TechSpot

Need help setting up LAN

By BenRain
Dec 26, 2006
  1. Hello, I am an experienced PC user, new to networking. I have recently recieved a new Router and laptop and am having trouble setting up a LAN. Here is the basic scenario.

    The main computer is directly connected to the router, it does not have a wireless card or USB adaptor. The printer is connected to this one, I want to be able to share it wirelessly with the laptop. I have the internet working on the laptop, but can not set up a network. If anyone has a guide or can tell me the steps I need to take, I appreciate it. The windows setup wizards were not working correctly. I do not have a floppy drive on either computer, but I do have a flash drive. Help is appreciated, thanks.

    Edit: Router is a Linksys WRT54G Version 6.0
     
  2. Nodsu

    Nodsu TS Rookie Posts: 9,431

    It makes absolutely no difference whether the network is wired, wireless or mixed or what kind of a router you are using.

    Just in case, see if there is a setting in the router setup that prevents wifi clients from accessing the wired network (unlikely). Make sure you turn off any software firewalls on the computers involved. Follow any file and printer sharing setup guide.
     
  3. SteveAK

    SteveAK TS Rookie

    I assume you're setting up this network with Windows. It's pretty easy once you know what you're doing.

    You have to configure your network cards (NIC's) so that they are all use the same IP Subnet. If you know where to find your TCP/IP settings in Windows for your network card, go there. You'll see a subnet mask that probably reads something like 255.255.0.0 - this is just like a mold if you were doing metal castings. Every IP address in your network should fit this profile. And you want to begin your IP address for your network cards with 192.168 because that is the subnet used for private networks. So you could use 192.168.1.0 for one machine and use 192.168.1.1for a different machine.

    Once you get all of your IP address configured for each of your computers you have to make sure you put all of your computers in something called a Workgroup. You right click on My Computer, properties and there should be a button labeled Network ID if you're using Windows XP. You can set your workgroup name and the computers Network ID. You'll need to make sure each computer is in the same workgroup.

    Once you've done all that then you just need to configure your firewall. Each one is different so look in the help file for network settings. I run ZoneAlarm. You can create a safe zone which can be an individual IP address, a range of IP addresses, or a subnet. I just did each one individually. Once your firewall is set to allow traffic from your networked computers you should be able to find your computers on network places. Once you've gotten this far, let us know. Then you can move on to mapping network drives which is fairly simple. One thing to know is if you're using the free Zone Alarm, it won't allow Internet Connection sharing. You have to purchase Zone Alarm Pro to be able to get internet on your other computers. Now, if you're using the router as a hardware firewall, you shouldn't have to worry about any problems if you use Zone Alarm because the router shares the connection, not your computer.

    You were also interested in wired and wireless. Well obviously you have to have a wireless router, which you said your Linksys router is. So, you probably have to configure your router also to work with your network. Read the manual for that. From what I've heard you can set up your network one of two ways. You can run the internet, if you're using DSL or Cable into the router and then use a wireless card on your main computer and also one on your laptop. Or you should be able to run the DSL or Cable connection directly into your computer and also have a connection to your router. Then you just have a wireless card for your laptop. But the first way is the way I'm sure would work and probably the best way. The second way requires two NICs to be installed on your main computer.

    So basically there's four things you have to configure in a Windows Peer-to-Peer network. You configure your network card, your firewall, your router or switch, and your computers. Switches are nice because most don't need configured like many routers do.

    Edit: introducing the amazing "paragraphs" technology that can improve the readability of things up tp 100 times - Nodsu
     
  4. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 13,474   +329

    NEVER use *.0, *.1, or *.255 for an IP address on a machine.
    these are defined to have special usage and it
    will just make life miserable :) try using *.2 and *.3
     
  5. fastco

    fastco TS Rookie Posts: 1,511

  6. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 13,474   +329

    humbug! great way to get viruses get hacked.

    file/print sharing need ports 139,445 opened on your LAN addresses.
    be sure to NOT allow this on your WAN side.
     
  7. fastco

    fastco TS Rookie Posts: 1,511

    OK you are right Joebeard I should add, Only turn off the firewalls until you get the network up and sharing files then turn them on one at a time, Windows then Software firewall.
     
  8. SteveAK

    SteveAK TS Rookie

    Yeah sorry forgot to add that in. I was just using 0 and 1 for an example. Is it ok to run two firewalls? I read somewhere that it's better to only use one on the same machine, but then again...
     
  9. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 13,474   +329

    two FWs are questionable; two AV programs witth realtime scanning is a nightmare.

    there's enough to learn and manage well with just one FW -- master it and
    ignore the other.

    btw; the MS firewall is a minimal service and not very flexable, so go with
    some other if possible. I like Comodo :)
     
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