Connection and transfer of data is one of the invaluable uses of a computer. A lot of technology has arisen from this dire need. Between computers, one effective method is via the use of Ethernet cables. The questions that arise though this method are which cable should I use (the straight or the crossover cable) and how do I do so?
Choosing Between Straight or Crossover Cables
To know which cables will get the work done, one should first determine which devices they seek to connect; are they devices of the same kind (two computers for example) or devices of a different kind (a computer to a network switch or Ethernet hub, for example).
When two like systems are sharing files, one outputs the data while the other receives it as input. Intentionally crossed wiring in the crossover cable connects the transmit signals at one end to the receive signals at the other end. This makes crossover cables the more ideal cable for Ethernet connection between similar systems, like two computers.
How to Connect Two Windows PCs with a LAN Cable
With a crossover cable in hand, the steps are pretty straightforward.
1. Go to “Control Panel -> Network and Internet -> Network and Sharing Center -> Change Adapter Settings.”
2. Click on “Change Adapter Settings.” This will reveal different connections. Select the appropriate connection for your LAN. Usually, but not necessarily, the connection will be called Ethernet and have the description network cable unplugged.
Right-click on the connection and select “Properties.” The local area’s connection properties window will appear.
3. Under the network tab select “Internet protocol version 4 (TCP/IPv4),” then click on “Properties.”
In the Properties windows set the IP address and subnet masks of the first computer to:
- IP – 192.168.0.1
- Subnet Mask – 126.96.36.199
Repeat all the above steps for the second computer, and set the IP address and subnet Mask as follows:
- IP – 192.168.0.2
- Subnet Mask – 188.8.131.52
Note: it is important to ensure that the last values of the IP address for both computers are different.
4. The next step is to connect the crossover cable to the network ports of the two computers. Both ends of the network cable look the same, so it doesn’t matter which end you use first. The network ports look something like the image below. (Do note that most modern
computers laptops don’t come with a LAN port.)
5. Right-click on “This PC,” and choose “Properties.” Click on “Change settings -> Change.” This reveals the window with the name of the work group. The value for the workgroup name should be the same for both PCs. By default, the workgroup name will be WORKGROUP, but you can change it to any name you like.
6. Right-click on the drive you want to share. Scroll to the “Give access to” option and click “Advanced Sharing.” Under the sharing tab, click the “Advanced Sharing” button.
This reveals the advanced sharing window. Check the “Share this folder” checkbox, and click “Apply -> OK.”
At this stage, you will have successfully connected the two Windows computers to share your drives between them.
Specific folders or files can now be transferred. To share specific folders or files from Computer A (ADMIN-HP) with Computer B, simply right-click the desired folder or file in Computer A, scroll to the “Give access to” option and click “Specific People.”
Select “Everyone” from the drop-down menu in the file sharing window. Next, click “Add” and click “Share.”
Go to the Network Panel on Computer B, and you will see the name of whatever computer is part of the network. In this case Computer A is ADMIN-HP. Double-click on it, and all files shared will be displayed. At this stage you can use the normal copy and paste to move the desired content.
In the case of copying files from Computer B to Computer A, perform the same steps, but this time the steps previously performed on Computer A are performed on Computer B and vice versa.
Have you set up a small home network using an Ethernet crossover cable? Let us know your ideas in the comments section.