How to Network Connection Hub

Level of difficulty: Intermediate

A network hub is a device used to connect multiple computers. It is a simple and inexpensive solution when small networks that require file and printer sharing, like ones in homes or small offices, are needed to be made. Most common hubs today support the Ethernet standard. These hubs usually come with 4, 8 or sometimes 16 Ethernet ports.

Materials Needed:
- One (1) 4-port or 8-port 10/100 Mbps Ethernet hub (depending on the number of computers to be networked)
- two (2) or more computers with Windows installed
- 10/100 Mbps Network Interface Cards (NIC) or built-in Ethernet ports installed on each of the computers
- two (2) or more straight through Ethernet cables (depending on the number of computers to be networked)
Step 1
Turn on the computers and wait for Windows to boot properly.
Step 2
Supply the hub with power if the Ethernet hub requires power. Plug the AC power supply into the hub and the power cord into any sufficient power outlet or wall outlet. Most hubs do not have on/off switches and only require to be plugged into an outlet to become active. Make sure that proper voltages are applied to the hub’s power supply to avoid damaging the device. Voltage ratings are typically printed on the underside of the device, alongside the model and manufacturer information.
Step 3
Connect the first computer to the Ethernet hub when all systems are running properly and the Ethernet hub is powered on. Proceed to Step 5 if the computer has a built-in Ethernet port. Proceed to the next step if the computer has no built-in Ethernet port.
Step 4
Install a compatible 10/100 Mbps Ethernet card when the computer has no built-in Ethernet port. Install the drivers of the network card and turn the computer off. Install the network card into the system. Ask for assistance if difficulty in the installation is encountered. Boot up the system when the hardware installation is finished. Follow succeeding instructions that may appear in the Operating System after restarting the computer to install the network card properly.
Step 5
Take the Ethernet cable and plug one end into the computer’s port when an Ethernet port is already available in the system. Plug the other end into one of the network hub’s ports. Make sure the ends are plugged in tightly and properly.
Step 6
Repeat Steps 3 to 5 to connect the other computers to the network. It is then time to configure the systems when all computers are connected to the network hub.
Step 7
Open the Local Area Connection Properties of the system. In Windows’ Control Panel (click Start > Control Panel), look for the Network Connections icon. Double click on the icon to view all available network connections. An icon for a Local Area Connection should be available if the network card was properly installed and is properly working. Right click on the icon and select Properties. Under the General tab, a small area should show the available protocols Windows is using. Look for Internet Protocol (TCP/IP), click on it, and then click on the Properties button just under the selection.
Step 8
The Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) Properties window now appears on the screen. Select 'Use the following IP address:' by clicking the radio button beside it in the General tab. Type in the IP address and Subnet Mask for the system. Typical IP addresses for small home networks have the pattern 192.168.0.X, where X can be any number from 1 to 127. The Subnet Mask for this network will be 255.255.255.0. Click on OK to close the current window. Click on Close to exit the Local Area Connection Properties.
Step 9
Repeat Steps 7 and 8 for each computer connected to the hub. Each computer must have different IP addresses in Step 8 but the Subnet Mask for all computers must be the same. The systems are now ready for sharing files across the network after Steps 3 to 8 are successfully done.


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