How To Connect 2 PCs Directly

Easy Instructions for Windows XP and Windows Vista Users

Photo of computer sets

Sometimes people need to connect two PCs. When and why?

Imagine this situation. You come to your friend's house with your laptop to show him the video about your last vacation in Brazil. He wants to have this video, too, and he wants to have it now. What can you do? Use your 2GB USB flash card? No, the size of the video file is much larger. Burn the video on DVD? No, that would take several hours.

Here's another situation. Your elder son found a new PC strategy game. It's so cool, and he wants to play network game with you next weekend. You have a laptop  and home computer, but how do you connect them for this network game?

So many different situations...

What you need in order to connect 2 PCs:

In networking two computers. both computers should have network adapters. You also need an ethernet crossover cable to connect PCs. Ethernet crossover cables can be purchased in any computer shop; the cable looks like normal patch cord, but it is used for the direct connection of 2 PCs. Ask the shopkeepers -- they know what you need. 

How To

Okay, you connected your computers using crossover cable. But now you need to set up network properties on both computers to help them to 'see' each other.

We will show how to do that under Windows XP and Windows Vista. You should do these actions on both computers:

  1. Setup network properties on both computers.
  • Windows XP: Press Start -> Settings -> Network Connections. Windows Vista: Press Start -> Connect To -> View network computers and devices -> Network and Sharing Center.
  • Windows XP: Find Local Area Connection in the window (it must be connected) and right-click it. Select Properties, and the Local Area Connection Properties dialog box appears. Windows Vista: Select Manage Network Connections, find Local Area Connection in the window and double click it. Press Properties button, Local Area Connection Properties dialog box appears.
  • Windows XP: Select Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) and press Properties button. The Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) Properties dialog box appears. Windows Vista: Select Internet Protocol version 4 (TCP/Ipv4) and press Properties button. The Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) Properties dialog box appears.
  • Both systems: Select Use the Following IP Address.
  • IP addresses 192.168.1.x (where x is any number from 1 to 255 -- these numbers are reserved for local networks). So you need to select an address from this range. As you have only two computers in your network, we recommend that you use 1 and 2. Both systems: Set 192.168.1.1 (192.168.1.2 for the second computer) in IP address field. 255.255.255.0 in Subnet mask (for both computers). Press OK.

TCP/IP Properties

2. Create Workgroup for our local network.

  • Windows XP: Open System Properties using Win+Break. Windows Vista: Open System Properties using Win+Break, click Advanced system settings.
  • Windows XP: Select Computer Name tab, click Change, Computer Name Changes dialog box appears. Windows Vista: Click Computer Name tab, click Change, Computer Name/Domain Changes dialog box appears.
  • Both systems: Specify computer name in Computer name field, select Member of Workgroup, and enter the name of workgroup (HOME on the picture below).
  • Both systems: Press OK, and then reboot the computer after the system prompt.

Computer Name Changes

Again, please do all of these on both computers you would like to connect.

3. Create a shared folder.

After reboot, you have the local network consisting of two computers connected directly. You have access to all shared resources of one computer (such as shared folders, printers or other devices) from another computer. Let's look at an example of how to create a shared folder.

  • Both systems: Click the folder you want to share by clicking the right mouse button, select Properties.
  • Both systems: Select Sharing tab.
  • Windows XP: Select Share this folder, enter the name for the folder you want, press OK. Windows Vista: Press Share button, enter the name for the folder you want, press OK.  Now the shared folder is accessible from the network.
  • Windows XP: In order to access it from another computer: press Start -> Settings ->Network Settings. Click My Network Places, click Entire Network, double click Microsoft Windows Network, double click HOME workgroup, the name of the second PC appears. When you double click it, you will see all shared resources of the second PC. Windows Vista: In order to access it from another computer: press Start ->Network, double click HOME workgroup, the name of the second PC appears. When you double click it, you will see all shared resources of the second PC.

Now you are able to exchange files between these computers, print remotely to the printer connected to one of them, play network games, and perform all options you have within the local network.

 

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