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networking multiple computers @ home

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#1 drewlsy


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Posted 14 September 2017 - 06:29 AM

Hi there, I'm interested in wanting to network four computers located in different rooms whereby, doing so, would allow me to freely access one of the computers by any one of the three remaining computers at any given time.


1)  desktop pc in bedroom: ethernet connected to router running Windows 7 

2)  desktop pc in living room running windows 8 wifi, USB antenna modem 

3) Apple Imac desktop wifi

4) laptop Apple Macbook Air


Please be cognizant of the fact that each of one of these resides in a separate/various rooms/areas around the house. How nice it would be to be able to sit at at any one computer at any given time and access any of the four computer's hard drives, thusly, making it possible to able to work on software programs and files specific to, and existing only on the computer of which I am accessing.


For example: I am sitting at computer 2 in the living room, and want to access computer 1 to work on a project associated to files of software/app specific to that computer, from the comforts of the living room while working on computer 2. Is this possible? 


Please also be cognizant of the fact that computer 1 is my flagship computer, deemed as "base camp", which holds all of my relevant files and software programs, so the direction of the 'flow of access' would most likely flow one way from the other machines wanting access to that machine, as the other three computers would turn into a virtual clone or mirror image of that one at any one given time (that's the idea or desired outcome).


1) Would I be able to network these using a Linksys router?

2) Or would I need to remotely set these up like you would with go-meeting or something along that line where people can access each other's computers remotely over the internet. In other words, I would have to set up remote access between my computers with codes and so whenever I feel I want to work on accessing the bedroom computer from the living room, I dial it up then run over to the other room and dial it up and put in the codes. But each computer is on my wifi network and router access...  Doesn't this usually only work when you are accessing Joe Shmoe's computer in Nome, Alaska while you are in Chicago? 

3) Or use wifi and a complex configuring of passwords and connections: see youtube example, language barrier with the narrator, hard to understand and follow: 


Any advisement would be appreciated along with a sense of whether something like this is plausible. 


(If we reeeeaallly get creative and try to think out of the box, anything is possible, right? Right.)





Edited by hamluis, 14 September 2017 - 07:48 AM.
Moved from Win 7 to Networking - Hamluis.

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#2 mikey11


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Posted 14 September 2017 - 06:39 AM

you can do it with the two windows computers, not sure about the macs, but i doubt it,


they need to be on the same workgroup, and you need to turn file sharing on, on them both

Edited by mikey11, 14 September 2017 - 06:50 AM.

#3 Wand3r3r


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Posted 14 September 2017 - 10:20 AM

Q1: yes

Q2: your first option is to network them and share what you want on each for access.  This if for file access.  If you want program access you would need to engage Remote Desktop on the pc and macs.  Lots of tutorials on the web for this.

#4 Kilroy


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Posted 14 September 2017 - 02:18 PM

1.  Yes, anything you use to get them all on the Internet should also work to allow them to share files.


2.  You should be able to do this without using a Remote Desktop application.  I recommend TeamViewer if you do go that route.  TeamViewer is free for personal user, less than 10 machines.  Remember that having access to the files doesn't give you the programs needed to work with them.  For example if you main machine has Word and none of the other machines have Word then you will only be able to work on Word documents on your main machine.  This is where a Remote Desktop application would be the solution.


I've never supported Macs, but you should be able to accomplish this using the Advanced Sharing Options.  You're going to be on your own for how to share and connect the Macs, but the Advanced Sharing should allow you to do it.


I'd suggest creating a user on the machines called Share and create a password.  Not having a password only creates more issues in my experience.  The password can just be 1, but having a password makes things go smoother.


On the Windows machine right click the folder you want to share and select Properties.

Switch to the Sharing tab.

Press the Advance Sharing button (Admin Rights Required)

Check the Share this folder box.

Name the share (default name will be the name of the folder)

Press the Permissions button.

Here's where the real fun begins.  By default the Everyone group has Read access.  Everyone means everyone.

Add the Share user and give it Read and Change, you shouldn't need Full Control.

Remove Everyone.

Now only the user Share will be able to connect to the file share remotely.


On the connecting machine they will connect to \\COMPUTERNAME\ShareName where COMPUTERNAME is the name of the computer hosting the files and ShareName is the name of the Share you created.  If prompted for a user name and password to connect you will use the Share account that you created.


Option 3 would be to purchase a Network Attached Storage (NAS) device to store your files.

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