How to Make a Computer Accessible on a Network

It takes more than just plugging in a LAN cable or inserting a wireless device into a computer to make that computer accessible on a network. Several things will need to be set up before files can be read, shared or copied across the connected computers. This is generally a simple task that can be completed with out any major problems. (The steps here assume that you have already installed your LAN or wireless drivers to you system.)

Setting Up the Network

Step

Click the "Start" button in the lower left corner of your screen. Choose "Connect To," then "Show All Connections."

Step

Click on "Set Up Home or Small Office Network" from the sidebar on the "Network Connections" screen.

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Click "Next" and follow the onscreen instructions to either create or join an existing network. Be sure to ask the administrator of the existing network for the name and password required to enter and be part of the network.

Sharing Files

Step

Click on "My Computer" and browse to the folder that contains the files you wish to share with others on the network.

Step

Right-click on the folder you want to share, then choose "Share This Folder" from the sidebar on the screen. If a sidebar isn't displayed, right-click on the folder and choose "Sharing and Security." Then click on the box beside "Network Sharing and Security." Click "Apply"; the folder will then be shared.

Step

Repeat for any folders or drives you want to share with others on the network.

Logging Onto the Network

Step

Connect your LAN cord or wireless device to your computer.

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Click on "My Network Places" on your network.

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Click on "View Workgroup Computers" and choose the name of the network you have joined.

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Make sure the drives or folders you have shared are listed on the screen.