I decided to try Homegroups between a windows 7 and Windows 8 to see if this really does facilitate easier sharing, while still being secure. I will leave my judgement for later as I only just configured this. I ran in to issues where a house mate had his own Homegroup on the existing network and I could not see an option to create one, only to join the existing one.
Steps to create a new one:
- Open up the Homegroup options within the control panel.
- Disable the network adapter / disconnect the Ethernet cable.
- Enable the network adapter and be prepared to create a new Homegroup quickly when the options appears.
- When the create new Homegroup option appears and quickly enter a password, as it will fail if it has enough time to find the exisiting Homegroup.
- Follow the prompts to set up and then insert your password on the other computers in the network like normal and it should automatically find the matching Homegroup.