the toggle button is moved to the right, then the content is being shared.
If you want to connect to the other computers on the network you will have to setup Windows 8 network discovery. This is easy and will allow you to make connection to other computers, and also printers that might be connected to these computers.
- Type network and sharing in the start menu search box, and select network and sharing center.
- On the panel on the left, select change advanced sharing settings.
- Select the guest or public option and turn on the following radio buttons. This will use Windows 8 in built features to make the discover of your network easier among other devices or computers.
Share Specific Files & Folders
If you want to change the files that get shared on your network you will have to open the file explorer and browse for the files of folder that you want to share.
- Right click on the folder and select share with.
You can then select the homegroup to share with automatically, or even choose a specific person to share with.
This will be your wireless file sharing network setup. The permissions for which files and folders get shared will stay in place until you choose to remove access to them. All that is left is for you to connect back up to the internet, and reactivate your firewall and antivirus.