Connecting together laptop or desktop computers not only allows you to play multiplayer games with a friend, but can also be used to rapidly transfer files from one machine to another. Your router device can be used as a wired or wireless bridge between two machines, enabling them to communicate with each other for games and other applications.
Launch the Search charm by moving the mouse cursor to the top right corner of the screen (or swiping in from the right on a touch screen), then enter "Control Panel" as your search term. Select the "Control Panel" shortcut when it appears.
Click or tap "Network and Internet," then "HomeGroup" and "Create a HomeGroup" to begin connecting the computers on your local network.
Follow the steps on the wizard to configure the network connection as required. You can choose which files and hardware are shared with other devices on the same network. When you have configured the settings to your requirements, click "Next."
Copy down the automatically generated password. To connect another computer to the network, first it must be connected to the same router that you used to create the home group. In other words, it needs to be in the same location as you and connected to your internet.
Open Control Panel on the second machine and select "Network and Internet" tgeb "HomeGroup". The HomeGroup page should register that a HomeGroup has been established -- click the "Join" button, then enter the password and click "Next" to join.
You can change your password by changing the settings of your HomeGroup. On the computer that set up the network, go to "Network and Internet" in Control Panel then choose "HomeGroup" to access a series of options for customising your HomeGroup further, including changing the password to something more memorable.
Sometimes computers can take a few minutes to detect each other. If you have been waiting more than ten minutes, try rebooting your computers.
Apple Mac computers come with AirPort software which can create a local network that other Macs can connect to.
The steps above apply to Windows 8, the most recent version of the operating system as of July 2013. If you are using a different version of Windows, then the process may differ in some areas.