• Set Up a Home Network for File Sharing

    Home » Forums » AskWoody support » Windows » Windows 10 » Windows 10-other » Set Up a Home Network for File Sharing


    Hi All,

    In another thread there was a lot discussion about how to set up a Home network to share files between PCs. I have read a lot of different methods that seem to do a lot more than I had to do to setup my network so I will share how I set my Home network up in the attached pdf file.

    This is a home network thru a router that each PC is connected to via Ethernet wire or Wi-Fi. Both Windows 10 Home and Windows 7 Home Premium are on the network and share files. On some PCs I have the whole drive set to share. This system has been stable (with occasional reset due to updates) for at least two years.

    I’m not saying this is the best or better than other setups. All I will say it works and I move files among the PCs at will from any of the PCs on the network.

    I offer as is.

    HTH, Dana:))


    HTH, Dana:))

    5 users thanked author for this post.
    Viewing 3 reply threads
    • #2426255

      USB via sneakernet is much more user friendly but Thanks for the info!

    • #2426372

      My experience, at that of others, is that depending on Windows to keep an inventory of PCs based on their name is a fools errand. To that end, I suggest assigning each computer a fixed IP address and using the IP address to find files on other computers. Its much simpler and simple things don’t break as often 🙂

      A fixed IP can either be set on the computer or in the router. The router is the better option for laptops that may want to connect to another network in the future. So, if you are going to use the router for handing out fixed IPs for laptops, might as well do it for all devices that hold a shared resource (printers too).

      Many routers default to a DHCP range of thru First change the lower range to start from and then use thru as fixed IPs on your LAN. How exactly this is done varies with the router.

      To bookmark an IP address in Windows explorer, first do Start -> Run and enter


      where is a fixed IP address on your LAN. In the Windows explorer window that opens up, drag the icon on the left of the address bar to the Windows desktop. Then rename it to  “susans PC” or “upstairs computer” or whatever.





      Get up to speed on router security at RouterSecurity.org and Defensive Computing at DefensiveComputingChecklist.com

      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #2426624

      The secret to getting a home peer to peer network working involves learning how to use DHCP and DNS on your router to assign addresses to your file share computers with their names.  I’ve tested this extensively since HomeGroups was removed from Windows 10 and have had 100% success with almost no pain.

      Requires a router that supports assigning a permanent DHCP address lease, and that has it’s own built in local DNS resolver that uses those leases to populate it’s internal DNS lookup table.

      On the file share machine running Win10 or 11: Make sure network settings are set to Private (not public!).  Turn on Network Discovery, and turn on File and Printer Sharing.  Create shares and set permissions to the Everyone group as desired (Read or Read/Write).

      On the router:  Find the DHCP settings admin panel, locate the file sharing computer (or enter it’s MAC address and give it a permanent IP assignment.  In DHCP settings set DNS to the Routers address (i.e. or whatever your gateway IP is.)  On the router set external DNS on your WAN setting to any public DNS resolver (I use or

      When you access that file share from another computer on your home or small office LAN, you can use the UNC address as expected:  \\computernamewithfileshare\filesharename

      This hint alone will be enough for network savvy home techs to get started.  I will start working on a more detailed explanation this week if work allows!

      ~ Group "Weekend" ~

      • #2426682


        I think my suggestion of fixed IP address is simpler and more widely available.

        Many routers offer the ability to give out fixed LAN-side IP addresses. In my experience, very few offer control over local DNS records. Certainly consumer routers do not offer this.

        Static IP addresses do not involve DHCP (simpler) other than the requirement that the two IP ranges not overlap.

        Why bother giving names to each device via router DNS? For file sharing, I have lived for years with a desktop shortcut to \\ and I rename the shortcut with the name of the device.

        I am no expert on the Windows side, but I doubt that Network Discovery is needed if devices have fixed IP addresses. So, simpler.

        External DNS in the router is off-topic.

        Get up to speed on router security at RouterSecurity.org and Defensive Computing at DefensiveComputingChecklist.com

        • #2426685

          Because what I’ve observed as being broken over the last couple of years is the P2P machine discovery over LAN’s.  It will work one day, then not the next.

          Local DNS fixes this, and many modern home routers with DHCP fixed lease settings automatically make entries binding the machine name to an address for those leases.  Easier to scale, you have one place to see all the IP addresses leases, no accidental IP conflicts when you let DHCP manage it for both static (Leased) and dynamic IP’s.

          Also: Static IP’s are hard to manage once you get beyond a few machines, and unless you want to address your file shares with IP addresses instead of their machine name, they keep losing one another.

          And the clincher for me, even if you use set-on-a-machine static IP’s, you need to set a lease for it in DHCP anyway so your router doesn’t give that address out to some other gadget on your network. (Or create an exemption range, and set your statics on each machine inside that range.)

          ~ Group "Weekend" ~

        • #2426686

          External DNS on the WAN settings of the router is most definitely on topic if you follow the advice I tried to give.

          Without that you will break the smooth transition of internal lookups (with the router being a local DNS server) to external Internet lookups (the router uses that setting to ask outside when it can’t find a matching request internally.)

          ~ Group "Weekend" ~

    • #2426811

      I did not do any of that fixed IP or the DHCP fixed lease and get 100% connection.  I found in my home situation that is was not the router finding PC that is the problem, it was the PC accepting the connection.

      I have each PC listed in the Quick Access bar of File Explorer.  One click on the PC Name and File Explorer instantly displays the drives and folders as if I selected a folder that is on the PC I’m using.  The only time I have a connection problem is when the PC I’m trying to connect to is off.  In my situation (your setup may be different) there is no need for those actions.  I do not have any extra hardware or software.   You can have dependable basic file sharing on a simple home network with the basic Windows settings I provided.  If your setup is not a simple home network maybe more may be needed.

      In a detail network trace, I found that the network finds the PC but the PC will not respond to the network contact.  If  the network is finding the PC, how is a fixed IP address or DHCP fixed lease going to help since the network has already found the PC?  The PC still has to allow the connection and fixed IP or DHCP fixed lease has nothing to do with the PC allowing a connection.



      HTH, Dana:))

      1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2426872

        On the PC that is found but not responding:

        Did you set the network settings to Private Network?

        Are you using any third party software firewall or native Windows Defender?

        ~ Group "Weekend" ~

        • #2426939

          That is what is in those instructions in the pdf.  I currently do not have any connection or sharing problems between the PCs.

          It was the Firewall that was Stealth blocking, which has settings now to allow only the PCs on my home network to connect.


          HTH, Dana:))

    Viewing 3 reply threads
    Reply To: Set Up a Home Network for File Sharing

    You can use BBCodes to format your content.
    Your account can't use all available BBCodes, they will be stripped before saving.

    Your information: