How to Connect Two Computers using a Crossover Cable

Level of difficulty: Intermediate

A crossover cable is a type of electrical cable that is capable of carrying data between two directly connected devices or what is sometimes referred to as a crosslink connection. This type of connection links the output of one device to the input of the other creating a network infrastructure without the use of a hub, switch or router making it ideal of a two-computer network connection only. The crossover cable got its name primarily because of the manner how it is constructed which literally crosses over the order of the Ethernet cable wires to switch the channels where the input and output signals are transmitted. In home networks that only have two computer systems which are closely located to each other, the crossover cable network connection is the most cost effective solution for data and resource sharing.

Materials Needed:
- Two computers with Network Interface Cards
- CAT5 Crossover cable
- Operating System with network support
Step 1
To create a crossover network connection, both computers must initially be turned off and unplugged from the wall socket.
Step 2
Take one end of the crossover cable and plug it into the Network Interface Card port of one computer. Repeat the same process with the other end and connecting it into the other computer system. Make sure that both connections are secure.
Step 3
With the physical crossover connection clearly established, turn on both computers without preference on which computer must be turned on first.
Step 4
Once the log in screen has loaded, sign in as you would normally do to get to the Windows desktop. Repeat the procedure on the other machine so that both computer systems are now at the Windows desktop screen.
Step 5
At this point, wait and make sure that all startup programs have already loaded. Usually this means that the mouse pointer is already in an arrow shape rather than the hour glass. Another indication is that the hard drive is no longer emitting a type of whirring sound.
Step 7
On the context menu, select the Properties option. This will open the Properties window. Click on the Computer Name tab.
Step 8
Verify that the value for both Workgroup is the same. Otherwise click on the Change button and make the necessary changes to make them identical. Click on the OK button to save the changes.
Step 9
You will be prompted to restart the machine. Click on the OK button to allow the machine to restart. Make sure to reboot the other computer system as well.
Step 10
After both machines have restarted, they will now be under the same Workgroup. Just enable sharing of the drive, folders, or files you want and the connection is now complete.