The HomeGroup feature allows both beginners and experienced system administrators to easily create networks of Windows-based computers connected via a local area network. These networks can operate without domain controllers (DC) and provide the ability to share resources such as printers and files. This option is primarily aimed at the mass consumer, but it can also be used by employees of small enterprises who do not have the support of IT specialists.
The Microsoft HomeGroup protocol is an open standard for peer-to-peer (P2P) networks, formed on the basis of the Web Services on Devices (WSD) protocol. The standard is used to publish and discover resources on local subnets without using client-server infrastructure. By using IPv6 P2P graphing technology in conjunction with the Peer Name Resolution Protocol (PNRP), computers get the ability to detect each other without the help of a DHCP version 6 server (DHCPv6).
When a user connects to a new home network, this activates a simple master program; if the program cannot detect any homegroup on the network, the user is offered to create a new homegroup to share some libraries, such as Documents and Videos. If the computer is included in the domain, the user can join the existing HomeGroup, if there’s any on the local network.
If you are looking for a more simple way to share printer, or just need to share the printer on Windows 10 - use the software from Electronic Team. FlexiHub is the best solution to share printer since in April 2018 HomeGroup feature was completely removed by Microsoft from Windows 10.
As I’ve already mentioned, the HomeGroup setup program allows users to share their files and devices with others. A more detailed configuration can be obtained by enabling the “Share with” option in the Windows Explorer. Also, you can select one or several folders and then disable the sharing function (by selecting Nobody from the "Share with" menu) or grant read-only access (Read) or read-write access (Read/Write). By default, read-only access rights are applied to library materials shared by members of home groups. If you decide to enable the Share with option to give users the right to read and write, do not forget that, in fact, users will receive the full set of Full Control permissions (which means, they will be able to delete files, among other things).
Now let’s see how to share printer with HomeGroup on Windows 7 with other users.
Before you start, make sure that the printer is attached to one of your local computers and is configured properly.
Then, launch the HomeGroup control panel app, Start -> type "homegroup" -> Enter.
Your next steps will depend on what will be shown in the HomeGroup window.
Scenario 1. The computer where the printer is connected physically is already added to a HomeGroup but the printer isn’t shared yet:
Scenario 2. There’s a HomeGroup on your local network but the computer with the printer attached to it is not a member of this group:
Scenario 3. You need to create a new HomeGroup:
Once, you've set up your new HomeGroup and shared your printer over LAN, other users can access the device remotely.
In case you share your printer using the HomeGroup feature, connecting to this device from other computers will be super easy. You just need to make sure that remote computers have joined your HomeGroup, all the rest will be done by Windows. Once a PC becomes a member of a HomeGroup, it automatically gets access to all devices shared from other PCs. That means your shared printer will just appear in the Devices and Printers windows of client computers.So the further work with shared printer will be the same as it was plugged in directly. But you can’t share printer with HomeGroup on Windows 10, so you should use the third-party software solution - FlexiHub. It will connect remote printer to your local machine just like it is located right next to you.