How to Network Several Computers Together

by Contributor

Creating a home or office local area network (LAN) allows you to access shared printers, programs and information, use one Internet service provider and even play LAN video games with others on your network. An Ethernet network is the most common solution for networking several computers together.

Ensure that each computer and network device has a network interface card (NIC) installed. A NIC will look similar to an internal modem, but the RJ-45 jack is larger than a phone jack. Many older computers and printers may not have these installed as a standard feature.

Set up the physical layout of your network. Choose a central location for your Ethernet hub, router and modem. If the computers are in different rooms, plan to drill holes in the floor or wall through which to run the Ethernet cables.

Choose an Ethernet hub. The hub should have enough Ethernet ports to support the number of computers, printers and other devices in your network. Each computer and network device will connect to the hub using Ethernet cables.

Get enough RJ-45 Ethernet cables to connect each network device and computer to the Ethernet hub. Measure the distance from each device to the hub and purchase cables with appropriate lengths.

Choose a router. The router will allow your networked computers to share an Internet connection. You can connect the hub and modem to the router. Or, if you do not have enough computers to require a hub, you can connect the computer and the modem to the router.

Tips

  • check Use wireless networking technology for mobile devices such as laptops.
  • check Use a network setup wizard (if your operating system has one) to implement file sharing.

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