How to Set Up a Home Network with Windows 7

A home wireless network offers users convenience and flexibility. With a wireless network you will be able to transfer files from one computer to another without needing to save them to CDs or floppy disks. You can print documents from your computer to a printer without connecting wires, and all the computers in your household that are connected to the network will be able to use the internet simultaneously. The following article will explain to you how to set up a home wireless network with Microsoft’s Windows 7.

Before You Start

To set up a wireless network, you will need a router, a cable/DSL modem, and wireless network adapters for each of the computers and printers you want on your network. All of the computers that you plan to connect to your network will need to be running Windows 7.

Most computers made in recent years will have a built-in wireless adapter. If your computer does not have a built-in wireless adapter, you can purchase one that you can install internally or attach to a USB port. Printers that are advertised as having wireless capabilities may not come equipped with a wireless adapter; you may have to purchase a special wireless adapter from your printer’s manufacturer to enjoy its wireless capabilities.

The cable/DSL modem will allow the computers in your network to wirelessly connect to the internet, and the router will allow the computers to connect with each other. It is recommended that you have a cable/DSL modem that has a built-in router to lessen the amount of devices you will need, but you can purchase the devices separately.

Follow the instructions that came with your devices to install them. After you have installed your devices, you are ready to begin setting up your home network.

Setting Up the Network

All the computers and printers you want to add to your network will need to be turned on and accessible to you, so you can set up the network. The following steps will show you how to set up your network.

1. Check your internet connection. Open up the browser on your computer to see if you have an internet connection. If the internet does not connect, check to see if the modem is set up correctly. Contact your internet service provider if your modem is installed correctly, but your internet service is not working.

2. Install your router on your computers. Some routers are Windows 7 compatible and can automatically be installed on any computers that have Windows Connect Now (WCN) installed. If your router is not Windows 7 compatible, you will need to use the software that came with your router to install it.

3. Set up your network. A window will appear on your screen to guide you through setting up your network after you have installed your router. Follow the instructions onscreen to set up your network.

4. Connect other computers to the network. To add other computers to your network, click Start, and type in “connect to a network.” Click on Connect to a network from the list that appears. Select the network you created from the list of available networks, and follow the onscreen instructions to add the computer to your network. You will need to follow the same steps for each computer you would like to add to your network.

5. Add printers to your home network. To add your printer, click Start. Type in “add printers” in the search box. Select Add a Printer. Click on Add a network, wireless or Bluetooth printer. Your computer should scan and find available printers. Select your printer from the list. Follow the onscreen instructions to add your printer to the network.

6. Set up a homegroup. After you have connected all your computers to your network, you should have a home network. A homegroup will allow you to easily share documents between computers. Go to the start menu and type in “homegroup.” Click on HomeGroup from the list of choices that appear. Click on Create a HomeGroup. Follow the onscreen instructions to set up your homegroup. You will need to write down the password you use to create your homegroup.

7. Add other computers to your homegroup. Select Start on your computer, and type in “homegroup.” Select HomeGroup from the list. When you reach the homegroup menu, click Join HomeGroup. Follow the onscreen instructions to join your homegroup. You will need your homegroup password to add your computer. Follow these steps for all computers you want to add to your homegroup.

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