Network and Sharing Center 101
Network and Sharing Center is Windows 7's "one-stop shop" for virtually everything that's network-related, including setup, configuration, mapping, and troubleshooting. The top of the Network and Sharing window's right pane (Figure 3) displays the status of your network connection. In Figure 3, the connection between the PC and the Internet is working properly.
Figure 3 The rignt pane of Windows 7's Network and Sharing Center. .
The right pane also lists your network type, access type, whether the computer is part of a HomeGroup (a new secure network type only for Windows 7 computers), and connection type. Use the bottom of the right pane to set up a new connection or network, connect to an existing network, set up homegroup and sharing options, or troubleshoot problems.
The left pane (Figure 4) provides links to Control Panel, adapter settings, advanced sharing settings, HomeGroup, Internet Options, and Windows Firewall.
Figure 4 Windows 7's Network and Sharing Center (left pane).
As you can see, the Network and Sharing Center puts all of the networking pieces in much easier reach than in Windows XP, but before we look at setting up network options, let's find out how to troubleshoot a connection problem.