Solved Setting up a multi-user home network

March 20, 2014 at 10:55:57
Specs: Windows 8/ OSX
My school had it set up where you could get on any computer on the network and log-in to your user. I have a large family, and we want this same capability so we are not limited to using just one pc per person. That way, we can easily have all of our settings and transfer between each pc, while still using the same user. How would I go about setting this up, what type of hardware would I need, and would it be too expensive for the effort? Lastly, I would like to know if it would be better to do it on Macs or on PCs? Can it be done on both, or can one not handle it? Thank you for your help!

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March 20, 2014 at 11:54:10
It is a fairly easy thing to do. All you need is a four port router and cable to connect everything to the router. Most computers these days come with netwrok capabilities built in. The router will also enable every computer that is connected it to connect to the Internet.

It can be done on a Mac or a PC or a mixture of the two..

There is plenty of information here as how to do it.

However, when referring to a Home Network, it usually means a Peer to Peer Network and that is usually adequate for a home user. What your school probably has is domain network which is a lot more complicated, expensive and usually outside the scope of a home user, especially an inexperienced one.

A Peer to Peer network will allow you to share files across the netwrok but does not have the internal security and other things that a Domain netwrok has.


message edited by StuartS

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March 20, 2014 at 12:20:47
✔ Best Answer
Stuart hit the nail on the head. Most of us have taken post secondary education in order to do this stuff. This requires a significant expenditure of time and money. If you're sure you must have an Active Directory domain in your home you have three choices as I see it:
1) Take training
2) Hire a professional consultant
3) Hope you can find someone qualified to do it for you for free

1 and 2 cost money. 3 is not likely to happen, especially on a forum like this since trying to tell you all you'd need to know by typing or talking on the phone is just not going to work. Therefore, you need a simpler solution and your best bet and would be to use a "workgroup" setup in your home.

In a workgroup environment users can still log into all the different computers. It's just that settings for each computer (wallpaper etc) will be unique to each device and will have to be setup manually on each different device. Also, if you save a file to your "My Documents" folder on computer A, it will not be available on Computer's B, C, D, E and F by default. But, if you were to spend a few $$$ on a home NAS, you could map a network drive inside each user's account to a share on the NAS that only they have access to. If everybody saves their files to the mapped network drive (and in turn, onto the NAS) this would make saved files available to each user from every computer and would also afford security (ie: nobody else but someone with administrator level access on the NAS could get into your personal data).

This would still require some learning on your part but would greatly simplify the process and reduce the amount of info you'd have to learn. The instructions on how to things on the NAS would come with the NAS for instance.

It matters not how straight the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate;
I am the captain of my soul.

***William Henley***

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March 20, 2014 at 13:54:33
Thank you for your help. I was already considering setting up a NAS, but then considered setting up the computers as I had mentioned above, as that would be even better. However, if it is that difficult to set up what I have mentioned in my home, I will do as you say and set up an NAS in the house instead. I was also considering using a cloud storage service, and having everyone use that to access files. However, I am thinking that the NAS might be better due to the faster speeds and not having to worry about paying monthly or yearly fees, or syncing the computers, etc. Again, thank you for your help!

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