How to Connect a Laptop to a Computer

Level of difficulty: Intermediate

The presence of computers in almost every aspect of home and business life makes it one of the most valuable tools in the modern world. Part of its perceived usefulness is the ability to transmit data from one machine to another which is commonly referred to as networking. Implementing this strategy eliminates communication boundaries and generates advantages like reduction in deployment cost, higher resource reliability, lower expenses in downsizing, and better flexibility due to the ability to connect devices and machines of varying architectures and possibly from different vendors. In the area of interconnection, there are various ways to connect computer systems regardless of their architecture like desktops connecting to laptops.

Materials Needed:
- Crossover cable
- Network Interface Card
- Null modem cable
- infrared
- router
- direct cable
Step 1
To connect laptops and desktops running under the Linux platform, proceed to Step 13. For Mac OS, go to Step 15. Interconnection under the Microsoft Windows Operating System environment is normally done using Ethernet card and cables. This can be achieved either with the use of a routing hardware or crossover cables.
Step 2
For crossover cables, simply connect one end to the laptop and the other to the desktop. On the laptop, open 'Control Panel' and go to 'Network Connections'. Right click on the icon and choose 'Properties'.
Step 3
When the Local Area Connection Properties window appears, locate TCP/IP and click on the 'Properties' button. Enter the desired IP address and save the changes.
Step 4
Under the 'Control Panel', click on 'System' and choose the 'Computer Name' tab. Type in the desired Workgroup name and click the 'OK' button.
Step 5
Repeat Step 2 and 3 for the desktop machine then reboot boot systems. This should allow the user of both machines to see each other.
Step 6
Since majority of laptops have built-in infrared devices, it allows for an alternative connection. Open the 'Infrared' option from the 'Control Panel'.
Step 7
Search for available hardware and activate the connection. A note on using infrared connectivity, the desktop must also have its own infrared device and must be aligned to that of the laptop to effectively establish a connection.
Step 8
Using direct cable via the parallel port allows for the creation of an input and output port on both machines using a single cable as its interface. To initiate this connection, go to 'Control Panel' and open 'Network Connections'.
Step 9
Click on the 'Create a new connection' task and choose 'Set up' and 'advanced connection' option.
Step 10
Click on the 'Connect directly to another computer' option. Define the role of the machine whether it will receive the file (Guest) or send the file (Host). The role of both machines must be defined accordingly.
Step 11
A similar approach is the use of a Null modem cable which is connected to the serial ports of the machines. In this similar set-up, the communication link assumes that the machine on the other end is a DTE while the other is a DCE. This type of connection normally implements handshakes to authenticate the connection.
Step 12
To finish the connection process, the drives on both machines must be shared by right clicking on the drive icon and choosing 'Sharing and Security'.
Step 13
In Linux, the easiest way to achieve interconnection is via the OpenSSH secure shell feature which is included in every GNU distribution package. The daemon is initiated by simply typing the text sshd in the root terminal.
Step 14
Once successfully started, connection may be done via the terminal window of the connecting machine by also invoking the ssh command. An alternative is to use the scp command. In any instance, the syntax is normally 'scp {name of file} IP address of source:directory location'.