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How-To Geek

Workgroup

In computer networking, a Workgroup is a collection of computers on a local area network that share resources (such as shared folders and printer access). Workgroups are best suited for small networks of 50 devices or less, such as a home or small office network. Beyond that number of devices, administration and management become unwieldy and setting up a domain system is advised.

The Workgroup system is largely a Windows phenomenon as it was an early tool for Windows computers to share resources via Samba sharing. Apple computers have similar functionality via AppeTalk zones. Unix and Linux operating environments never adopted the Workgroup architecture for peer-to-peer networking tasks, but most *nix-based systems support open-source Samba packages that allow for cross-OS workgroup compatibility.

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