Networking Newbie..

  [DELETED] 11:58 27 Feb 2006

My dad has bought a laptop. He already has a desktop PC. He's looking to be able to access things like Printer currently linked to PC and internet access (only on dial-up presently).

What are the options?

Ideally looking for not too much expense. Is wireless also an option?

  [DELETED] 12:36 27 Feb 2006

If his operating systems are Windows XP or Media Centre, then yes and its relatively simple to do (although I have yet to get shared printing setup properly yet).

Wireless internet access via dial-up should also be possible, although I have no experience of setting this up (last time I used dial-up was a few years ago).

Other forumites are bound to have experience in this ~ wait for them to post suggestions.

  recap 12:41 27 Feb 2006

click here it should help you decide which is the best way to go. At the top of the page select your option from the "How Do I" drop down list.

  [DELETED] 13:21 27 Feb 2006

At a "very" basic/minmal level...for the printer side of things, is it possible to use/get a USB Hub/switch?

  [DELETED] 21:15 27 Feb 2006

If you are considering a USB hub and thereby USB networking, then your Dad would only be using the new laptop in the same room as his existing desktop PC?

The least (zero) cost option is the swap cables between the desktop and laptop depending on whichever one is being used.

If you are considering wired connections, that can be a simple USB or an Ethernet crossover cable connecting the laptop and desktop together, without any need for a hub or router, BUT realistically only if both are running Windows XP (I am guessing at your networking knowledge).

If you would also like to be able to use the laptop as its intended, i.e. mobile and unattached to wires, you can get a wireless router for around £50 or even less. That can be connected (wired) to the desktop PC and beam wirelessly to the laptop (assuming it already has built in wireless capability).

Do read the FAQs and other materials on the web site recap has provided for you.

  [DELETED] 09:53 28 Feb 2006

I doubt that my father will be doing much printing so a USB Switch looks like the way forward.....he'll connect up up the Laptop to the USB Switch when he needs to - the Switch, I guess could sit on the PC table (with trailing cable for Laptop ready whenever he needs to connect up for printing) and therefore he won't have to keep messing around with connections around the back of the PC/Printer.

Would this do?
click here

For internet connectivity (dial-up), I've configured his laptop with his existing Tiscali account details.....the house has telephony sockets all round the house!! I think he would do limited web browsing on the laptop. I guess that means only one PC can access the net at any time. If on dial-up, would networking the 2 PCs mean that both PCs can connect to net at same time?

  [DELETED] 10:52 28 Feb 2006

The switch sounds perfect.

I wouldn't bother trying to network the PCs with dial up. Alot of work and some £ for not much gain and, as you say, the current set up means easy access all around the house via the telephone sockets.

It is worth remembering that 1Mb broadband and unlimited UK telephone calls is available for £30 pm, which is alot less than people realise sometimes. If he did move to BB then a wireless network would be the option at a cost of about £60 to £100 for the gear, or more if you go for the extended range/speed.

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