The Network và Sharing Center in Windows 7, 8 and 10 is one of the more important and useful Control Panel apps that lets you see information about your network và lets you make changes that can affect how you access resources on the network.
Unfortunately, most people never mess around with network settings because they don’t understand what everything means và are afraid to mess something up. However, once you understvà the settings, you can fix problems on your own, increase your privacy, và quickly cài đặt file & printer sharing between multiple computers.
Table of Contents
In this article, I’ll walk you through the different aspects of the Network và Sharing Center and show you certain features you can use on a regular basis lớn make yourself more productive sầu.
Opening Network & Sharing Center
The first step is to open the Network & Sharing Center. The quickest way to lớn get to it is by clicking on Start and typing in network and. This will instantly bring up the ứng dụng in the danh sách.
In all versions of Windows, the phầm mềm is located in the Control Panel. In Windows 7, just cliông chồng on Start & the Control Panel is listed on the right side of the Start Menu. In Windows 8.1 & Windows 10, just right-cliông chồng on the Start Menu & choose Control Panel from the menu.
In the Control Panel, you can click on the Network và Internet category & then clichồng on Network và Sharing Center. If you are in inhỏ view, just cliông chồng directly on Network và Sharing Center.
Private or Public Network
The first thing you’ll see when you open the Network & Sharing Center is your current connection khổng lồ the network và lớn the Internet. Windows 7 has a little bit more information & also a couple of more options.
In Windows 8 and Windows 10, they cleaned up the interface by getting rid of a couple of items và combining other items.
At the top, you’ll see the active sầu network or networks, the network type, the type of access, HomeGroup info & the connection info. The first thing lớn understand about this info is the network type, which is listed directly below the name of the network.
In the above sầu examples, one has trang chủ network listed và the other has Private network listed. This is very important because when you are connected khổng lồ a private or home network, there are a lot of sharing settings that are mix by mặc định khổng lồ be trusting. This means others can find your computer on the network, possibly access shared folders, stream truyền thông from your computer, etc.
Windows will normally try to lớn figure this out for you automatically so that when you connect lớn a public WiFi network, it will use the Public profile & not the private one. Sometimes, Windows will ask you if you want to enable sharing or find devices once you connect to lớn a network & if you say yes, it will make the network private. If you choose no, it will make the network public.
You can also manually change the network type to lớn Public or Private depending on what kind of privacy you want. This can be useful, for example, if you are visiting someone và you want lớn make sure no one can access any data on your computer while you are connected khổng lồ their network. Change the network type khổng lồ Public and no one will be able to lớn discover your computer on the network.
You can read my post on how to lớn switch between public & private for the currently connected network. So what exactly does switching do? Well, you can see all of the different sharing settings when you cliông chồng on the Change advanced sharing settings liên kết, which I explain in detail in the next section below.
To the right of the network name and network type, you’ll see HomeGroup and Connections. Next to lớn HomeGroup, you’ll see a link that says Available to lớn join or Ready khổng lồ create depending on whether a HomeGroup already exists on the network or not. A HomeGroup allows you lớn easily share files, printers & more between computers. I talk more about it in the Advanced Sharing Settings section below.
Next to Connections, you can click on the name of the WiFi or Ethernet network to lớn bring up the status info dialog for the current connection. Here you can see how long you have sầu been connected, the signal unique for WiFi networks, the network tốc độ, etc. You can also disable the connection & diagnose the connection if there is a problem.
For WiFi networks, this screen is useful because you can cliông xã on Wireless Properties & then cliông xã on the Security tab and view the WiFi password. This is really useful if you have forgotten the WiFi password, but still have sầu a computer that is connected lớn the network.
Lastly, if you click on Details, you can get more info about the current network lượt thích the Default Gateway (router IP address), MAC address, & computer IPhường address.
Advanced Sharing Settings
The advanced sharing settings dialog is main place for managing how your computer communicates with the rest of the network. In Windows 7, you have sầu two profiles: Home or Work & Public. Only one profile can be active at a time. All the settings are the same và repeated under each protệp tin.
In Windows 8 and 10, you have three profiles: Private, Guest or Public and All Networks. Basically, it’s the same settings as in Windows 7, but just split up more logically. Let’s go through the various settings:
Network Discovery – This setting is turned on for private networks by default & it means that your computer can be seen by other computers và vice versa. What this means in practice is that when you open Windows Explorer, you might see the name of another computer connected lớn your network under Network Locations.
File và Printer Sharing – This setting will allow others to access shared folders & printers on your computer. I always turn this to Off even on private networks unless I need to use it in a specific situation. There are so many times when guests come over to my house, connect khổng lồ the network and then could possibly browse my system. Only shared folders can be viewed, but you’d be surprised how folders can become shared without your knowledge.
HomeGroup connections – If you really bởi need to giới thiệu files & folders, you should just thiết lập a HomeGroup, which is more secure & a lot easier to lớn configure. If you vì run into lớn trouble, just read my HomeGroup troubleshooting guide.
Now expvà out All Networks if you are using Windows 8 or Windows 10. There are a couple of more settings here.
Public Folder Sharing – I recommkết thúc turning this off unless you specifically need lớn tóm tắt data with another computer. The reason is that it’s very easy to lớn accidentally save files into lớn these publicly shared folders without realizing it, which will then be accessible by anyone on the network. A very useful feature when you need it, but a big privacy risk otherwise.
Media Streaming – This is another option you should keep disabled until you need lớn use it. This basically turns your computer inkhổng lồ a DLNA hệ thống so that you can stream music, movies and pictures khổng lồ other devices on the network lượt thích an Xbox One, etc. When enabled, it opens up quite a few ports in your firewall also.
File Sharing Connections – This should always be set to Use 128-bit encryption unless you need lớn tóm tắt files with Windows 95, Windows 98 or Windows 2000 computers.
Password Protected Sharing – I highly recommkết thúc turning on password protected sharing because it will force users khổng lồ enter a username và password for an tài khoản on your computer in order to lớn access any data.
Setup New Network và Troubleshoot Problems
The next part I want to talk about is the section under Change your networking settings. In Windows 10, you can either setup a new connection or troubleshoot problems.
For setting up a new connection, you only have four options in Windows 8/10: Connect lớn the Internet, Setup a new network, manually connect to lớn a WiFi network or connection to lớn a VPN. lưu ý that creating an ad-hoc network is no longer possible in Windows 10.
If you cliông chồng on Troubleshoot problems, you’ll get a menu of troubleshooting links for the Internet, network adapter, HomeGroup, Shared Folder, Printers, etc.
These are not just troubleshooting guides, they are actual programs that run và fix issues with various networking related services. I have found the Internet Connections and Network Adapter troubleshooting fixes to lớn be the most useful.
Change Adapter Settings
Lastly, let’s talk about the Change adapter settings links on the left-hand side. You probably won’t use this too often, but it does come in handy when troubleshooting network problems.
Here you will see a danh mục of all the network adapters on your computer. If you have sầu an Ethernet port and WiFi card, you’ll see both items listed. You might also see other network adapters, but they are usually always virtual, meaning they are created by a software application lượt thích a VPN client or virtual machine program.
If you’re having connection problems, you can simply right-click on the adapter & choose Diagnose. This will usually fix any problem with a misconfigured network adapter. If you right-cliông xã & choose Properties, you can configure your computer khổng lồ use a static IP address rather than obtaining one from a DHCP VPS.
As mentioned, this is not something you’ll need to bởi often, but it’s good lớn know for troubleshooting purposes. For the technically savvy, there are a lot of other advanced settings you can modify here, but this guide is meant for newbies.
Hopefully, this article will help you navigate the Network và Sharing Center settings without feeling overwhelmed. It’s the easiest way to lớn fix network problems và khổng lồ make your computer more secure by disabling a lot of the automatic sharing enabled by mặc định. If you have sầu any questions, post a bình luận. Enjoy!