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INFO: What are Workgroups and HomeGroups?

Workgroup and HomeGroups are network types that allow computers to share files and resources over a network. So, what makes them different?

To start, HomeGroups are only allowed in Windows 7. In contrast, Workgroups are the standard method for networking in Windows 7, and they permit computers to share files, printers and other resources over a network. This can be done by changing the "Workgroup" setting on each computer within a local area network and choosing to share files and resources.

HomeGroups are a new feature to Windows 7 and is only compatible with other Windows 7 machines. They require that one computer within the LAN create a HomeGroup password for all of the other systems to use. From that point, all of the other computers need that password to connect to the HomeGroup. This password is a random series of upper case letters, lower case letters and numbers.

The primary difference between these methods of connection is that the HomeGroup is newly designed to be easier to use allowing automatic file sharing by category and resources when selected. You can use this feature by right-clicking on a file or folder gives you the option to share it to the HomeGroup.

Workgroups typically require security and sharing permissions under the properties for the file or folder, and sometimes are complicated and unreliable. For the average home user, a HomeGroup is an easier alternative to Workgroups.