The Joy of the HomeGroup
You might have heard about this feature before: HomeGroups bring easy home networking back into Windows. No more complicated setup steps, transferring settings between computers on USB sticks and praying that the firewall configuration allows Joe’s PC to access Jane’s laptop.
I won’t reiterate everything that has already been said – the above link is an exhaustive explanation of what a homegroup is and how it works. Just wanted to share with you that I am using a homegroup at home between my 3 (and counting) machines running Windows 7, and that the sharing experience couldn’t be any more convenient. The integration into Windows Explorer is seamless, which is what makes it such a great deal:
And the nicest feature of all is that when I’m home, the HomeGroup node is part of the tree and when I’m not, it’s not – the same applies to library locations, the search interface and so on.
Another thing is that a homegroup works even on a domain-joined PC. E.g. my laptop is part of a domain, so other machines in my home can’t see the corporate documents, but the laptop can see outside and use all shared media, documents and information that are part of the homegroup.
This is highly convenient even for me, and I never had too much trouble configuring networking around my home. Imagine what an incredible feature this is for less computer-savvy users.