Setting up a simple network

  The Belarussian Mafia 10:41 19 Feb 2005

I've just got a Win XP PC that I'd like to network to an old Win 98 PC. I don't want the extra cost of buying a fancy router to share the broadband connection, I just want to link the two for file transfers/game play.

1) The new PC has onboard 10/100/1000 LAN. Can I now just stick a network card in the old PC, buy a cable, and let XP do the rest - i.e. is it that simple?

2)Do I need a particular cable to take advantage of the 1Gig speed (for 3-D gaming)?

3)Are there implications for slowing the speed of the old (750MHz) PC when using the LAN, and are there power-related issues (only 200 Watt).

4) Finally, I seem to remember that transmission suffers beyond a certain distance - is this true?

  The BB 11:14 19 Feb 2005

PCA has just set up a new forum (hoorah) for networking. Suggest you ask FE to move this or close and repost.

A CAT-5 cross over cable would be fine as its rated suitable for 10/100 bit LANs.

Don't expect to get near the 100 Mbit rate though as Ethernet usually tops out at 40% efficiency and there are other bottlenecks in your system (hard disk, bus etc.) and it will probably be running full pelt to try and keep the 100 Mbit busy - a Gigabit LAN wouldn't really help {unless others have had different experience ;-) }

A network card in your 98 box should not draw too much power, but a 200W is low - suck it and see (but do use a card in the box, not a USB adapter, the card is only a tenner (but make sure the card type is right if it a really old machine).

Distance, I recall 85m as a limit on a cross over, but, practically its more. Given that off the shelf cables usually only stretch to 10m not an issue.

  Kegger 11:22 19 Feb 2005

The Belarussian Mafia,

1, yes all you need to do is add a network card to the win 98 pc, you will need a crossover cable and not a straight threw cable unless you are connecting to a switch or Hub. you will also have to set both PC's up into the same 'workgroup' (make it unique to solve issues do not use defaults as they are different in xp / win98)

2, see above

3, no power limitations, no implications for slowing the speed of the old (750MHz) PC,

4, limit on network cable is 100 metres, not applicable in your case unless you have one massive house

  dcnewton 11:40 19 Feb 2005

Couldn't agree more with the above.

if you want to just go and pick up a network pack then what I did is (and i can't beleive i am admitting to this) went to PC World and picked up a network starter pack, you get:

2 network cards
2 cables
1 5 port hub
1 driver disk

all for £25, fine you ain't going to get top class equip for that price.

otherwise ebuyer for really cheap stuff.

hope that helps.

  The Belarussian Mafia 12:59 19 Feb 2005

Thanks everyone. Not tried this before, but sounds straightforward. If I do it this way and get the crossover cable does that mean I'd never be able to connect a third PC / laptop, etc. - i.e. would I need a hub and a different type of cable to leave that possibility open?

  FelixTCat 14:10 19 Feb 2005

You can only join 2 computers together directly. If you want more than 2, you will need a hub or a router.

To help you share the broadband connection and set up the network, run the nework wizard on the host computer and make the disk when it is suggested . Run that disk on the Win 98 PC and it will get the right settings for you. Do this after you have installed the network card.

  The Belarussian Mafia 15:16 19 Feb 2005

Thanks FTC. Is this how you set up an ICS connection? (I don't want to splash out on a router/hub.)

  FelixTCat 15:19 19 Feb 2005

Da, tovarich. There will be a box to tick to say that you want other computers to access the internet through this one.

  Kegger 17:24 19 Feb 2005

"If I do it this way and get the crossover cable does that mean I'd never be able to connect a third PC / laptop, etc. - i.e. would I need a hub and a different type of cable to leave that possibility open?"

you can only connect 2 devices using a crossover cable, if you want to add a third or more you must have either a hub or switch and then use straight threw cables, you could also buy a router with 4 ports but still use straight threw cables and connect the PC's to that.

  The Belarussian Mafia 17:31 19 Feb 2005

Many thanks!

  The Belarussian Mafia 17:37 19 Feb 2005

FelixTCat - spasibo bol'shoye za ob"yasnyenye.

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