I am trying to find a reliable and easy to use method to connect 2 - 5 laptop machines together with no available network. The machines will all be Windows XP or better, and they will all have builtin wired and wireless adapters.
The environment could best be described as a group of people in the same location (perhaps under a tent or in a building) , with no networking infrastructure at all. They would have very little networking experience and would not be able to manage complicated setups. They'll have power and cellular communication, and they'll stay there for 1 - 3 days and then move to another place. They'll be running a program that needs to connect to a central SQL Server Express database hosted on one of the machines. I know how to setup SSE for remote connections, so I don't need help with that.
I've tested an Ad-Hoc network with a couple of laptops here in my office, and it seems to work well enough. I can run the program on each machine, and connect to the "host". But I'm not sure if this is the most reliable method to use, or if there's something better. Reliability is probably the most critical factor at play, much more so that speed.
Any suggestions? Or would the Ad-Hoc type of network be suitable for this sort of thing?