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[WIN8] Homegroup

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#1 Dot Matrix

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Posted 04 November 2012 - 19:55

Has anyone here been using Homegroup? I'm looking into setting it up for my devices, but I live in a house of 5, and have room mates running Windows XP boxes.

Before I setup a Homegroup, I wanted to ask about the privacy viability of running it. Will they be able to see my devices via the network and get into them, or will everything be private? I really don't want them getting into my devices.

Thanks.


#2 skilithead

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Posted 04 November 2012 - 20:04

It's up to you what you share , and you can set a password for your group . Here's a little info from the source : http://windows.micro...b1&v2h=win7tab1 . According to my understanding , Homegroup doesn't exactly work with XP .

#3 Eric

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Posted 04 November 2012 - 20:06

It asks you what you want to share with the group when you set it up. Devices, Documents, Videos, Music and Pictures.

#4 OP Dot Matrix

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Posted 04 November 2012 - 20:16

It asks you what you want to share with the group when you set it up. Devices, Documents, Videos, Music and Pictures.


I see that, but is it shared with the whole network, or just between devices running on the Homegroup? I thought I've seen somewhere that Homegroup opened up your device to the whole network. I just wanted to make sure it didn't.

#5 ~Johnny

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Posted 04 November 2012 - 20:22

As well as being password protected, you can also choose which user accounts that are part of the homegroup that you want to share your content with. There can only be one homegroup on the network, but even so people can still hide their stuff from each other if they want.

I see that, but is it shared with the whole network, or just between devices running on the Homegroup? I thought I've seen somewhere that Homegroup opened up your device to the whole network. I just wanted to make sure it didn't.


Just between devices that you have allowed to join the homegroup (via the password), and even then you can restrict it to only the accounts on those machines that you've chosen to allow to view that content.

#6 skilithead

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Posted 04 November 2012 - 20:22

Only those people who belong to the homegroup can see shared libraries and devices. You can choose to share libraries, devices, or individual files and folders with specific people in your homegroup or with everyone.

#7 OP Dot Matrix

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Posted 04 November 2012 - 20:34

Ok, so it's setup, but I am still able to access my homegroup folders via a non-homegroup device. Hell, I can get into folders that are set not to be shared. How the eff-? This is secure?

EDIT: Looks like my sharing settings are open. Turned those off, now testing again...


EDIT 2: Great. Now that my file sharing is turned off, the Homegroup was killed. So how the **** is Homegroup secure when my PCs are broadcasting in bright neon signs across the network to my room mate's PCs? I don't get it?

#8 thenetavenger

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Posted 04 November 2012 - 21:35

Ok, so it's setup, but I am still able to access my homegroup folders via a non-homegroup device. Hell, I can get into folders that are set not to be shared. How the eff-? This is secure?

EDIT: Looks like my sharing settings are open. Turned those off, now testing again...


EDIT 2: Great. Now that my file sharing is turned off, the Homegroup was killed. So how the **** is Homegroup secure when my PCs are broadcasting in bright neon signs across the network to my room mate's PCs? I don't get it?


This is not how it works by default. You have some really goofy things going on.

Homegroup has three levels of sharing/security and three contexts of sharing. It is designed to be easy, so you are not exposing stuff to people that do not have permission.

First clean up your security:

Kill the Homegroup on all the computers. (Leave homegroup)

If there are any locations that are still appearing on other machines - go to the system where the folder exists, right click on it, and select: Share with - Stop Sharing (Share with - Nobody on Windows 7)

Do this until there is nothing being shared or visible from other machines.

Next recreate a new Homegroup and only share the libraries you want other PEOPLE to be able to see.

If you want to 'share' additional things for ONLY yourself to see, then right click on that folder or library, and Select - Share with - Specific People - Add your login name, and set what level of permissions you want to have.

Using the 'Share with' option when right clicking you can easily 'Add' or 'Remove' any location for other HomeGroup or specific users to see, and what level of access they get.

This is what makes Homegroup simple, as you can publically share things, like a family would in a 'Home' and all anyone has to do is join the Homegroup to gain access.

Homegroup also facilitates the sharing of Printers and Devices as well. So you can setup a Homegroup and literally only Share Printers, giving everyone access to your printers, but nothing else.

Homegroup is also where you can control your media sharing options. For example DLNA type sharing to Media devices, Xbox, PS3, etc. You can allow or block each device on your network specifically.


With Windows security systems, setting up shared folders can be a bit much or a non-tech person because it includes several layers of security, even when using the 'simple' GUI contexts of File sharing permissions and File/Folder permissions.. (Basically it is taking care of: Kernel tokens, user account, ACLs, NTFS File/Folder permissions, network sharing permissions and firewall exceptions.)

The Sharing Wizard (Share with) and Homegroup makes this far, far easier and ensure the security is right as well.


I hope this helps out a bit. The best thing is you can always dump Homegroup (As I suggest above, and start again, or adjust specific files and folders using the Share with option. (Even if you have shared your entire picture library with your friends, if there is a folder inside it that you do not want other people to see, right click on it and select: Share With - Stop Sharing.)

#9 OP Dot Matrix

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Posted 04 November 2012 - 21:47

Goofy things, but this is all on default settings. I will give this a try, thank you.

#10 OP Dot Matrix

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Posted 06 November 2012 - 13:34

Ok, so I'm still confused, I removed all sharing permissions, but when I go to Share > Specific People, I don't see my user name on the other PC listed. Nor is there any way to search or link to it.

All I want to do is share a folder safely and securely across the network, without it being open to the entire network. The archaic nature of the sharing options makes this hard to figure out.