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Connecting my work laptop to my home network

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Connecting my work laptop to my home network

I recently bought a wireless 3COM OfficeConnect ADSL router and connected my desktop to the first hard-wired ethernet point. While it took a while to get the connection working (I'm a networking novice) it now seems to work (although the connection drops from time to time). I don't have a network server, just two desktops (one now with a wireless card that hasn't been fitted yet).

At work I have a wireless laptop. It is wirelessley connected to my work domain so that I can get access to the network servers.

When I brought my laptop home to connect to my new wireless home network I experienced a problam that I haven't been able to fix. I can see the internet via the wireless link, but I can't get access to any of the network computers (e.g. for transferring files from the laptop to the desktop).

I have set up file sharing on the relevant directories, and the laptop can see the network (the name appears in "network places") but I can't access anything below the network name.

Looking through the help system (yes, I've sunk that low!) it says that every computer should be in the same workgroup. However, the laptop is part of a domain group and not a work group and, if I change it, it stops me logging in to my laptop except as an administrator.

Has anyone had similar experiences and found a solution?
15 REPLIES
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The problem of workgroup verses domains

Hello,
I think the problem you are facing is the difference that relates to domains verses workgroups and how security is implemented. The problem you have is that at the moment your work laptop is configured specifically to log you into your works or companies domain. The primary or domain server at your work place will hold your domain user account & all its details (or within the active directory if it uses one).

However if you try and log into your home network, being a workgroup it doesnt recognise this network configuration and secondly because there is no primary server in your workgroup it cannot find your domain account (if that makes sense!!). A workgroup is a very different network design & configuration.

Perhaps one way around your problem might be to investigate setting up your home network also as a domain. This would require one machine to be setup as a server and for the purposes of creating a domain, it would also then hold your home domain user account and then you would be able to login at home to eventually. So to summarise in the end the outcome/result would be that you would have x2 domians one at work and one at home with a different name but it would be technically easier for you to move between the two domains. You would have x2 different domain user accounts with different usernames & passwords.

Hope I havent confused you completely it does get abit technically complex trying to describe all this but this would offer you a workable solution for the longer term if you chose this path.

**You need compatible network types with compatible network security structures to make life simpler for you.

Hope this helps?

Ivan
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Connecting my work laptop to my home network

You should put your home PCs into a WORKGROUP with the same name as the DOMAIN used by your work machine.

On each of the home PCs, you should set up a user account with the login name and password exactly the same as the login and password you use on the work machine.
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Dont do the above!!

Hi,

I strongly disagree with "Task" DONT DO THE ABOVE as it will only really confuse matters. Workgroups & Domains are destinct and different network entities as I understand it. Or at the very least if you insist on having a workgroup keep the names completely different, as this is where the problems will get very sticky if you create a workgroup with the same name.

**If you do as task states your system or yourself wont know if your login to the business / work domain or your home workgroup, if for no other reason other than to prevent this confusion keep the names & identities seperate and different.

**Even if you where to create x2 domains I would still advise that you keep the names of your domains different to prevent this confusion.

**Your Laptop machine has to differentiate between a workgroup and a domain, OK nothing wrong with this but having x2 domains would make life a whole lot easier for you. Bear in mind user accounts in a domain are quite different from user accounts held in a workgroup environment.

**Domains seem to be the prefered network configuration in my experience amongst business's I have seen very few small business's that use workgroups these days.

Ivan
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Connecting my work laptop to my home network

Ivan,

taking into account what you said, Tasks solution does work, and is by far the easiest way to solve the connection issue,

as another solution if they are 2000/XP based machines, turning on the guest account will allow access to the machines, but it much less secure than tasks suggestion

Darren
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Connecting my work laptop to my home network

So, poor old task gets taken to task yet again. It's a hard life!

In my defence, I offer some quotes from Using Samba (the Open Source version of SMB Networking ["Windows Networking"]):

Quote
Ch.1 -- Learning the Samba[/url]"]
A workgroup is a group name tag that identifies an arbitrary collection of computers and their resources on an SMB network.

...

The peer-to-peer networking model of workgroups functions fairly well as long as the number of computers on the network is small and there is a close-knit community of users. However, in larger networks the simplicity of workgroups becomes a limiting factor. Workgroups offer only the most basic level of security, and because each resource can have its own password, it is inconvenient (to say the least) for users to remember the password for each resource in a large network. Even if that were not a problem, many people find it frustrating to have to interrupt their creative workflow to enter a shared password into a dialog box every time another network resource is accessed.

To support the needs of larger networks, such as those found in departmental computing environments, Microsoft introduced domains with Windows NT 3.51. A Windows NT domain is essentially a workgroup of SMB computers that has one addition: a server acting as a domain controller.

...

Note that in many aspects, the behaviours of a Windows workgroup and a Windows NT domain overlap.

...

The similarity between workgroups and NT domains is not accidental because the concept of Windows domains did not evolve until Windows NT 3.5 was introduced, and Windows domains were forced to remain backward-compatible with the workgroups present in Windows for Workgroups.

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Replying

Hi,
My suggestion was make with the idea to keeping life as simple as possible for someone who is NOT a network technician or experienced network user. Having x2 domains I think would achieve a level of simplicity & similarity and the user would feel more comfortable. They would then have x2 domain user accounts both held on primary domain servers. The laptop boot up & login would then offer the user the choice of which domain do you wish to login to.

I'm just suggestion domains as I think it would reduce the complexity of a network that would otherwise become far more complex if a workgroup with the same name was added.

Goude knows networking for a person relatively new to the subject seems complex enough but I cannot see why making things more complex will help or add to a users interest or enthusiasm. Quite the opposite.

Ivan
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Connecting my work laptop to my home network

Ivan,

are you suggesting that a novice user wants or needs a domain for a basic home networkHuh thats absurb. Tasks suggestion is simple easy to implement and gets the desired results without too much work involved.

lets not get into how someone will get there business laptop as a member of there domain, without domain trusts being involved either one way or two way.

Darren
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Re: Replying

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The laptop boot up & login would then offer the user the choice of which domain do you wish to login to.


Does Windows offer such a feature? I thought the "Logon to" Selector box (the third entry field of the logon screen on a domain-enabled PC) gives you two choices: Log on to the domain, or log on to the PC itself. That's it, no choice of domains. In the former, you use your domain account (ie either validated by a domain controller for the given domain, or if it times out because one cannot be found, a copy of the domain account, if there is one, stored on the local PC (with this choice, you are logging on to the domain). With the latter you use an account on the local PC (with this choice you are logging on to the PC).

I think this is what the "BoSs" / Darren was saying, albeit in a much more sophisticated way!
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Re: Replying

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[Does Windows offer such a feature? I thought the "Logon to" Selector box (the third entry field of the logon screen on a domain-enabled PC) gives you two choices: Log on to the domain, or log on to the PC itself. That's it, no choice of domains

You can have more than one domain. All computers at uni (XP Pro, although NT4 and Windows 2000 offered the same) offer "STUDENTS", "STIRLAN", "CS", "<COMPNAME> (This Computer)" and at least one other. Windows 98 let you type in the domain from memory (its about 3 years since I last used 98 on a domain'ed network)
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Connecting my work laptop to my home network

That's interesting -- I wasn't aware of that.

Is that what comes by virtue of setting up trust relationships between domains?
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Connecting my work laptop to my home network

Don't ask me - I just know that one username needs Students and the other needs CS :lol:
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Connecting my work laptop to my home network

Oh, so it looks like I'll have to find out myself, then!

If I can be bothered, that is. Perhaps I'll just stick to SNA networks. Much more sensible than all this Windows stuff!
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Connecting my work laptop to my home network

SNA?

I'll try and ask one of the Computing Support guys tomorrow if I can catch them in a good mood Wink
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Connecting my work laptop to my home network

Machines can only be members of 1 domain, but if trusts exist between domains (gets complicated if we start talking one way and two way trusts) users on a a domain trusted by the domain that the computer belongs to can log onto the machine even though the machine is part of another domain, unless the account has been restricted to what computers its allowed to be logged on to

this is gettting far more complicated than the original question, which Tasks answer was what i would recommend Smiley

I can go into this in a bit more depth if required, I hope what i have writen above makes sense

Darren