Solutions to computer connection problems and network resource sharing
The network topic is perhaps the most complex in computer science together with the security chapter. To imagine a computer network, you can think of a group of computers connected to each other by cables to exchange data and share resources, with a router that catalogs them, identifies them and acts as a gateway to go outside. What can we do when suddenly the network or one of its elements stops working? We will be able to solve by trying to modify some items at the operating system level or we will have to try to solve the problems by changing something at the hardware level (sometimes the problem that you carried on for hours could depend only on one cable!).
Let’s see together all the steps to try to be able to resolve network and connection problems on any home or business network, so you can get back to work quickly.
READ ALSO: Solve Internet and network connection problems on the PC
How to solve network software problems
To start we can try to change some network settings within the operating system, so as to make it “visible” again and work on the other devices on the same network.
- Network share control: on Windows 10 let us take the path Control panel -> Network and Internet -> Network connection center and sharing and click Change advanced sharing settings. From here we select the type of network to which we are connected and place a checkmark in the items Enable network discovery, Activate the automatic configuration of the devices connected to the network is Enable file and printer sharing. Finally, let’s get to the section All networks and we activate the voices Use 128-bit encryption, Disable password protected sharing (to facilitate access to shared folders) and finally to Enable sharing to allow reading and writing of public folder files to all users with access to the network.
- Control settings Workgroup: to connect all the computers and devices between them, we will have to check on each device if they are configured to work in the same workgroup. The name of the workgroup must be exactly the same on every computer, even if it is case-sensitive.
We can set the workgroup by going into Control panel -> System and clicking Displays the computer name come on Change settings (next to the item Computer name).
On PCs with Windows the default workgroup is WORKGROUP. If the name is different or not present at all, make sure that it is entered, as shown above, then restart the PC for the changes to take effect.
- Permissions to shared folders: In the computer resources we find the section Network, where we can find all the folders we shared with the network and all the other PCs visible. If any other computer has problems accessing our files, we will have to change the permissions of the shared folder by right-clicking on the folder, selecting Property, bringing us to the card Sharing and clicking Share. In the new window, we click on the text field at the top and type Everyone, so we click on add and set read permissions or read and write permissions for the user at the bottom. We click on Share to correct the permissions and permissions of the shared folder. In this regard, we can deepen the topic by reading the guide on how Share folders on a private network on Windows 10.
- Correct IP addresses and the address of the Subnet Mask: You should not have this problem if all computers are connected to the same router, but it is better to check in case of problems related to IP. We will have to make sure that the Subnet Mask and the Default Gateway are the same for all computers. If these are not the same, you have problems connecting the computers on the network. You can view this information by opening the Start menu, looking for Command Prompt and, within it, write Ipconfig / All. If something does not coincide, we continue reading in the guide Set a fixed and static IP on Windows PC to solve the problem.
- Check local security policies: Another reason why you might not be able to access another computer through the network is because of local security policies.
These can be seen by opening the Start menu and searching Administrative tools, then taking us on the path Local security policies -> Local policies -> Security options.
From here, we need to look for the following criteria: Network access: do not allow anonymous enumeration of SAM accounts and shares; after finding this criterion, let’s make sure the value is set to disable.
Also, let’s make sure we just disable the setting that says “SAM accounts and shares” and not what he just says”SAM account“.
- Check the Windows Firewall: even the Windows firewall could prevent communication between the PCs on the network. If we do not know what modification or rule blocks file sharing, we can quickly restore the Windows firewall to the original settings by opening the Start menu, looking for Windows Defender Firewall with advanced security and, in the new window, by clicking on Restore default policy (in the right part of the window).
- Eliminate COM protections between networked PCs: here we go a little on the technical and I don’t think it is necessary but, I mention it because it is explained step by step in another article and, if arrived up to here, it has not yet been solved, it may be that there is this problem.
How to resolve network problems at the hardware level
Have we tried them all but the connection problem is not solved? Perhaps the problem is hardware in nature and concerns the modem, the router or the cables used for the connection.
- Ethernet cables: problems are often caused by poor quality or damaged Ethernet cables, which therefore prevent the use of the connection and access to shared resources. We can replace worn and old cables with high-quality cables, like the one available here -> UGREEN Cat 7 Ethernet cable (various lengths starting from 7 €).
- Ethernet switch: if we have a switch for a long time, maybe we need to change it to a newer and more efficient one, like the one available here -> TP-Link TL-SG108 Switch 8 Gigabit Ports (22 €).
- Additional Ethernet network card: if it is the computer’s Ethernet port that is causing problems, we can replace it with an internal component like the one offered here -> UGREEN PCI Express Gigabit Ethernet Network Card 1000 Mbps Full Duplex with RJ45 Port (12 €).
- Router: even if the router is upset or restarts suddenly, we can examine a new router by choosing from those available in our guide to Which Wifi Router to buy for the wireless network.
READ ALSO: Solutions to wifi and router connection problems
By carefully following all the instructions and recommendations in this guide, you will brilliantly solve all the problems of connection between PCs and the sharing of folders within a home or company LAN.
In another article we have collected several diagnostic programs, tests, and control of internet connections, to be used only if the suggestions proposed have not solved the network problem.
In other guides we can finally find:
– How to create a home network with Windows (folders, printers, files, etc.)
– Create a computer LAN network at home or in the office