Networking Your Computers At Home

Have you at any point contemplated networking your PCs at home? you ever thought about networking your computers at home? Most modern homes have numbers of computers, smartphone, printers, faxes, music systems and other technology devices. These are increasingly being integrated so that each device can communicate with all the others and interact with them. While many of the possibilities are still being explored, the best place to start for the average person is with a home computer network.

 

There are many creative uses for home networking, however it's an ideal situation when upgrading each computer to the same capability is financially out of the question. On a home network, each computer has access to the equipment of the better machine in the group as if that equipment were their own.

Computers can be connected with either an Ethernet cable or a Wireless connection to create a home network. The easiest and cheapest method uses an Ethernet connection, which requires a series of network cards, a cable for each computer, and a router. The network card is similar to the old modems we used in the past to connect to the Internet, however in a home network, it's used to communicate with every computer that's connected to it.

 

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TO MAKE THE COMPUTER COMMUNICATE

You'll want to first, select the computers that will connect to each other and then install the network cards inside each of them. Then you'll connect a cable to each computer that will communicate with the server. These cables won't connect to the server directly. Instead, they'll connect to the router. To enable Internet access for each computer, this router will need to connect with a modem of the host machine.

 ALSO READ: The most effective method to Connect to a Wireless Network

Once the hardware is set up correctly, you can then setup the network from Windows on each machine. Within Windows, you can set up a home network similar to the way that you set up an Internet connection. Only this time, you'll set up a Local Area Network (LAN) connection.

Windows would walk you through setting up a LAN after starting the computer and once complete, you can begin to connect one of your machines to the network. You can do this through Internet Explorer by typing in the address and password required to access the router

The username and password required to access the router will be in the router manual

Connected PCs to the network, each computer can send files back and forth, open programs on a remote computer, play the sound files and videos located on another computer, share single printer, and share a single Internet account to browse the web, download files, or chat with someone in an entirely different country. Every connected PC can send documents to a single printer and print them out.

Connecting two computers to communicate

The most basic exercise in networking is simply connecting two computers. This is very simple if you do not have an internet connection. So long as the two computers have networking interfaces you can simply connect using an ethernet cable.

However, most computers produced within the last couple of years have Wi-Fi. If so, an ad-hoc wireless network can be created between the two computers by configuring both terminals to ad-hoc mode. This is pretty simple to do in both Windows and OSX.

Similarly, if the computers have Bluetooth or infrared capabilities you can create a basic network, although transfer speeds can be slow. Of all these options, the cable network will provide the best transfer speeds. However, Wi-Fi speeds are improving all the time.

While there is only a limited amount you can do with a basic two-computer network, it is good practice if you have never set up a network before.

Setting up a network router:

If you wish to incorporate an internet connection into the network, as most of us do, you will need to set up your home network with a router. This will also allow you to add more computers to the network as well as peripherals.

However, this process is a good deal more complex. Nevertheless, it is doable and is a skill that is well worth having. Once you do this once it will be will be a breeze the next time.

While cable routers are still commonly used, wireless is the way of the future so we will concentrate on wireless routers for this article. Before you start, you should have a few things to hand. Your computer and your router, of course, instructions for your wireless router, an ethernet cable, and your ISP's contact details.

Your first steps are to plug in and turn on your router, connect it to your modem and to your computer (it is best to connect your computer and router by ethernet cable for the set-up process).

Now, you can use your browser to connect to your router's built-in installation software. The urls http://192.168.1.1 or http://192.168.0.1 will usually open up your router's administration page. You do not need an internet connection for this. If this doesn't work, consult the router's instructions.

Log in to the administration page using the router's provided username and password, usually 'admin' and 'admin' by default. Now you will have to enter the following information:

  • Internet connection information
  • You may have to input PPPoE information
  • You may possibly have to change the default MAC address

If you run into difficulty here consult your ISP's instructions or contact them. They will be able to guide you through this process.

When all the information has been inputted, save it. You should be ready to go now. All going well, your computer should have received an IP address from the router. Try opening your browser to see if you can address to some websites, any websites will do.

If you can access these websites you can unplug your cable and now connect wirelessly. Any other computers, notebooks and other wireless devices should also detect the signal and connect without any problems.

You now have a fully functional wireless home network. Be aware though that your network is most likely open and accessible from any computers in range of the signal so you should take steps to secure it. There is plenty of excellent information available on the internet on how to do this.

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