Networking four laptops using a router without Internet access

By wildcherry ยท 12 replies
Jun 10, 2010
  1. Hello All,

    I would like to share files between 4 laptops (1 host and 3 guest) but do not need internet access. I have a wireless netgear wgr614 router to use and want to know if this is possible. If so, how do I enable all the computers to see each other.

    I have been going through the post but did not find one that was like what I need. The post that I found were using the internet and I will not have internet access for this project.

    Can this be done using my router only?
  2. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 11,131   +982

    of course :)

    config all PCs to use DHCP (should be the default anyway)

    connect all to the router LAN side.

    each system will get a unique IP address related to the routers default
    eg: if the router is a, then all systems will be the same 192.168.1.
    and the trailing digit will be unique, {2,3,4,5}

    using a command prompt you should be able to ping any other system using the IP addresses, eg
    that says they all 'see each other'

    1. Now setup Print/File Sharing on one system;
      open any folder and click the Tools menu -> Folder Options
      click View tab and scroll to bottom
      [x] the Use Simple File Sharing

    2. Now enable Print/File Sharing Exception in the firewall
      Control Panel->Windows Firewall
      click Exceptions Tab
      [x] File & Print Sharing
    Repeat (1-2) on one other system

    This will allow the common Shared Documents
    @ \Documents & Settings\ or \Users\ All Users\Shared Documents
    to become accessible to all users

    You access a Share in two ways
    • Map Network Drive
    • run \\systemName\shareName
  3. wildcherry

    wildcherry TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Hi Jobeard,

    Thank you so much for your very easy to understand and detailed explanation. I really appreciate the step-by-step directions. You are awesome!!
  4. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 11,131   +982

    oops; forgot ...

    forgot to mention that the workgroup name MUST be the same on all systems

    right-click My Computer->properties; click Computer Name tab

    Click Network ID button and enter EXCACTLY the same name everywhere,
  5. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 11,131   +982

    oops again...(apparently insufficient coffee today)

    click the Change button
  6. wildcherry

    wildcherry TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Hi Jobeard,

    LOL...quite alright. I understand. Thanks again for you detailed information. (Sorry I did not reply right away...I've been away a few days.)
  7. wildcherry

    wildcherry TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Hello Jobeard,

    Another question. I went through all the steps in the directions. Ping is recognizing the other computer (only trying to see one computer right now). Checked all the steps mentioned in the directions (i.e. print/file sharing, windows firewall, etc.)

    I cannot see the test folder that was created on the host machine. I placed the folder in shared documents. Is this correct? Do I need to place the shared folder somewhere else like on the desktop?

    Thanks again...
  8. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 11,131   +982

    the Shared Documents folder (found @ \Documents & Settings\All Users)
    should be easily accessed - - solve this first.

    Other folders in the C:\ area or within a users profile (seen with run->cmd and enter cd %userprofile%)
    need special handling.

    Do you have XP/Pro or XP/Home edition? it matters
  9. wildcherry

    wildcherry TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Hi Jobeard,

    I have XP Pro. OK, then the folder i created is in the correct place as you mentioned (Docs&Settings\All Users). This laptop has never had the router sofware installed. Do I need to install the router software and disable the firewall?

    Sorry to be a pain...I feel like i am almost there but not quite.

    Thanks again...
  10. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 11,131   +982

    NO! A router has no software requirements *IF*
    is using the Ethernet connection; A USB connection would need it.

    If you can PING every system, then the issues are in the Pring/File sharing setup.

    ... got to run to a presentation ... will get back to you soon ....
  11. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 11,131   +982

    ... back again

    using an Admin account, go to \Documents & Settings\All Users\
    right-click Shared Documents->Properties->click Sharing tab (only visable using Admin :) )

    (X) Share this Folder
    Share Name: enter a one-word name, eg SharedDocs [hint: makes accessing simpler]

    To set permissions .. over the network , click Permissions button
    default is Everyone, Full Control, Change & Read
    READ is the minimum :)

    at the bottom View your Firewall settings

    If this is on systemA and the others are named system{B,C,D} then these
    will access this share
    1. mapped network drive
    2. \\systemA\SharedDocs
  12. wildcherry

    wildcherry TS Rookie Topic Starter


    Jobeard, you are awesome. It worked. I had to plug each cable in one at a time (cause the IP's kept dropping) then checked thru ipconfig, then went to the next cable. I just needed to slow down.

    Thanks so much for your help!! It was very much appreciated. One more do I close this question?
  13. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 11,131   +982

    Good Job :wave:

    Now as to organization:

    Shared Documents is designed for sharing between users on the same computer.
    What we have done is to also make that folder available to ALL users on your Lan (ie all four systems attached to your router).
    Basically, it is now a 'common repository'

    Each user can create a folder that is located in their personal directories
    (albeit, an Admin will be necessary to set any permission changes).

    Same rules; use a single-word Share Name for ease of access.
    If 4 users have the same shared folder name eg: MyShares, they are still uniquely accessed
    via the mapping or \\systemName\MyShares
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