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Home Network (well kind of)

By StormBringer
May 30, 2002
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  1. Ok, here is what I want to do:

    I have three machines that I want to share a printer/scanner, files, etc...Sharing internet isnt important because the 56k just isn't enough for that, although these computers are rarely used at the same time so sharing a connection shouldn't pose a problem.

    What I want to know is what is the best method to use to acheive this. I have seen kits that will do this but lately all I have seen are those for Broadband. I seem to remember reading a way to set this up a few years ago(before broadband) but now I can't find anything about it. Anyone know a way to go about this?
  2. PHATMAN5050

    PHATMAN5050 TS Rookie Posts: 645

    If you buy a linksys router (4port model number: befsr41) or a switch what you want to do will be achieved. There is a port on the back of the router that is labeled WAN, if nothing is plugged into it then it will share files and printers between computers hooked up to it, if something is plugged into the WAN then the Cable/DSL will be shared. For you, i would suggest the Linksys BEFSR41 because it has a built-in firewall in case one day you decide to get broadband.
  3. PHATMAN5050

    PHATMAN5050 TS Rookie Posts: 645

    If you bought this piece of hardware, and this piece only, the computer that had the Printer plugged into would have to be on to print. If you didn't want to have to have any other computers on, then you would have to buy a 1port printserver also. I would recommend a linksys for that too.
  4. Phantasm66

    Phantasm66 TS Rookie Posts: 6,504   +6

    Phat, a router routes one network into another (i.e the internet connection you have and your home network). But he will just have one network as he explained in his post. What he needs is:


    1)A very cheap 4 port UTP hub.

    2)Three lengths of CAT5 UTP straight through network cable.

    3)Three cheap PCI NIC cards.

    You install an NIC card to each machine.

    You connect the cables to the hub and to the card on each machine (don't use port marked uplink)

    You plug the hub in.

    You give the following TCP/IP settings to each machine:

    machineA: IP address 192.168.0.1 subnet mask 255.255.255.0

    machineB: IP address 192.168.0.2 subnet mask 255.255.255.0

    machineC: IP address 192.168.0.3 subnet mask 255.255.255.0

    Put all three into the same workgroup. Ensure that "Client for Microsoft Networks" is installed. Also ensure that "File and Print Sharing" is also installed. TCP/IP protocol must be installed on each machine as well. Adding these protocols and services will require, most likely, the OS installation disk and a reboot.

    These settings (and tcp/ip stuff) is all in network settings. Right click Network Neighbourhood / My Network places and select properties to get to this.

    You connect the printer to one machine. You share it by right clicking its icon in "printers" folder and selecting sharing. Following simple settings within.

    You share folders in the same way.

    On the other machines you find things you are looking for in Network Neighborhood / My Network Places.

    This is a pretty simplistic explanation so post back if you have any problems.
  5. StormBringer

    StormBringer TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 2,871

    Thanks Phantasm, I think that is the stuff that came in those kits I was talking about. I knew I needed the NICs and the CAT5 cables but I couldn't remember what kind of hub it was. I know how to set it all up. All that other is already set up.

    Is there a way to share that connection? Right now I have to disconnect one machine to connect another. I know it would seriously slow down my already slow dialup but I'd like to not have to disconnect one machine just to use another.
  6. PHATMAN5050

    PHATMAN5050 TS Rookie Posts: 645

    P66, the router will work also, it just wont have an internet connection. If he wants a piece of hardware that he won't need to update, he should buy the router over a hub because if he gets broadband somewhere down the line he could use the router that he has. There are routers for dialup, but you won't find many. Go to ebay and just type in '56k Router' or something like that and view your minimal results. Keep in mind how slow 28/2 really is...it could be even lower :rolleyes:
  7. StormBringer

    StormBringer TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 2,871

    Updating the hardware isn't a problem, we won't be getting broadband here for a loooooong time. The Cable company has suspended the upgrade of existing lines due to a lack of interest in the small area where they already have it. DSL won't be here because I live too far away. I could get SAT but I ain't paying $70/month for Internet.

    Let me get this straight, just by using the router I will be slowing my connection even though none of the computers will be used at the same time? I just wanted to be able to maintain my connection so I didn't have to dial up every time I need to use a different machine for something.
  8. Phantasm66

    Phantasm66 TS Rookie Posts: 6,504   +6

    Yes, Phat I know that your router would work too, I have seen that specific device you are talking about and I almost bought one a while back.

    But if someone asks you what device they need to buy to build a small local LAN workgroup (with more than 2 machines) the answer is a hub not a router. If you start going on about routers you confuse the issue, because this is not strickly what a router is.

    I could turn a screw with a knife but the best tool is a screwdriver. And in much the same way, I could satisfy Stormbringer's requirements with a router but the normal way is with the hub. We would seek to avoid the casual reader here from mistaking what a hub is and what a router is.

    You also might encourage someone to buy a router (more expensive generally in the home pc equipment store) unneccesarily when the (generally cheaper) hub would do.

    Stormbringer: If you retain the modem in one machine which also has the hub as well you can use simple internet connection sharing in Windows to use your PC as a router. (However I did not realise in your original post that this was something that you wanted to do. ) This is all that you require to do. With the two network interfaces in one machine (modem and NIC) you will have two sets of IP Addresses, one you have assigned yourself (as above) and one assigned by your dial up service provider. The software in windows routes from one network to another using something called Network Address Translation where your machine with the modem becomes a focal point for the other machines to connect to the net. They just retain their own single (assigned by your host machine's own internal DHCP allocator) IP address.

    Now if you DO get cable then something like the device that Phatman is talking about might be appropriate but in your current situation it is not.

    Even if you do get cable what I suggest above is still just fine. Its just that with the hub and the two network interfaces in one main machine that main machine must always be booted up for the others to connect to the internet but with Phat's device this s not necessary.
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