Beginners Guide to Networking please

  Border View 15:02 02 Jan 2009

I have an Acer laptop which has wifi which I use to connect to the internet via my o2 wireless box II. (Speedtouch 585v7). Its wireless and not Ethernet.

I also have a desktop computer which is not wifi enabled, but which I would like to connect. Both machines run with Windows XP Home (laptop SP3, desktop still SP2).

My printer and scanner are connected via powered USB to the laptop.

It is my intention to my a usb wireless adaptor from o2 to plug into the desktop. I cant use ethernet because the router is too far away from my work station.

All OK so far. My problem is where do I find a step by step guide to setting up a link between the desktop and the router when I get the adaptor;

Will I be able to use my printer and scanner which is connected to the laptop with the desktop computer, if so where do I find out how to set up such a link. Is this something to do with a Local Area Network?

Your help and advice would be appreciated


  pcmags 16:57 02 Jan 2009
  Border View 17:05 02 Jan 2009

Thank you pcmags, an excellent start.

  Strawballs 19:17 03 Jan 2009

When you get your USB wireless dongle install it on the desktop(Only install the drivers not the application let windows manage that) then right click on the wireless icon in the bottom righthand corner and choose view availiable networks then choose yours you will be asked for your encryption key, it will then connect.

Then run the network wizard (not the wireless one) from the control panel on all machines in your network.

  Border View 19:54 03 Jan 2009

Strawballs, thank you, that was exactly what I was looking for.

  Strawballs 20:18 03 Jan 2009

Make sure that you give them all the same workgroup XP home will make it MSHOME by default and Pro will make it WORKGROUP by default so if you have a mix of both make sure that you choose the same for all.

  Border View 23:28 06 Jan 2009

New o2 wireless dongle came today. Going around in circles because it wont connect. Should mention I use XP Home SP2 on the computer I am trying to connect.

Installed the drivers, connected USB dongle, clicked on the icon, entered my WPA2 keyword. Got this message:

The network password needs to be 40bits or 104 bits depending on your network configuration.

This can be entered as 5 or 13 characters or 10 or 26 hexadecimal characters.

I use a 10 character key word.

Then tried using the software which came with the router to "add another computer wirelessly" Got as far as entering SSID (OK) it asked for a WEP code from the router installation. Since installing the router (o2 wireless box II) I upped the security from WEP to WPA2. When I entered the WPA2 code it said this was invalid.

I cant get into the router settings via the desktop (new computer) under the usual number because I have to be connected to the internet.

Can anyone please help me overcome this problem.

  Border View 11:22 07 Jan 2009

Update: Did a hard reset of the router last night, used the router CD again and all came well in the end.

This did of course take me back to WEP security, so this morning have managed to increase security to WPA.

So now that I am connected on both machines to the internet, I am off to try and set up a LAN so that I can use my printer and scanner on both machines.

  Strawballs 22:05 07 Jan 2009

You will be able to use the printer on both machines but not the scanner.

  Border View 23:26 07 Jan 2009

Not had a chance to start work on the LAN setup. Been too busy with Malwarebytes and Avast cleaning up my second computer.

Disappointed that I wont be able to use the scanner on both machines. Any reason why not - they are both Canon.

  Strawballs 02:04 08 Jan 2009

Not sure why only know that only printers can be shared across network, maybe some else can explain why.

As for lan turn on all PC's and printers to be shared then run network wizard from the control panel (not wireless wizard) on both machines.

To share the printer with the machine not connected to it go to start> printers and faxes, then add printer > network printer > browes > click on the printer when it appears and that should be that.

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