Many of us have already spent a lot of money buying a portable hard drive simply to transfer digital video files, audio files, photos, et cetera from a home PC to a laptop or have spent hours burning DVDs again only to transfer files from office PC to laptop. This is almost copy paste job and we should not be wasting time and money on it. There is cheaper better and faster option available to connect two computers and share data, printers, internet and play networked games.
The instructions below show how to connect two computers for the purpose of sharing data. This will let you share files and folders, printers, play network games, etc. You don’t need a hub, switch or router with a crossover cable if you want to connect just two computers. You can even connect two desktops/laptops or a laptop and a desktop, having the same or different operating systems installed.
1. Two computers -Two Desktop / Two Laptops / One Laptop and one desktop.
2. An Ethernet crossover cable – A crossover cable is used to connect two computers directly, without the use of the hub, switch or router. Normal “straight through” cables have an identical sequence of colored wires on each end whereas crossover cables have the 1st and the 3rd wires (counting from left to right) crossed, and the 2nd and 6th wires crossed.
3. Network adapters – The adapters should be present in both computers (these are standard these days)
How to Connect two Computers?
Connecting two computers is not easy as it seems. It requires certain configuration on both the computers. The article speaks about three methods in detail that will make your computer talk to each other.
Method#1 – Connect two computers with Ethernet crossover cable
1. Connect two computers by plugging in two ends of the Ethernet crossover cable into the Ethernet port of each computer.
2. Setup network properties on both the computer. For this navigate to Network connections in control panel, select properties by right clicking on it.
3. Select internet protocol (TCP/IP) and press properties button to change the IP address to 192.168.1.1 (192.168.1.2 for the second computer) in the IP address field. Enter 126.96.36.199 in subnet mask (for both computers). Press ‘ok’. To change IP address in Window Vista navigate to Start->Connect to->View network computers and devices->Network and sharing center. Select Manage Network Connections, press properties button under Local Area Connection. Select Internet Protocol version4(TCP/Ip4) and press properties button. The internet Protocol (TCP/IP) Properties dialog box appears.
4. Create workgroup for local network. Right Click my computer icon, select properties and change the computer name and workgroup. (Note- Names of the computers should NOT be the same, but Workgroup names should be exactly the same on both).
5. Press ok and reboot the computer now.
6. Your home network is ready to transfer files share printers and above all, to play network games with your family and friends.
To start sharing your data, right click on any folder or drive and choose Sharing. You can also share printers and peripherals of other computer and play network games.
How to Set up a shared printer or other devices?
Go to Control Panel -> Network -> File and Print Sharing. There are two options available. Either you can share file or share printer or both. After this process finish, Windows will ask you to restart your computer. Restart your computer again to complete the shared printer setup.
Method#2 – Connect two computers using USB Bridge Cable.
Most of us use USB cable to connect printers, keyboards, digital cameras and MP3 players to the computer. The computers can also be connected via USB bridge cable. To do so follow the simple steps below-
- Start both the computers and Log in with you Windows account with administrator privileges.
- Take USB bridge cable and Insert one end of the USB bridge cable into a USB port of one of the computer, and the other end of the cable into the USB port of the second computer.
- Download and Install the driver software for the USB bridge cable. Make sure you download it from the cable manufacturer site.
- Install the USB bridge cable either as a link adapter or a network adapter. If you install it as a link adapter, you can only transfer the files between two computers. You cannot play networked games under such case. If you install it as a network adapter, you will have full network functionality.
- Your two computers are connected.
Method#3 – Connect two computers wirelessly with WiPeer?
If both the computers are on wireless network then you can use WiPeer to share data across two computers, play network games, etc. In order to use WiPeer, one needs at least two computers with a network card. If the two computers have a wireless card, it is possible to establish direct communication between the two computers without any router. Alternatively, if the two computers are already connected to the same LAN, either through an Ethernet wire or wirelessly, then they can also use WiPeer.
How to Verify if two computers are connected?
Ping is the simplest way to verify the connectivity. Open the command prompt (located in the start menu-accessories-command prompt) and type ping (ip address of other computer). Suppose ip address of second computer is 10.20.30.40 then open the command prompt and enter the following line (make sure you are writing correct ip address) and then hit enter-
If it returns ‘Request timed out’ as shown in screenshot then your computer is not connected.
If it returns ‘Reply…’ as shown in screenshot then your computer is connected correctly.