Windows 10 – Guidelines for Configuring Devices for Networking and Sharing

Posted: December 24, 2019 in Windows 10
Tags: , , , , ,


A step by step guide to configuring Windows 10 devices for networking and sharing


  • This article is intended for end-users(consumers) of Windows 10 devices desiring to network devices and share folder(s)/files across networked devices
  • This article is applicable to Windows 10 Pro and Home Editions
        • The same method/guidelines can be applied to Windows 8.1 and Windows 7 editions and devices
  • Networking related topics and configuration covered in this article are:
    • Windows logon
    • Workgroup name
    • Computer name
    • Network Discovery (for file and printer sharing)
    • Shared Folders
    • Use of unique router assigned IP address
    • Windows Credentials
    • Security (SMBv1 File Sharing protocol vulnerability)

How To:

Guidelines for Standard Network Sharing:

  • All devices should have the exact same/common Windows logon user profiles. As an example if Britney has two devices(of any type – desktop and laptop or two desktops or two laptops etc.) then Britney should configure each device with the(her) exact same Windows logon profile using the exact same username and password(The Windows logon profile can be a Microsoft Account or a Local Account).
        • The same commonality would also apply in more than one user per device across those same two or more devices (e.g. Britney and Prince Windows logon profiles with same username/password on each device)
  • Change the Workgroup name on each device from the Windows default name ‘Workgroup’ to a name of your choice(Editor note: This is optional, but since everyone on the planet for at least the last three decades knows the default Windows workgroup name, imo it’s always a good idea to personalize it with your own workgroup name).  Also consider, for ease of use, change/personalize the device’s Computer Name to something that makes sense to you(Many pre-built OEM devices prename the device using an unrecognizable/cryptic name or the purchase order number or model number or an odd unrecognizable alphanumeric name)
  • Configure Network Discovery Sharing profiles identically in each and every Windows logon profile on each and every device.
      • Network Discovery has three separate network sharing profiles(Private, Guest or Public and All network)
        • Private => Network Discovery(On), Automatic Setup(On), File and Printer Sharing(On)
        • Guest or Public => Network Discovery(Off), File and Printer Sharing(Off) – If needed for some specific reason, it can be turned on but for most home networking ‘Off’ is recommended.
        • All Network => Public folder sharing(On), 128 bit encryption(On), Password Protected Sharing(On)
            • Note: In a home networking situation, if the current network sharing profile is shown as ‘Public’ then file and printer sharing is not possible. Changing the network sharing profile to ‘Private’ can be accomplished via Windows 10 Settings for your type of connection(Ethernet or WIFI; if using both, change both to Private)
                    • ==>  Settings/Network & Internet/Status/Change connection Properties
  • Create and share a designated folder on each device in each windows profile in addition to the Windows 10 provided ‘Public folders’ for sharing and accessing. Creating and sharing your own designated folder on each device provides a common, unique and additional location for saving and copying files across networked devices.  Other user profile specific folders that might be considered for sharing(e.g. Documents, Downloads, Pictures). 
  • Configure your router to assign the same(Static) IP address to each device on the network
  • Create and configure a Windows Credential with each device’s ‘computername’ in each Windows logon profile with the same common, identical Windows logon profile(username and password)

Editor Note: Some application software and hardware(e.g. Printers, Scanners, Routers, etc.) may still be using an older and deprecated file sharing protocol called SMBv1. SMBv1 was deprecated for security reasons related to Ransomware malware which spread using vulnerability in the SMBv1 protocol.  Windows 10 provides support for SMBv2 and SMBv3 – the current, secure and safer protocols, but in some cases SMBv1 is still necessary(even though not recommended) for some software/hardware.  Unless absolutely necessary SMBv1 should be disabled in Windows features.

          • Microsoft maintains web page on application software and hardware that is still using SMBv1 and can be found using the following url:


Dec 15 2019: Initial Draft Date

Dec 24 2019: Original Publish Date (Merry Christmas)

Feb 22 2020: Added Comments section; Corrected/changed formatting

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