I've been networking since the Windows 98 days. At first, it was just a direct cable connection from computer to computer using a crossover cable. Then I bought a hub, or I thought. One day I took a closer look at the name and the specs and I realized I had a GNET 5 port switch.
Right now I'm using a router from Eastlink, my ISP. Like many people, my networking experience has been so so. Sometimes it works sometimes it doesn't. If I turn off my computers and turn them on again when I try to connect to my Windows 7 computer from my Windows 10 computer I can't get connected. Some error about the path not being found. But I usually have no problem connecting from my Windows 7 computer first.
Then within a few minutes, I can then connect from Windows 10. There have been times I couldn't connect at all and that is when I experimented with a crossover cable.
If you are going to network using only wires joining two computers, you need a crossover cable. An ordinary network wire will not work.
I don't plan to use this has my primary network. I use my older computers as backups for my main one. And there is nothing more frustrating than trying to back up on your network that's just not there anymore.
So I shut down both computers. Unplug the network wires. I hooked my Acer (Win7) computer to my Asus (Win10) computer. Then turn them on to see if I can access the shared files/folders.
Both computers when turned on recognized an Unidentified network with No Internet.
I tried to connect from Win 10 to Windows 7 first. File Explorer in Windows 10 showed my Acer but treated it as a media player shortcut. Windows Media Player is what opened when I tried to access it.
I went to my Acer and got a prompt at the top of Windows Explorer to turn on Network discovery. So I clicked on the blue line and in the pop-down menu, I clicked on Turn on network discovery and file sharing. Win 10 immediately changed the media player icon to a more familiar computer icon.
Win 7 prompted to allow for network discovery on public networks. I just said yes. I wanted nothing interfering.
But still, I couldn't see the folders from Win10 on my Win7. So I typed in the path to Win10 in the search bar of Win7: \\ASUS\Downloads. And now I could access the files after putting in the user name and password for Win10 in the security prompt.
The network is still just so so. Good enough for backup purposes if it comes down to it. The crossover cable makes it easier for Win10 but harder for Win7. The only remaining question is, if my main network gets in a fit, would changing to this setup solve the issue? Only time will tell.