What do I need to network?

  HawkesFord 15:26 15 Jan 2006

I haven't got a clue as far as Networking is concerned, but I now have 2 PC's and want both to connect to the cable broadband, and also share a printer.

What do I need to do/get to do this?

Do I need a newtork card? In both PC's. I was thinking of buying one of the network 'kits' that are supposed to contain everything, do they actually contain everything you need?

What about using the printer, do I need to get anything to make this happen, or is that included in the above?

I know this may sound simple, but I'm totally confused by what is out there and available and need a simple, step by step guide.

Thanks in advance.

Stuff I have:
1 PC is running Win XP, one is running Win98. I have a Telewest cable broadband connection (to the WinXP PC). The Win 98 PC was on dial up but now not connected to anything. The printer is a HP Deskjet 690C (NOT a USB connection) currently wired to the Win XP PC.

  ade.h 15:47 15 Jan 2006

Network "kits" often contain more than you need. Can you tell us what connectivity each PC has please? Your question "do I need a card in each PC?" suggests that you may not have any connectivity devices or at least may not know whether you do.

You'll need an Ethernet - normally either 10/100 or Gigabit speed - to configure the router. Note that this MAY not apply to every single router, but it is normal and is for obvious security reasons - until you enable a security protocol, the world and his wife can enter your network if they are in range and a router that opens its config page to a wireless computer is foolish.

You don't HAVE to run the router with one PC wired to it once it's set up, though it may be argued that this is more reliable should the wi-fi element be problematic.

You don't need anything new to make the printer network-ready unless you wish to use it while its host PC is switched off.

  ade.h 15:55 15 Jan 2006

I can give you a description of my setup as an example:

My office PC is connected via a concealed Ethernet cable to the router, which is inside the house. This uses the desktop PC's built-in Ethernet port. No cards required in this example.
Then our two laptops share the DSL line and files/printer via the router using their built-in wi-fi capability.

By no means all desktops have a wifi card or onboard wifi chipset, nor do all desktops have an onboard Ethernet LAN port. Nearly all laptops do have both types.

  HawkesFord 15:57 15 Jan 2006

The new PC (WinXP) has a (according to the receipt) 10/100/1000Mbit Gigabit Ethernet LAN (Broadband Ready).

The old (Win 98) PC will not have anything, but I do have a Network Interface Card that I could fit if required. (Do I need to fit it?)



  HawkesFord 16:01 15 Jan 2006

Basically what I have is the new PC all up and running fine, connected to broadband.

My daughter noe wants the old PC set up in her room, connected to the broadband as well, and she will need to use the printer.


  ade.h 16:08 15 Jan 2006

If I were you, I would setup the router next to the XP PC - which you'll have to do initially anyway (see my post above) and make use of the Gigabit LAN that is already there.

Put a PCI wireless network card into the 98 PC and BE CERTAIN to get one that works fine with that old operating system.

Oh, and one more thing. Give yourself an easy life and buy a Belkin router! They are the easiest to setup and tend to be very reliable. The lack of complaints about Belkin in comparison to, say, Netgear - in the Network section of this forum - backs that up.

  ade.h 16:14 15 Jan 2006

click here

click here= to see my model.

TIP: try not to buy a USB wireless adapter. It may seem like an easy solution, but by all acounts it is not. I have had to sort issues with a couple of USB adapters recently and they are a pain. For desktops, a PCI card is much better. The USB adapters are only worth having for laptops that don't have any other means of going wireless.

  ade.h 16:17 15 Jan 2006

I've just thought of something else!

Not all modem/routers have a hardware filewall but this is a very desirable feature. Configuration is very simple.

It's not a substitute for a software firewall because they achieve slightly different things; soft firewalls are primarily for program control on the host PC.

  HawkesFord 16:31 15 Jan 2006

PCI wireless network card

Is this the same as the Network Interface Card I have, or completely different?


  ade.h 16:40 15 Jan 2006

It is, yes. Assuming that your NIC is a PCI fitting for use inside a desktop tower, rather than a PCMCIA card (also known as a PC card). There are various kinds of PC card, including network adapters. They are for laptops only.

  HawkesFord 16:41 15 Jan 2006

Thanks very much for the help.


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