Tips to connect more, share more in Windows 7 using Network & Sharing Center

Windows 7 is quite intelligent when it comes to connectivity methods and issues. The Network & Sharing Center is a central hub from where you can manage all your network connections and hardware devices such as wireless networks, local area networks, HomeGroup and Workgroups.

It is the place where you can check your connection status, view your network visually, and troubleshoot connection problems too!

The Network and Sharing Center informs you about your network and verifies whether your PC can successfully access the Internet—then summarizes this info in the form of a Network Map.

Here are some fast tips and tricks to connect more easily using features of Windows 7:

  1. Use Wizards to join easily: Use the Join Domain or Workgroup Wizard to easily join the corporate domain. The entire process is more secure than ever just enter your network credentials and within minutes, you’ve joined your workplace domain.
  2. Easy Remote control: With DirectAccess, you can connect to the corporate network without having to use a virtual private network (VPN). IT departments can use DirectAccess to administer remote PCs that are connected to the Internet. More about DirectAccess.
  3. Networking made easy: With Windows 7 using HomeGroup feature, you can set up secure home networks to share photos, files, and even printers. Click the Windows flag in the lower-left corner of the screen, type HomeGroup in the search box, and click the result. Start the HomeGroup Wizard, and choose what you want to share.
  4. Wireless setup is easier than ever: Start the Add a device wizard, type in the PIN and your device is automatically connected. Add printers, storage devices and even digital media players to your network in just a few steps.
  5. Going mobile easily: With Windows 7, it is simpler than ever to connect your computer to the Internet by using a wireless data card, no matter which cellular provider you use. Drivers for the data card are installed the first time you use it, and the process is similar to connecting to any other wireless network. 
  6. Faster, smoother data transfer: BranchCache in Windows 7 can help an enterprise reduce bandwidth use and increase responsiveness when accessing documents, Web pages, and videos stored on file servers and intranet sites that run Windows Server 2008 R2.

Now connect more, share more and do more with Windows 7!

Be a joiner. Use the Join Domain or Workgroup Wizard
to easily join the corporate domain. The entire process is
more secure than ever. Enter your network credentials,
and within minutes, you’ve joined your workplace
domain.
? Remote control. With DirectAccess, you can connect to
the corporate network without having to use a virtual
private network (VPN). IT departments can use
DirectAccess to administer remote PCs that are
connected to the Internet.
? Networking made easy. With Windows 7, you can set up
secure home networks to share photos, files, and even
printers. Click the Windows flag in the lower-left corner
of the screen, type HomeGroup in the search box, and
click the result. Start the HomeGroup Wizard, and
choose what you want to share.
? Look, no wires! Wireless setup is easier than ever with
Windows 7. Start the Add a device wizard, type in the
PIN, and your device is automatically connected. Add
printers, storage devices, and even digital media players
to your network in just a few steps.
? Going mobile. With Windows 7, it is simpler than ever to
connect your computer to the Internet by using a
wireless data card, no matter which cellular provider you
use. Drivers for the data card are installed the first time
you use it, and the process is similar to connecting to
any other wireless network.
? Faster, smoother data transfer. BranchCache™ in
Windows 7 can help an enterprise reduce bandwidth use
and increase responsiveness when accessing documents,
Web pages, and videos stored on file servers and
intranet sites that run Windows Server® 2008 R2.
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Nitin Agarwal is an MVP alumni and a Pro Blogger. He was awarded as Most Valuable Professional for 3 times by Microsoft in Windows Expert - Consumer category. He is immensely inspired by Bill Gates, Steve Jobs and APJ Abdul Kalam.