Home Group How It Works

The simplicity of setting up and using HomeGroup belies its complexity. The basic sharing mechanism uses standard sharing protocols that have been part of Windows for many years. In short, HomeGroup grants share permissions and applies an access control entry (ACE) to each shared object allowing access to a group called HomeUsers . A password-protected account (which is required for accessing shared objects over a network connection) named HomeGroupUser$ is a member of HomeUsers, and acts as your proxy in accessing shared network resources . (In fact, even if your user account is password protected, HomeGroup still uses the HomeGroupUser$ account to connect to a remote computer instead of using your account, unless you select the Use User Accounts And Passwords To Connect To Other Computers option in Advanced Sharing Settings. For more information about this setting, see "Configuring Your Network for Sharing" on page 629.)

caution

Do not change the password for the HomeGroupUser$ account; doing so is a recipe for disaster. (Note that the account password is not the same as the homegroup password .)

But there's much more going on with HomeGroup . Creating or joining a workgroup creates the HomeGroupUser$ account and the HomeUsers group, and adds all local accounts to the group . HomeGroup setup also configures Windows Firewall. (Specifically, it enables certain rules in the Core Networking, Network Discovery, and HomeGroup groups . And for computers that are not joined to a domain, it enables rules in the File And Printer Sharing, Windows Media Player, and Windows Media Player Network Sharing Service groups.) In addition, it configures the HomeGroup Provider and HomeGroup Listener services . (Home-Group also relies on Function Discovery and several other networking services .)

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