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 What's next after I've installed my home network? After you have installed and configured your home network hardware, the next step is to configure Windows to share folders and printers. This enables you to take full advantage of your home network.

Sharing printers

Sharing printers over your home network, allows you to save money and use your hardware more efficiently. You may want a higher-quality photo printer in a central location for printing the family photos taken with your digital camera, a laser printer in your home office, and less-expensive color printers in the kids rooms for school reports. By sharing printers, each person on the network has access to the best printer for his or her purposes.

Sharing folders

When you have configured Windows to share folders, you can share photos, documents, graphics, digital home videos, and other types of files with each computer on your home network. After you've downloaded all your digital photographs from the Holidays or your latest vacation to your computer's hard drive, you can set the folder up for sharing and allow the members of your household to choose their favorite photos and copy them to their computers. Each person on your network can decide which photos to print, which to use in personal slide shows of the trip, and which to add to a scrapbook.


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