It’s a common situation in any home or small office with several computers – the people on each computer need to access files on other computers. Often the most intuitive way to go forward for many people is to do it with a thumb drive or portable hard drive. If the files in question are small enough, they will even try to use email to get it to the computer in the next room. Of course, it occurs to them that they could simply access other computers by connecting them all to a network.
Many people, though, have an aversion to the way Windows networking has tended to complicate matters in the past. As recently as Vista, Windows computers were reputed to be extremely difficult to get to talk to one another. Fortunately, today, there are plenty of easy ways available to transfer files among computers that aren’t complicated.
The Windows HomeGroup
If both your computer and the computer that you wish to access over a LAN network run Windows 7 or 8, getting both on the same Windows HomeGroup is one of the fastest ways of getting files from one computer to the other.
Many people hate the very term Windows HomeGroup the moment they hear it – it sounds like the complicated Windows Workgroup from past versions of Windows. The new HomeGroup that you find on Windows 7 and 8, though is exceedingly simple to use. You just need to look up simple instructions on how to create a HomeGroup, put both your computer and other computer that you wish to share files with on it and get going with your file sharing. Even putting a new computer on the HomeGroup is easy. You just need to plug it into your network and give enter the right password.
If you need to keep each computer at your office caught up with all of the latest developments on any other computer, you could try BitTorrent Sync. Using BitTorrent Sync doesn’t require you to upload your files to the cloud or anywhere else. Your information stays within your small network of computers. You don’t need to use your Internet bandwidth.
To use BitTorrent Sync, you just needsto install the program on all the computers that you need synced together. Once the program is installed, each BitTorrent Sync installation generates a password called its secret . Every computer with BitTorrent Sync that applies the password gets an up-to-date copy of the file on the source computer. There are no file permissions or user accounts to set up. Anyone with a copy of BitTorrent Sync and the password is good to go.
Dropbox LAN Sync
Most people only think of Dropbox as a cloud storage service. Mention sharing files through Dropbox, and they think that you are talking about loading files from one computer to the cloud then downloading them on the other computer. This, of course, is a slow, inefficient and and illogical way to go about sharing files between computers that are close to one another.
This is why Dropbox has something called Dropbox LAN Sync. When you install the program on a group of connected computers, it helps all of them stay synced up.