How To Link two Computers

Level of difficulty: Intermediate

Linking computers together or more commonly called networking is usually done in order to share various files as well as hardware devices among client machines for the purpose of minimizing deployment cost and maximizing productivity. During the early years of computing technology, network environments were limited merely to large organizations which made use of dedicated servers to cater to the requests of all connected machines and regulated the flow of data exchange. With the introduction of network capable Operating Systems like the Microsoft Windows platform, networking has invaded the home computing environment and gave birth to the home network technology. The simplest setup of any home network is to directly connect two computers together allowing for the exchange of files, sharing of printers, other devices, resources, and even Internet connection.

Materials Needed:
- Two computers
- Network Interface Card
- Ethernet cables
- Operating System with network support
Step 1
Both computer systems to be connected must have their respective NIC (Network Interface Card) installed. In case you computer has none, purchase one and have a qualified technician install the expansion card to avoid any problems.
Step 2
Once the NICs are present in the machine, make sure that both computers are turned off and unplugged from the wall socket.
Step 3
Connect one end of the Ethernet card into the port of the NIC card and do the same with the other end on the NIC of the second computer system.
Step 4
Decide on the network address to be used by your home network. Both computers must reside in the same IP address to make sure that they see each other. For example, if the first computer uses, for the second computer simply replace the last digit with a different number.
Step 5
Turn on the computer. After the Operating System has loaded, click on the Start button and select the Control Panel option.
Step 6
In the Control Panel, select the Network Connections icon to open the Network Connections window. Right click on the Local Area Connection icon and select Properties from the context menu.
Step 7
Choose the Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) option in the Local Area Connection Properties window. Click the Properties button.
Step 8
Specify the desired IP address to be used and click on the OK button. Close all open windows and reboot the machine.
Step 9
Repeat step 5 to step 8 in the other machine to prepare it for the simple home network configuration.
Step 10
Once both machines have been rebooted, verify the connection. Click the Start button then choose Run to open a command prompt window.
Step 11
Type CMD and then click on the OK button. In the Command Prompt window, type PING, then the IP address of the other machine. Do the same procedure in the other computer.
Step 12
When both PING commands return a successful result, the two computers are now connected and can share resources.