Computers can be used for meeting our daily computing and data keeping requirements. Many times, we feel the need of connecting two computers together so that the data and resources can be shared between the two. It is always not necessary that you would have a wireless or wired router installed at your home to do the same and in such cases you might feel the need of connecting them directly to one another. Is it possible to connect two computers together using LAN adaptors so that they can communicate with one another? The answer to this question is ‘Yes’. You can easily connect two computers together so that they make a network of two computers. But for this you would need an Ethernet cable. Don’t rush to get the Ethernet cable because to make such a connection we need a specially prepared Ethernet cable. Such a cable which is used for peer to peer Ethernet networking is called as a crossover Ethernet cable.
An Ethernet cable has 8 individual wires in it and in a normal Ethernet cable the sequence of these wires remains the same at both ends. For example if sequence is 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8 on one connector then it will be the same at the other end too. But in a crossover Ethernet cable, the sequence on the other end will be 8,7,6,5,4,3,2,1. Once you have this cable in your hands, just connect it to the two Ethernet adaptors (one on each computer) and that would be all as far as the hardware configuration and setup is considered. Further we just need to make some tweaks in the operating system so that they can communicate with each other.
Let us see how to set the operating systems up for peer to peer connection.
Step 1: Go to ‘System Properties’ on both the computers and then go into the ‘Computer Name’ tab. The ‘System Properties’ window can be opened by right clicking the ‘My Computer’ icon and then clicking on ‘Properties’.
Step 2: In the ‘Computer Name’ tab make sure that both the computers have unique names.
Step 3: In the same window, make sure that both the computers have the ‘Workgroup’ option selected and the name of the workgroup is also the same on both.
Step 4: Close the ‘System Properties’ window and then open the ‘Network Connection’ window.
Step 5: Here in this window right click on the ‘Local Area Connection’ icon and then select ‘Properties’. Further down the list, double click on the ‘TCP/IP’ option to open the ‘Properties’ window.
Step 6: Here please specify two unique IP addresses of the same class on both the computers. To make it easier you can use the following IP addresses on your computers: 192.168.1.1 and 192.168.1.2. If you are using these IP address, the subnet mask on both of them should be 255.255.255.0
As far as the networking is concerned you have completed the procedure. Now all you need is to share files and folders so that they can be seen from other computer.
To view the shared files on another computer you need to open Windows Explorer and then type ‘\\<computer name>\’ in the address bar. This will list all the shared data on the second computer and the same step can be followed on the second computer to browse the first computer’s shared data.