networking two computers

speedyone used Ask the Experts™
I have two computers with networking cards installed and a cat 5 crossover cable.  Is this all I need? What do I need to do to start networking?
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As long as you have the drivers properly installed for the cards, as well as the same type of protocol * TCP/IP preffered * you should be able to see eachother, you should alls look at setting the IP addresses to a static ip addy such as and, it'l make it a bit quicker for them to see eachother, and start sharing files or playing games.

Hope this helps.
You need to give each PC an IP address with the same first set of three numbers and different last numbers.  For example, you give one the IP address and the other an IP address of  To do this you need to have a TCP/IP protocol installed.  When you set the IP addresses, you also need to set the subnet, which needs to be the same on both computers, and is usually (I'm not sure if this is the case out of necessity).  Once you've done this, both machines should be able to see each other, then it just depends what sort of 'networking' you want to do, and what sort of machines you're running.
Here's a more complete answer for you, assuming these are Windows machines you are networking:

Once you've got the hardware in place (the cards and cross-over cable) you need to sort the software.  Networks work on protocols, which are basically standards for how the machines should package up information before sticking it on the wire.

One of the most common is TCP/IP, simply because it's used on the Internet and is an open standard.  However, don't overlook other protocols unless there is a real reason not to.  For instance, IPX/SPX tends to be a more lightweight protocol than TCP/IP as it is designed for use over small, fast, reliable LANs (TCP/IP has all the functionality to function make a huge, slow, irregular, unreliable network like the Internet function as a reliable network).  Some software will work over many protocols, whereas some won't.

If all you're doing is playing games over the network then you'll probably be fine with IPX/SPX.  I'm pretty sure that file and printer sharing will work over it, too.  If you're sharing Internet access you'll need TCP/IP, though, but then that's a whole new can of worms.

Finally, it's useful to know that you can mix and match protocols.  For instance, install TCP/IP to get Internet Connection Sharing running and install IPX/SPX for a more efficient protocol for games.

Hope this helps,


both computers have to be part of the same workgroup name, as well as have unique computer names.
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