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How to Connect Two Computers

For the home or the small office environment, connecting computers and resources like printers in a client-sever network configuration might be a little more hassle than you want to deal with. A "peer-to-peer", or "workgroup" configuration, might provide all the security and functionality you need with less expense and less expertise to administrator.

One downside to the "peer-to-peer" configuration is that the performance of a computer may degrade while another computer is accessing its shared resources, and of course, to access resources on another computer, Windows must be started on the other computer, which may require someone to login.

A peer-to-peer network configuration requires that each computer have a network adapter circuit and a cable to connect to a hub. A hub serves as central distribution point for a network. If you're connecting only two computers, you don't need a hub, you can use a cross-over cable instead.

Cross-over Cable

Installing a network adapter card

Almost all modern motherboards have a built-in network circuit. If you have an older computer, you can install a network adapter card.

  1. Turn off and unplug the computer.
  2. Remove the cover from the computer.
  3. Remove a blank expansion slot cover next to an available PCI slot from the back of the chassis.
  4. Plug the network adapter card into the PCI expansion slot connector.
  5. Fasten the adapter card to the rear of the computer by tightening the screw.
  6. Close the computer cover.
  7. Connect a network cable from the adapter card to network hub or switch.
  8. Start the computer.

Network and Dial-up Connections

When Windows Plug-and-Play (PnP) detects a network adapter circuit, it creates a Local Area Connection (LAN) in the Network and Dial-up Connections folder, and installs the required networking protocols. You may need to insert Windows OS disc or the disc that came with your motherboard or network adapter card to access the drivers.

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