Save money, share resources and create a home network. Every computer in your home can be included in a network environment, making it possible and easy for everyone with a computer to share the same printer and other resources (eg files) over your home network. Anyone with more than 1 computer can create a home network. It is easy.
Method 1 of 3: Set up your own home network
Step 1. Get everything ready before you start creating your network
- Get all the installation CDs you will need. Depending on your computer, you may need network drivers.
- Choose a name for your home network. Most people use their last names, but anything will work.
- Write individual names for each of the computers.
- Choose what resources you would like to share. These can include printers, files, or your Internet connection.
Step 2. Determine which connectivity method works best to create your home network
Most people use either an Ethernet or a wireless connection.
Step 3. Install your network cards (NICs) in the corresponding slot on each computer
You will need an Ethernet connection or a wireless NIC for network connectivity, depending on the connectivity method you chose.
Step 4. Make sure you have enough Ethernet cables available for the job, as needed
You will need 1 Ethernet cable for each computer on your home network. These cables come in a variety of lengths, so know which cable length will work best for your network and buy it.
Step 5. Connect 2 computers using an RJ-45 crossover cable
Connect 3 or more computers to the network with a hub (concentrator) or switch. Make sure the hub or switch has enough ports to handle all connected computers.
Step 6. Configure your connection
You'll want to follow the manufacturer's instructions for the connection method you chose.
Method 2 of 3: Connect your home network
Step 1. Install the network software
You will need to do this no matter what type of connection you are going to use. You will need to have software included with your Ethernet or wireless hardware.
Step 2. Follow the instructions to set up the device
You will have to designate which computer will be the server and which will be the clients.
Step 3. Restart the computers after installing the software
Step 4. Create a profile for both Ethernet and wireless connectivity
Your profile will allow you to connect and use your home network.
Run the network software setup program and follow the instructions to create the profile
Step 5. Set the mode to ad hoc or peer-to-peer, if you are not using an access point
If you are using an access point, set it to infrastructure mode.
- Enter the name of your network.
- If you are using an ad hoc network, all adapters must use the same network channel. Adjusts the channel from 1 to 11.
- When you use a network in infrastructure mode, the client computer automatically configures itself and selects the channel with the best signal.
- To finish this installation, enter the encryption key, according to the provider's instructions.
Step 6. Purchase a high-speed router for your wired or wireless Ethernet solution
This is an easier way to create a network.
Plug the end of the adapter into your computer's USB port and plug the other end into an electrical outlet
Method 3 of 3: Set up shared Internet connection
Step 1. Connect your home network to the web
Internet Connection Sharing (ICS) connects all computers on your home network to the Internet using a dial-up or high-speed connection.
Step 2. Plug a second Ethernet card into the computer that will host the ICS
Step 3. Connect the bridge cable directly to the second card, unless you have a router
If you are using a router, connect the bridge to the router's Ethernet port and plug the bridge into an electrical outlet.
Step 4. Install the software CD that comes with your home network kit
You will also need to install the ICS software on the host computer.
Step 5. Install the network setup software
You will have to enter a network password. Enter the same one you used for the bridge.
Step 6. Repeat the installation process on all computers on your network
Plug the adapter into the USB port of each computer. Windows will detect the hardware and ask for the driver to be installed, which should be on the installation CD.
You will also need to install the network configuration software. When prompted for a network password, be sure to use the same one that you used for the bridge
Step 7. Restart your computer to complete your connection
- To protect data, computers, and privacy, always use encryption for wireless connections. Wireless access points commonly have several options available for encryption, in descending order of security:
- WPA2 - Available in Personal and Business
- WPA - Available in Personal and Enterprise
- WEP - No longer considered secure. WEP should only be used when the WPA option is not available.
- Always create a strong password on your wireless access point / router to prevent unknown persons from making changes to your network and security settings. Enabling enterprise WPA2 and MAC filtering are futile efforts if your router's administrator account and password are left as default. A strong password contains at least 8 characters (preferably 13 or more) with a mix of each of the four types (UPPER CASE and lowercase, numbers , and special characters [! @ # $%…])
- If you are uncomfortable opening each computer to install a NIC, you might consider using USB Ethernet adapters, which plug into the available USB ports on computers today.
- Additional security for wireless networks can be obtained by enabling MAC address filtering. Many wireless access points offer MAC filtering, which prevents unknown computers from accessing the wireless network without an administrator expressly authorizing it, by adding a computer's wireless NIC MAC address to the filter. When used in conjunction with WPA2, MAC filtering creates a stronger level of wireless security.