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'routing' two pc's

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'routing' two pc's

we have two pc's (one new running xp and the other 5 yrs old running windows 98 - no ethernet card i dont think)

i want to link them both to the binatone modem. i presume i need a 'router' and some kind of cable? what sort of router, cable and what (if anything) else do i need?

thanks
ian
3 REPLIES
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'routing' two pc's

A router's the nice way to do it, but you can also get away with simply networking the two PCs together and using your existing ADSL modem. The advantage of this is its relatively cheap (you can buy ethernet adapters for as little as £5 these days and you simply need a suitable length of Cat5 cable [crossover type] to connect them -- or you could use wireless protocols, of course, although that'd cost more) use Internet Connection Sharing on the PC (XP) with the modem; the disadvantage is that the PC with the ADSL modem needs to be powered up if the other PC is to have Internet access. With an ADSL router, you'll have no need of the modem (keep it for backup use if ever required).

If you decide on an ADSL router, there's plenty of choice, again, both wireless and wired protocols. Look at ADSLGuide for examples. By all accounts Netgear models are popular; Force9 use a Solwise model, and they seem to have a good reputation. My own router is a SpeedTouch 510, and I have no hesitation recommending it. If you decide on a wired network, it would make sense to buy a router with a built-in switch (normally four ports) since this will save you buying one separately (although they're pretty cheap these days, so it's no big deal). You'll need a length of Cat5 cable [straight-through type] for connecting each PC to the router -- the router will probably come with one cable anyway.
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'routing' two pc's

thanks, its useful information.

we also have 2 printer that we'd like to share. would a router enable us to do this too?
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'routing' two pc's

Are they network printers (ie with an Ethernet adapter) or USB?

If they're network printers then simply attach each to one of the LAN ports on the router, and they'll be available at will to either PC (once you've told the PCs that they're network printers).

If they're USB-attached, then a few routers also have a "print server" function, but (I imagine) only for one printer. This would enable you to make the printer available to both PCs. The direct connection is between the printer and the router, not printer and a PC, so this means neither PC "owns" the printer, and therefore neither PC depends on the other one being powered up in order to access the printer (they just rely on the router being up).

Even without a "print server" capability on the router, you can attach the printers to PCs as normal, and "share" them across your local network. This is probably what most people would do -- no special printer required; no special router. Obviously, in order to do this, the PC which is directly attached to a given printer needs to be powered up for the other PC to access that printer. On your PCs, in the network properties, as well as the TCP/IP protocol, you need to ensure you have both the "Client for Microsoft Networks" and "File and Print Sharing for Microsoft Networks" services installed (different versions of Windows may use slightly different names for those services), and you need to explicitly make the printer available for sharing.