Networking 2 pc's

By snowman
Feb 7, 2004
  1. i need a cheap and effective way to network two computers. i have cable internet. and they are both running windows xp. if you need more info let me know.
  2. Rick

    Rick TechSpot Staff Posts: 4,573   +65

    Well, there's two things you can do...

    1.) Connect two computers together without Internet access.
    2.) Connect two computers together with Internet access.

    The best way to do number one is a crossover cable. This is cheap.. Maybe the total cost will be $10 for the cable. :) This avoids the extra cost of hubs and routers.

    If you want to get on the Internet with both computers, then a crossover cable isn't really practical. The best way to setup an Internet connection with multiple clients is by using a router. Routers can be had cheaply ($30 and up) and make things very simple. You may also need to buy an extra straight through CAT5 cable too.. Which is about $5 at any reasonable store.
  3. snowman

    snowman TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 183

    thanks rick. do you recommend any brands. D-link and Netgear are decently priced. are they any good?
  4. RealBlackStuff

    RealBlackStuff TS Rookie Posts: 6,503

    Go for Netgear, they have less problems in the long run.
  5. poertner_1274

    poertner_1274 secroF laicepS topShceT Posts: 4,172

    I think most of the companies who make routers make quality components, it's just a matter of which company you like the best, or who you have dealt with in the past. I personally use Netgear as well. Just look around.
  6. Eric Legge

    Eric Legge TS Rookie Posts: 132

  7. lowman

    lowman TS Rookie Posts: 380

    Can I ask what you are networking them for? I assume gaming, or possible some file sharing - but I would bet gaming if I had to...myself, I prefer a hard wire connection for gaming, as opposed to wireless...
  8. snowman

    snowman TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 183

    gaming, i might opt for the cheap wireless tho, i dont think my parents would like the wires laying around.or the holes in the floor to run the wires upstairs.
  9. poertner_1274

    poertner_1274 secroF laicepS topShceT Posts: 4,172

    You could always try to run your wires through the ventelation ductwork in your house. I did that at my parents and it worked out great. Just a pain in the butt to get it all run properly.
  10. bushwhacker

    bushwhacker TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 783

    Also i am interested to ask someone a question, can 2 computer can be connected without internet access and without router or hubs, just connect one line from one computer to other computer.

    Have a nice day:)
  11. lowman

    lowman TS Rookie Posts: 380

    You have to use a crossover cable for that, not a regular LAN cable. Think of a crossover cable as configured the way you would have to hold 2 phone receivers together to let the people on both ends hear and speak to each other - you would have to "flip" one of them so they would line up :


    Does that make any sense?
  12. bushwhacker

    bushwhacker TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 783


    I am the first time to ask this question, How to make 2 computer work for gaming without internet access???

  13. RealBlackStuff

    RealBlackStuff TS Rookie Posts: 6,503

  14. snowman

    snowman TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 183

    just got a linksys wireless B router and a wireless usb adapter to set up my home network. thanks for helping me decide.

    ps. i was going to go with your idea poertner but my dad chipped in money for the wireless. =) wish me luck on the install.
  15. daveandy1

    daveandy1 TS Rookie

    I found this old thread by typing my question into Google.

    Maybe one of you guru's out there can help me out.

    My girlfriend wants to connect two computers to our cable internet connection, without the use of a router, but having them both able to access the internet at the same time.

    From my experience, and as stated in this thread already, I would need a router to do this.

    However, here is my dilema. My girlfriend, who still holds her ex-boyfriend/wanna be computer genius/and king of all online porn, sorry, says that he can do it without a router.

    If it is possible, please tell me so that I do not have to surrender to this freak.

    btw, the two computers to be linked would be an old 300mhz clone running Windows 98SE, and a pretty nice Dell Inspiron Notebook 8100 running Windows XP on a P4 2.2ghz.

    Another crazy thing to add into the mix is this. She will be transporting her laptop to and from work on a daily basis. However, at work they use a DSL connection, at home she would be using cable. Will this affect anything?

    Edited by Poertner_1274: Please watch your language
  16. RealBlackStuff

    RealBlackStuff TS Rookie Posts: 6,503

    Welcome to TechSpot

    As a general rule, you should start your own new thread, rather than clip it onto someone else's.

    You CAN connect the 2 PCs to one cable internet, BUT the one PC that has the direct connection must always be ON before the other PC can connect. It is done thru ICS but is a pain in the butt.

    If both PCs want to connect independently, you cannot get around a router.

    For a laptop to connect to cable at home and DSL at work, you need different network-settings, either thru a second network-setup or thru a different user-account with different settings on that laptop. She makes a mistake, you are in trouble.

    My advise: get rid of the girlfriend, solves all your problems in one go.
  17. daveandy1

    daveandy1 TS Rookie

    In our case, we would both be using the internet simultaneously on both computers. She doesn't like to compete with my excessive internet use, so she said she is going to bring her laptop home from work everyday.

    What is this ICS that you mentioned?
  18. RealBlackStuff

    RealBlackStuff TS Rookie Posts: 6,503

    ICS stands for Internet Connection Sharing
    see this basic instruction webpage:

    Go buy a router with 4 10/100MB ports (from e.g. Netgear).
    Assuming both PC and laptop have a network connection, it is almost a doddle to install, and the both of you can surf at the same time all the time.
    Depending on your printer (Parallel or USB) you can also get routers with a print-server built-in, which would make the printer available to the both of you as well.
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