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Communication between computers is essential for file and resources sharing. Viewing, editing, and sharing files becomes easy making collaborative work effective. When computers on the same network are trying to communicate with each other, they must have access to a list of parameters, passwords, etc. There are numerous ways computers can communicate with each other on a network when the access is enabled by making changes to the network settings. 

Enabling Network Discovery

No matter which version of Windows you are running, you can make these changes to enable computers to access the network and other resources of computers and devices connected to the network. Follow these steps to enable Network Discovery. This is a guide for Windows 10 to enable this option. 

  1. Click on File Explorer
  2. Paste this path in the location bar so it instantly opens the settings window
  3. Pathname: Control Panel\ Network and Internet \Network and Sharing Center
  4. Click on Change Advanced Sharing Settings visible on the left-side of the column
  5. Under Network Discovery, Click the option ‘Turn On Network Discovery’
  6. Click the checkbox with the option ‘Turn On Automatic Setup of Network Connected Devices
  7. Click on Save Changes and Close button

Accessing Computers On A Network

The first step was to make your computer visible on the network. It follows these steps to access files and other resources on the computers connected to the same network. 

  1. Click on File Explorer
  2. Click on ‘Network’ in the Navigation Panel
  3. You find all the computers connected to the network
  4. Double click the computer you want to access
  5. You will be prompted to enter the Username and Password
  6. User folders and files are displayed on the selected computer
  7. The only files you can access are in the public folder. Not other drives on the selected computer will be accessible

In The Linux Environment

Your home network might not be as safe as you might think. Whether you have more than one computer running on a home network or you want to know if someone is leeching into your network, these are the ways to find out and access the files you want to. 

Install nmap

The nmap command scans the network in Windows as well as the Linux environment. This is the command that provides a lot of information about the devices, computers, and resources available in the network that your computer is connected to. 

The general syntax of running the nmap command is

nmap -O target.host.com

It differs for various Linux environments and distributions. You need root privileges to execute this command. It shows the ports that are open and closed. It provides information about the O.S running, its version, MAC address, etc.

If you want to know what is on your network, you can run the following command. Different nmap commands provide information about single or multiple hosts and the list of services running on the host systems.

nmap -sP IPaddress range

These commands when executed let you see how many computers and devices are connected to your network. It is easier to perform a deeper scan and know detailed information of the resources and data available on the computers and devices connected to your home network. 

Conclusion

It is essential to take adequate security audits when you are connected to a home network. Though it comes with a lot of advantages, there are security pitfalls you could deal with. These commands let you know the resources and files you can access from the computers connected to your home network environment. They are easy to navigate and execute. File and resource sharing becomes easy, for instance, printing a file from a computer on your network. 

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