how to network?

Ok, I have a laptop and a home pc. The laptop has an integrated networking card installed and the pc has a pci network card installed. If i wanted to have a small network between these two computers all i need are 2 networking cables and a hub right? Do i need an internet connection to have a network or can i simply connect the laptop to the hub and the pc to the hub?

what’s a crossover cat 5 cable? is that just a normal cat 5 cable or is it special?

ok few things

a crossover cable is a cat 5 cable with a single pair of cords within it crossed over.

this is needed because the IN/OUT cords are crossed or somthing enabling a single cab;e to go directly from one computer to another.

now a HUB does not use crossover cables as the hub has within it a bit of brains that works all that out.

a hub is used for more than 2 computers connected together, and in our case our entire house has a CAT5 (rj45) network with a port in each room. these all go to a hub with then connects to the server machine.

so if you have a hub you will use at least 2x normal cables.

if you have a direct PC<----->PC conection you will want a crossover cable

i hope that helps.

BTW what OS’s are you using???

the OS configuration is important.


I’d bet you’re running windows

(the newer networking cards on the mac laptops can tell the type of cable and adapt if it is wrong, or so I hear…)

you don’t need anything really special to connect two computers, either a crossover cable (two computers directly) or a hub (switch or router, ask I’ll explain the difference) for multiple computers.

no need for an internet connection

well anyways, what exactly do you want to do?

if it is just share files it shouldn’t really be a problem, the windows “wizards” and help files are reasonable for that, turn on file sharing (likely already on for c:\documents and settings\all users\shared documents) and give the computers a workgroup (make one up, but they should be on the same one) and names (unique ones).

Technically speaking, the difference is between switches and hubs. A router is only added functionality on top (usually to a switch). The difference between hub and switch is how they treat the data: A hub broadcast the data through all its ports while a switch knows where it’s going and only send it there.


I’m using windows xp pro on one and xp home on the other (university discount makes them only 7 bucks a piece!) I just plan on sharing files and playing games over the network if possible. I think the crossover cable should work. Thanks for clearing that up.

umm, and a switch can work with multiple speed network cards, a hub will slow down to the slowest one.

(I have a machine with a 10-base T card [laptop, if you can find a 10/100 card PCMCIA TYPE 1…], and we used to have a half-duplex 10-base T (or similar, old machine it was) on the network acting as a print server)