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How can I set up a wireless network so I can share files across computers?

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  • Started 4 years ago by cupids
  • Latest reply from cupids
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Posts: 2

Hello all,

In brief - I'd like to set up my own wireless network at home so I can share files across computers. (I know more is possible, e.g. sharing printers).

My set-up - I have a desktop PC computer (Windows XP), a laptop (Windows 7), and a Thomson router. The PC is connected directly to the router by an ethernet cable, and the laptop connects to the internet wirelessly. It wasn't too hard to do this. I just followed the steps issued by my ISP, which mostly involved plugging things in and turning them on. Getting the internet on the laptop was done by finding my own wireless network in the list of available wireless network connections, and entering the security key. So, I can share the internet connection OK. I'd don't know how to go further and access my desktop PC files from my laptop. I know very little about networking PCs. though I'm not afraid to get my hands dirty if necessary. I've read up several different online guides and intros, but now admit, I'm lost in a whole bunch of networking terms, TCP/IP, DHCP, default gateways, pinging, zero configuration service, SSID, and the lot.

If anyone could help, I'd be extremely grateful. It would be a bonus if I could understand what I'm actually doing too! Following instructions blindly only gets you so far, I find.

Many thanks in advance for your help.

Posted 4 years ago
Posts: 2

In detail - I actually tried to figure things out myself, and managed to get somewhere, but don't really understood what I've done.

Firstly, on the PC, I created a folder "toshare" in "My Documents," right-clicked, and in properties -> sharing, I selected "share the folder on the network," in the hope that this folder would somehow become visible on the laptop.

Secondly, I also went to "My network places," and under network tasks, I selected "set up a small home or office network" and followed the network setup wizard through. I named my network IBNET, in the hope that this network would somehow be visible to the laptop. If I then click "view workgroup computers" under network tasks on the wired PC, I get the error "IBNET is not accessible. you might not have permission to view this network resourcre. contact the administrator of this server to find out if you have access permissions. the list of servers for this network is not currently available." However, if I type "\\IBPC" into the address bar of any folder opened on my desktop PC, where "IBPC" is the name of my desktop PC, I can see the folder "toshare" that I created earlier. Also, under "Other Places," I can see the network "IBNET" that I created, though if I click on it, I get the error message above.

Thirdly, I went back to "My network places" and under network tasks, I selected "set up a wireless network for a home or small office." I followed this wizard successfully, and used a flash drive to transfer my details onto my laptop. I don't really know what to do after this, i.e. where to see the wireless network on either my PC or the laptop. If I go to Network Connections via the Control Panel on the PC, I don't see an icon for a wireless connection.

I tried to figure out what I could by using the ipconfig /all command from the dos prompt. From what I understand, the IP address of my PC is, and that of my laptop is If I ping from the PC, the request times out, so I believe the PC cannot see the laptop. If I ping from the laptop, I get a response back, so I believe the laptop can see the PC. If I type \\ in any folder opened on the laptop, then hey presto, I can see the "toshare" folder that I shared on the on my desktop PC, and I can access its files from the laptop. Hence, technically, I can share files on a network, but I don't really understood what I've done, i.e. is it sufficient to enable folder sharing through properties -> share folder on the network, or do you have to go through the Windows Network wizards, or are you supposed to set evereything up through your router? And how can you see a "map" of the network on either the PC or the laptop, to see what's connected to what?

Posted 4 years ago

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