Setting up a home network

Here’s a list of equipment that you might want to consider when setting up a home network, from cameras to modems and storage.

What else would you add to this list?


I need help with what to do to replace Windows Homegroup which connected the devices at home. Microsoft abruptly removed it, and did not give any indication as to why or what to do to get around the gaping communications hole that they left. I have been researching, but nothing I have found so far works.

You will understand then how disappointed that this article is misnamed. It is actually “An explanation of the various bits of IT communications hardware you might need around your home”.

There is no “How to” in the article. A “How to” would be instructions on how to connect and configure the equipment.


Do you mean this?
We’re still hiding on 8.1!
There may be a work around if you still have at least one PC on the homegroup setup on an earlier version than 10.

Cautiously and with cynicism,
“Had MS done this to avert another security risk it has recently detected?”


Dang… Every machine is Windows 10. Thanks anyway Mark.

The incredibly stupid thing is that the Homegroup buttons are still there, but reading the MS Support site, they say the buttons no longer do anything. So why have them??


This article explains the official basis for removal of HomeGroups from Windows. It also discusses your options for replacing HomeGroups.

The official line is that it is not needed now that you can use ‘the cloud’. The reality is more likely to do with security. Microsoft also stated in relation to the original plan to remove HomeGroups that existing groups would not be affected. Given that HomeGroups were to be removed in March 2018, maybe they decided in the latest feature update (September [cough] 2018) that everyone who used them must have migrated by now so they’re safe to delete entirely?

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Some people can use the cloud!

Of course this requires you uploading and downloading data over the internet. It also fits neatly with the online subscription versions of office, adobe etc.

That should be reason enough to explain why this might not be such a perfect solution for the 20+% of Australian homes who will never have a genuine broadband outcome. It also ignores the nearly 50% of us that still cannot connect to the NbN and are stuck mostly on ADSL based services.

Microsoft Windows HomeGroups made home networking about as simple as it could be short of exposing all devices, resources and data to the whole network without restriction. It is easy to see why it had a following. We used it for a while too!

We stopped relying on HomeGroups when the first Linux and Apple devices came into our household.

Our solution since has been to only purchase network capable printers, Ethernet port equiped as a minimum. While we may need to install the drivers and supporting software on each device, if the op system used by a device is supported then you can print or scan etc.

We have used a NAS drive for storage which also enables files to be shared locally. It keeps the data local while providing a single place and common tools for managing access. Most commercial NAS products now also provide for attaching printers etc.

Each attached device also has a dedicated external disk drive for backup. Between a Fetch and smart TV with network connection we seem to get by, although there is still a need to use the cloud to move stuff to and from Apple.

Some critical stuff is also backed up remotely to the cloud, however it can take a while, even with the smarts built into Dropbox.

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That seems right, as it worked and probably around then it suddenly stopped. I wasn’t aware it was on the chopping block, and looked for LAN related issues to start with. It was only after eliminating all other problems that I delved further on the MS Support site.

The frustration is I don’t want to store data out in the ether ( :cloud: ). I want to pass files around my LAN, and want to keep it secure from outside.

A NAS (Network Attached Storage) is similar to an external USB drive, (on steroids). Instead of attaching to a PC the NAS attaches directly to your home network most commonly using an Ethernet cable to any spare router port. The simplest NAS hold just a single disk drive. Typical home NAS boxes will have room for two or up to four hard drives. Each NAS has it’s own CPU and memory, with the more powerful able to provide DLNA services, transcode video and much more.
(no need for access to an external cloud service, data is password protected, you can choose who has access to folders as well as provide separate folders for each user).

Three easy NAS options:
All come with the software already installed in the NAS device, so no Windows install pains.
I can’t offer first hand experience of the particular models as I’ve used a much older Maxtor/Seagate device.

Western Digital - Off the shelf just ready to go.

The following two brands usually get good reviews of their operating software but typically require you to purchase hard drives to install separately and install them in the housing. Not that hard, slightly more complex than changing a light bulb.
Synology, Qnap
you will also find Netgear, Thecus, Seagate/Maxtor.


Thanks for the info. I have a PC in my LAN which is used as a NAS. The actual storage is not the problem.

To clarify let me give give you an example. We take photos and I download them onto my laptop where I cull & edit them. The wife woman, from her laptop, then goes through the photos to name & sort them as she wants into folders. She then sends photos of the family to my mother’s laptop so my mother can enjoy watching them as a screen saver. The photos are then moved from my laptop to be stored on our NAS PC.

This could be easily done via homegroup without having to making a folder’s ‘access’ setting ‘everyone’.


In computer and engineering discussions that is often referred to as the ‘spousal unit’ :wink:


Also known as command and control.


She who must be Obeyed!

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As if there was any doubt that the ruling elite of the Community were nearly all male.


I now wonder with a future full of even more integrated and all seeing home networks full of AI, if the AI will also choose to take on a persona based on the previous perceptions? Which characteristics of persona will ensure supremacy for the network? :triumph:

HAL it may not be, Windows utopia home Mk2 a remote chance that will promise you the world and then let you down as usual, or is the neurotic persona of Holly as depicted in Red Dwarf closer to what might be? :crazy_face:

Nothing to setup here? :rofl:

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@meltam, thank you for the feedback, I’ll be sure to raise this issue with our content teams.

@syncretic We don’t collect individual demographic data unless people share their personal details. Our analytics indicate there is a close 50/50 male female split. It’s very important to us to have female representation here on the Community and diversity is a key issue at CHOICE in general.


Crazy question: do you take those photos on your phone? If you use an Android phone, you can set it to automagically upload them to Google Photos - and in fact I suspect this is the default setting. You can share these with anyone else who has a Google account, through the settings. They are accessible on any device that can log into Google, and you can have them automatically saved to your desktop/laptop/favoured device.

Of course, this relies upon that ether you are trying to avoid.

They are simply acknowledging that they know their place.

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No we don’t use Android. We use cameras and phones.

And I don’t like “clouding” my personal data including photos. I prefer to keep that stuff close, where I have (some) control.


You can make shares of folders and items. It may be easier to create on each machine a password protected user make it the same name on each machine so easier to identify and then use that account to sign into the share from the other machine. If you trust your network you can disable password protected sharing but it in my opinion isn’t ideal. If you need further help I am happy to PM about it.

From file explorer you can once you have shared a folder map that folder to a shortcut on the machine you want to access it from.

Also just in case this might be your problem check that “Network discovery and file sharing” is turned on

Symlinks can also work for you but it still needs the folder or item shared first.


I have tried setting share, but that didn’t work.

I will have a look at your suggestion on creating a new password protected user account.

Your offer is appreciated. :blush:

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