Network Discovery is new feature in Windows Vista and if you enable this feature, your Vista computers can see and discover other computers, other computers will be able to see this Vista computer as well. After enabling this feature, the discovered network devices will be displayed in Network Map. I like this feature because it visualizes how my network devices connected to each other.
Here is the method to enable network discovery:
1) Go to Start and right click on Network and then click Properties.
2) Network and Sharing Center window will appear, expand the Sharing and Discovery section and click Turn on network discovery, then click Apply. After that click View full map to see all connected network devices.
Note: Windows cannot create the network map if you set the network location type to Public. The network map can only be viewed if you set its network location type as Private.
3) Network Map window will appear. There are 2 types of map can be displayed:
Local Area Connection – Select this option if this Vista computer is connected to network using network cable. In this case, Vista computer (test-pc) is connected to home network using straight network cable.
Note: If your gateway/router is having switch feature built-in, the network map will display the switch as additional device.
Note: If you click on those computers, the computer will show you the shared folder/pinter.
Wireless Network Connection – Select this option if this Vista computer is connected to home network wirelessly. In this case, Vista computer (test-pc) is connected to network wirelessly.