my easy to follow guide on how to connect two or more PC's together to form
a network. This will enable you to share files, Printers and play games over
it. Once you have been using a network you will wonder how you ever managed
This page details how you connect PC's together via a network. I have kept it simple so anyone can have a go.
It's not as complicated as you think it might be.
I connected my two PC's together for under £25.
So lets say
you have got two (or more) PC's at home that you would like to be able to connect
together so you can share files and play games on (such as Quake and Unreal)
but you are unsure what to do.
This page is the answer to your questions.
also allows you to share internet access from one pc to others on the network,
This can be useful in the home.
For more info on this, Use Windows help and search for Internet Connection Sharing
Since Windows XP came out networking PCs together and sharing Broadband internet connections has become a lot simpler.
The basic steps to connecting two PC's together are :
1) Buy 2 UTP Network cards,
Buy 1 UTP cross over lead
2) Fit a network card in each PC.
3) Install the driver for the card from the floppy disk (this comes with the card) on both computers.
4) Connect the PC's together with the UTP lead - The 'link light' will illuminate on the card at this point.
5) Setup the IP address on each machine.
6) Setup access rights on the machine you want to access files from (you do not need to do this if you only intend to use the network for playing games on)
7) That's it, Your simple network is now running.
The basic steps to connecting more than two PC's together are :
If you want to connect say
5 PC's together then the instructions are the same as for two PC's apart from
You will also need something called a HUB. A HUB is an electronic junction box (needs power from a mains socket).
All the computers connect to the hub rather than directly to each other.
Also rather than using cross over UTP leads you MUST use straight-thru leads.
|General Networking information|
This is an extract from the price list of a local computer shop. (Zodiac in Derby, UK)
A Suitable network card shown inside red rectangle. As you can see they do not cost very much (£9.15 each - May 2000), Cheaper still now!
You will need to buy 1 network card for each PC that you want to connect together.
THE SOCKET ON THE
|TOP VIEW OF NETWORK LEAD PLUG|
|SIDE VIEW OF NETWORK LEAD PLUG|
|Installing the network cards|
|1) With the power switched off remove the case of the PC, Find a spare slot for the network card and plug it in, Screw it down, Replace the case of the PC.|
|2) Switch it on and when Windows is booting it should say "Found new hardware"|
|3) Insert the driver disk that came with the network card and click on next, Next, Select floppy drive, Next.|
4) Depending on your
install It may now ask for the Windows CD, Put it in and if it says
During the driver
installation it gets files from the Windows CD such as these...
|5) The system may now appear to hang for 20 seconds, this happens while it configures the card. (Dont panic!). When it has finished setting up click the finish button to restart windows. Remember to take the floppy disk out otherwise it may try to boot from it.|
|6) Repeat the above on the second PC then you are ready to connect them together with the UTP (CAT5) cable.|
|7) When you connect
the network cable to another PC the "link" light on the card should
illuminate at both ends (if they are switched on that is!). This will show
that your cables are in working order.
You are now ready to set up the computers in the next section. >>>
up the network cards
In this example I have grabbed screen shots from Windows98 but it is pretty much the same for 95 or ME. Not sure about 2000 or XP.
Click START on the
On the control panel Double click on the "Network" icon.
|Now highlight the TCP/IP adaptor in the list of network components (as shown here)|
Now select the "IP Address" tab and click on the "Specify an IP address"
Now type numbers for
the IP Address. For a private network you need to use 192.168.0.*
NOTE : The IP address
must be different for each PC that is on a network otherwise conflicts
Then click on OK
Now click on the File and Print sharing button and put a tick if you want other computers to be able to access files or print using the computer and click OK.
The PC will now reboot.
Now you have to decide which drives or directories you want to make shared.
Lets say we want to share the whole of drive G, to do this right-click on the G Drive icon.
make the pop-up window appear (as shown). You will notice that we now have
a new option "Sharing"
Select this option.
This screen is where you setup your sharing access.
Click on "Shared
as" and setup as required.
|When you have finished setting up the sharing properties you should be able to go to the other PC and click on the "Network Neighbourhood" icon. This should then show the shared drives that are on the other PC.|
|That's it you now have a working network !|
|Additional Information and helpful notes|
|1) If you
have added a network card to a PC that you also use for surfing the internet,
then the first time you log onto the internet it will warn you that you
have TCP/IP sharing enabled recommend disabling this when on the internet.
Agree to this suggestion.
This message will not show again after this.
2) If you find that when you try and view the files of another PC over your network you find you cannot see any. Simple use the Find Computer option in the "Tools" drop-down menu in Windows Explorer. Type in the Name of the computer and generally this will find it. (see also tip 4 below)
If you are not sure what the name of the other computer is, Goto the other computer and right click on the "Network Neighbourhood" icon and choose "Properties" then select the "Identification Tab" The PC name is in the section "Computer Name", Go back to the other computer and try to find it with this name.
|3) If you
find that after installing the network card and rebooting the pc it asks
for a "Network password for Microsoft networks" click cancel,
Allow to boot.
Right click on the "Network Neighbourhood" icon and choose "Properties" then highlight the "Client for Microsoft Networks" Then change the "Primary Network Login" type to "Windows logon" then OK.
Next time you reboot it will not ask you for a password.
|4) If you
can not browse the network try connecting a modem to the pc and installing
the driver for it, This seems to fix the problem. Then remove the modem
This helps because Installing a modem installs other components that are required but may not be present depending on your install.
|5) The network cards I have used in these examples are 100M/10M cards this means that they will work at either 10Mbit or 100Mbit depending on what you connect to the other end of the cable. I use a 10Mbit hub (as 100Mbit hubs are more expensive) so this means I can only achieve 10Mbit performance, But this is still pretty fast.|
selecting an IP address you MUST use addresses which are reserved for private
use, which are guaranteed not to be used by anyone on the public internet.
There are three ranges of these 'private address', these are :
For each of these ranges you can have upto 253 computers on them (*=1-126, 128-254)
If you are not sure what to do then use 192.168.0.10 for your first PC and 192.168.0.11 for the 2nd pc (and so on), This will work.