What equipment do I need to setup a small home network


Hi,

I have a laptop and a desktop PC and my wife also has a PC at home. What I would like to be able to do is setup a small server at home so that all can share our broadband connection and we can have a central area for storing documents for hom as well as backing up work information on my home pc.

I have an old PC that I plan to use as a server. What other hardware and software do you feel I would need.

My PC and Laptop are running XP Pro and the wife is running Windows ME. As is the older system I plan to use as a server?

Thanks for your help !

Chris
itsPoochAsked:
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chicagoanCommented:
I'd suggest getting a broadband router, as you'll need a switch to connect the machines anyway, the simplicity and safety of a hardware firewall is well worth the few dollars extra.

This will handle IP addressing for the other machines, the just need to have an ethernet card and be set up for DHCP, just as if they were directly connected to the cable or DSL modem.

You'll want to make sure the workgroup name is the same for all the machines, and that the machine names are different.

Open the Windows Me Network control panel by clicking the Start button. Select Settings, then select Control Panel. Double-click the Network icon in the resulting Control Panel window.  
If File an printer sharing isn't present:

Select the Configuration tab and click the Add button.  
Select the Service component and click the Add button.  
Select File and printer sharing for Microsoft Networks then click the OK button
Double-click on the “Network” icon in the control panel
Under the Configuration tab, click on the “File and Print Sharing…” button.
Check the box(es) next to the resource(s) you want to share and click on “OK”.


Create a folder you want to share, right click on it and select properties.
Select to share the folder.
 
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cooleditCommented:
try look at http://www.e-smith.org 
and download the E-smith server 350 MB it can be used as your internet gateway and server Mailserver all you ever wanted. It is very easy to install and then use DHCP for the clients I'll bet you after downloading it you connect via a browser (http) and configure the rest based on the given IP-Adress, it will take 45 min and you are on the run.
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kiranghagCommented:
www.practucallynetworked.com is also one good resource
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kiranghagCommented:
sorry, the link is www.practicallynetworked.com
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ShineOnCommented:
You really don't need a server.  You can do peer-to-peer file and print sharing between the Windows PCs, and use, as chicagoan recommended, a broadband router to hook it all together.

If you want to play around using the old PC (depending on how old it is) you can put Linux on it.  I've heard Mandrake is relatively easy to install and configure.
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