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Networking Of Two Computers


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#1 tb75252

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Posted 16 July 2009 - 10:05 PM

I know absolutely nothing about networking, so here I am asking for advice...

At home I have two computers. They both have WinXP SP3 installed. I connect to the Internet via an ADSL account with AT&T.
AT&T has supplied me with what they call a modem/gateway. It is made by 2Wire and the model number is 2701HG-B.

On the back of the modem/gateway, there are some Ethernet ports. Each computer is hooked up to an Ethernet port of the modem/gateway by RJ45 cables. (Nothing in my setup is wireless; everything is wired.) Therefore, each computer can access the Internet independently.

I now would like to network the two computers together so that I can access/transfer files. Can I do it without having to purchase additional components? (In other words, can I network the PCs together using the modem/gateway that I have?)

HOW??
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tb

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#2 CaveDweller2

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Posted 16 July 2009 - 11:06 PM

Good news: When you plugged them into the modem/router they became networked =)

Now you just need to change the settings to make them see each other.

On each Pc you will need to do each of these.

Turn off any Firewall you have. There is no need to add something in the mix that can block this from working.

Enabling File/Print Sharing
  • Go to Control panel
  • Double click Network Connections
  • Right click on Local Area Connection
  • Click Properties
  • In the window that pops up make sure File and Printer Sharing for Microsoft Networks has a check beside it
  • Once the check mark is there, click OK
  • If it asks you to reboot click No or Cancel..just don't reboot at this time.
Check the Workgroup

The workgroup name can be anything you want it to be but both computers need to be in the same workgroup. To check the name and change if you'd like
  • On your keyboard, hold down the Windows key and tap the Pause/Break key
  • System Properties should pop up, click the Computer Name tab
  • In the middle of the window, you should see the computer's name and the workgroup its in. If they are the same, you can Cancel out of that window and move on.
  • If they are not the same or you want to change it, down and to the right click the Change button
  • On this screen you can change the PC name and the workgroup name.
  • Make the changes you want and click OK and OK again
  • If it asks you to reboot click No or Cancel..just don't reboot at this time.
Making an account OR Turning on the Guest account

For the sharing to work each PC has to have an account that the other PC can access. The easiest way is to just turn on the Guest Account. But you can make a New account and use that one. Either is fine, I personally just turn on the guest account, but that is me. =)
  • Go to Control Panel
  • Click User Accounts
  • Guest account - click on the Guest icon and on the next page click Turn on Guest account.
  • New User - Click Create new account, give it a name, pick the level of access an d click Create
Reboot the PC(s) and if you made a new account it will show on the log in screen, hence I just use the guest account lol.

How to Actually Share

You can share a file, a folder or an entire drive. I recommend you just share a folder to start. I don't know who would be on these computers but if something is deleted over this share, it doesn't go to the Trash bin, its gone. So I make a folder drop the files I need in it and then there is no worry but that is me. =)
  • Right click the folder or whatever you want to share
  • Click Properties
  • Click the Sharing folder
  • I am unsure when, but if this is the first time you are here either now OR after you click beside Share this folder, a warning will pop up asking if you are sure you want to share or that sharing is dangerous or whatever, just click Yes or OK
  • If you wish to change the displayed name, in the box type what you'd like
  • Decide if you want them to be able to change files, most of the time you will want them to be able to but it is up to you, click the box or don't
  • Click OK
Now that its shared, you might actually want to see the files huh? lol

Seeing the shared folders
  • Open Windows explorer(windows key +E)
  • Left pane, click the + beside My Network Places(this might also be in the Start menu)
  • Click the + beside Entire Network
  • Click the + beside Microsoft Windows Network
  • The work group that you created should be listed in there, click on it and both PCs should be listed
  • Click on each PC listed and you should see the folder or whatever you shared
You are now networked and sharing files. Firewalls can block these types of connections, hence I always turn them off just to make sure this all works. Now you can turn them back on and they should ask you if you wish to allow this connection, click Yes to always allow. Just make sure it is the other PC on your network and no some rogue program.

Edited by CaveDweller2, 17 July 2009 - 01:25 AM.

Hope this helps thumbup.gif

Associate in Applied Science - Network Systems Management - Trident Technical College


#3 tb75252

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Posted 18 July 2009 - 08:23 PM

Thank you so much for your exhaustive explanation! I really appreciate the effort that you have made in putting together your reply.

I would like to ask a couple of follow-up questions:

1) One of the computers is hooked up to an old HP DeskJet 560C parallel printer. The printer is over ten years old... Is there a way that I can use it to print also from the second computer once the two computers are networked together?

2) Both computers have ZoneAlarm Security Suite installed. Once the two computers are networked together, will I need any additional form of firewall/anti-virus installed? I keep on hearing that a network should have a hardware firewall too, but I am not so sure what that means or how to do it...

Thanks.
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tb

#4 CaveDweller2

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Posted 19 July 2009 - 12:41 AM

You are most welcome

First question - If the printer works on the PC it is connected to, you can share it pretty much like you did the files/folders. This page will explain how to share the printer. You just have to realize that the PC it is connected to has to be on to print. Your other choice is a network ready printer, which most brands offer a printer or two with this option.

Second question - The router is your hardware firewall. And ZoneAlarm should be adequate. Just keep it up to date =)

Hope this helps thumbup.gif

Associate in Applied Science - Network Systems Management - Trident Technical College


#5 tb75252

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Posted 21 July 2009 - 08:08 AM

Thanks again for all your help!
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tb




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